Saturday, August 28, 2010

No, Really, Please Take It

I spent the week getting ready for and having a garage sale - though it was really more in the yard than in the garage. The good news is, my garage is getting clean! The great news is, I made $600! Seriously, that is some
great news. I am super excited.

Garage Sale Lessons learned:

  • Mark more valuable things slightly higher than you want to sell them so you can say yes when the customer asks if you can come down in price.
  • People would rather pay $1 for something than take it free. For some reason, free screams "not worthy" and $1 says "great deal"
  • It is fun to give things to people.
  • It is not fun to watch someone steal. I didn't say anything. But, I would have said, "If it's that important, just take it."
  • I need new sunglasses. Walking in and out of the garage made my eyes feel crazy. The glasses were too dark inside the garage but just right in the bright sun.
  • I feel guilty when friends come to my garage sale. I would rather just give them my stuff.
  • There is something truly gratifying seeing people get excited about items that once meant something to me.
  • Back to the free stuff~ Instead of giving something away, ask for a donation. I tried to give away some misc items (liquid kind) from a friend that moved (her movers couldn't move the items). The first interested person said he could not take it for free. So, he grabbed a handful of items and handed me 5 bucks. After that, I just asked for a donation. It was surprising how much people would hand me for half used bottles of spray paint and caulking.
  • After the sale, offer to give one of your friend shoppers the rest of the loot. This really works with the children's clothes. My friend was so happy, she took bags of other stuff to donate for me. She insisted.
  • Two day garage sales are best.
  • When I am a grandparent (years and years from now), I am going to shop at garage sales. I saw many, many grandparents.
  • There's no shame in asking. I had a customer ask if I had a baby gate. I ran inside and grabbed the baby gate that I had debated selling. It was a win-win situation.
  • Say "yes" to Craig's List. I advertised on Craig's list. I also listed specific items that I was selling. I had a customer thank me for listing my items.
  • Last but not least, make sure you have opportunities for bathroom breaks. I didn't really plan for that. I was smart to make sure my kids were well cared for but I was not smart enough to plan for bathroom breaks. (No worries, no accidents!)
Oh, one more thing, compliment your shoppers. Not because you are trying to secure a sale. Just compliment people.
I don't remember how much she bought, but I do remember the smile on the lady's face when I complimented her flip flops.


Roxie said...

I LOVED your garage sale -- and never feel bad selling your items to friends, if we didn't want it or didn't like the price, we wouldn't buy -- we would just visit!

I have a very hard time pricing items as well. You want to price it high enough that people can offer less and you can say yes, but yet you want to mark it low enough to see it go!

I noticed my free box had the same problem as yours. And yes, Craigslist is great as well as the Garage Sale advertising board!

I also found that Friday was my big busy day and Saturday was much slower. I too also forgot to figure out something for potty breaks -- good thing I didn't drink too much! Also remembering to make a lunch plan...

Another one I have learnt in the past is to remember sunscreen -- I burn at every sale!

Fortunately I have not witnessed the stealing issue, either they are really good and I didn't notice or it just hasn't happened to me yet...

And a Garage Sale is so exhausting! In the future I think I am going to plan way in advance and make it a joined effort, inviting friends and family to join me.

Foursons said...

Yay for $600! I LOVE big garage sales like that. Just FYI- if you sold lots of baby stuff that can account for the big sales. Once you get rid of your baby stuff it is harder to make that much money. If you didn't sell baby stuff and made that much money than way to go!

McCrakensx4 said...

Sounds like it was a huge sucess! And great job on the extra $$ all the lessons as well.

Salty Mom said...

Love it and glad you were able to unload some of the liquids I unloaded on you (:

Brandi said...

AWESOME! Garage sales are a big weekend thing around here. I love going to them, but you have to get up SO early! It's funny when you start seeing the same people at every place you stop... it's like it's a race to get to the next sale before anyone else.

Glad it went well! :)

Beth E. said...

$! That's great!

Sounds like you had a wonderful sale, not just because you sold so much, but because of the people you met, too. :-)

D and A said...

great insights to the garage sale, great idea for a blog - I liked you post about being weighed down by being too busy - I could not agree more that we need to be careful of that.
Blessings and I will be following,
Amy @ Missional Mama

Linda F. said...

Thank you so much for selling me your wonderful stuff for the new Preschool.The kids will LOVE the toys. Never feel bad about selling your stuff to friends.

Anonymous said...

Lebanon is such an easy place for a yard sale, a posting at the Methodist church parking lot board, a couple signs at the nearest main streets and you are good to go.
I have never had one that lasted past 1:00 on a Saturday. Anything that was left wasn't going to net me more that $5 to sit there the rest of the day, so it all became free. We would put it together, mark it as free and go to lunch. It's always all gone by the time we get back.
Glad you had fun and great success Jane Anne.

Jen said...

What a great attitude you have :) And what a fantastic result! When my kids are bigger I want to make the rounds to all the yard sales & see what bargains are to be had - and sunscreen is a must!

RLR said...

I have bought things from friends, and am actually getting ready to buy a few more things. Don't feel guilty about selling to your friends! It's a win-win!
These are great tips, especially since I'm working on my own garage sale! We are going through the *whole* house room by room to clear out the clutter and get rid of things the kids have outgrown.
So glad the sale went well!