I had my very first garage sale last weekend and it was pretty successful! I made some money and got rid of lots of stuff! Win win! I ran my sale on Thursday - 8 - 5, Friday 8 - 2, Saturday 8 - 5. The forecast was rain for all the days, but in the hours I was open, it was great weather.
If you really think about it, garage sales are a weird thing. You open up your garage filled with your unused, random stuff... some things that err on the side of junk and try to lure people in to give you money in exchange for these "treasures." And let me tell you, this attracts ALL kinds of people. I am big into going to garage sales... but it is just different to be on the other side of it.
Here are a few things I learned....
* Childcare is KEY. I thought I may possibly be able to watch Brecken and do a garage sale - nope... with how crazy busy this kid is, that would not have happened - I was SO thankful my mom and sister came to help for a few days. They also brought some items to sell as well... it was nice to have a little more variety for my sale.
* It is nice to have company - it can get long in the afternoon, but having someone to talk to and entertain you is great!
*Afternoons can get really slow. Not only is there not much traffic - you can just get bored as well. I think I should have closed up shop earlier some days - but on the other hand... maybe I would not have gotten rid of as much? Hard to know.
* Craigslist is a great place to advertise and FREE! You can post as many times as you want - so everyday leading up to the sale as well as when the sale is going on. I even added some pictures. I think it helped sell one of the pieces of furniture!
* Put things out in your driveway so people want to come in to your sale. I started out with a lot of stuff in the driveway, but as things sold, I didn't have much to put out on the driveway...kind of a good thing I guess...
* Make colorful signs and place strategically. I covered pre-made signs with folded neon poster board and felt like they were easy to see. I placed them at the two ends of the street and other high traffic areas.
* Try to coordinate sales with a neighbor or two - this will help to bring traffic. I heard the neighbor was having a sale and jumped on the opportunity to help both our sales. Another neighbor had a garage sale on Saturday as well - so at one time there were three sales to hit!
* Keep prices on the cheap side and you will sell, sell, sell! I read this tip that it is good to keep prices low and items will move... and they did! I lowered prices as the sale went on to get rid of more stuff as well!
*Don't buy your signs at Dollar Tree. They were flimsy and when trying to jam the plastic stick into the ground, bent it. I should have gone with wood sticks.
*Be creative with your garage set up. I didn't have any tables except for a patio table. Luckily, my neighbor let me borrow a couple tables she borrowed from someone else, otherwise I would have been hurting. Todd also brought two tables from work and my mom brought a 5 ft table and a card table as well. I used two book cases with a door across them from my old desk to make another large table. I didn't have a rack to hang items - but I found a random shower rod while cleaning the garage. There are weird hook things protruding out of the garage wall and I stuck the rod between them. I also stuck some push pins into the wall to display clothes and used the existing hooks already in the garage.
* Garage Sales are a good excuse to clean out your garage. Not only did we get rid of some things we were storing in the garage, but with random people coming in and out of our garage you want it looking nice. Afterwards, we can now park two vehicles in the garage! Yay! One more benefit to having a garage sale!
All in all, I felt like this sale went well. It was alot of work, but not as bad as I thought it would be. When I accumulate enough stuff again, I would totally do another garage sale... just hope it isn't for a while! :)