How to Operate a Successful Garage Sale

First, set a date and time when you can devote your full time to this sale, for gathering up various articles as well as being able to attend the sale full time.

Second, plan just what you're going to put in this sale, if you are going to have the sale alone, or with two to five more families.

Third, have plenty of change on hand - both silver and paper money.

Now, get down to business. A sale is work - a lot of hard work, but the returns more than justify the effort. Whether it's advertised as Patio, Carport, Yard, Porch, or Garage-a-Rama, people will come and buy. Clean out your closets and ANYTHING that is useless to you or you don't want - put it in the sale. Don't throw anything away. People will buy just about anything. You'd be surprised. What is one person's trash is another's GOLDMINE!

Of course you need to advertise. Be specific, concise and honest. State place, date, hours. If you have large amount of clothing, specify some of the sizes, particularly if you have quite a few in a few sizes. Antiques. They go over big regardless of state of repair or condition. Give good descriptive details to save disappointments.

Capitalize on the season. Feature luggage at going-away to school or vacation time. Toys near Christmas. Include fads. Today, bottles of all kinds are in demand. Big bottles, little bottles, Jim Beam, Avon, Kara Brooks, Wheaton/Nuline, old medicine, Mrs. Butterworth, miniature - all kinds, old fruit jars, and insulators.

Here are some additional items that we find to be in big demand: baseball cards, lawnmowers, camping articles, guns, tools, coins, old books. Children like comic books, old and new. Women like aprons, old-fashioned bonnets, clothing for themselves as well as their children, salt and pepper shakers, needlework, jewelry and dishes.

Doll clothing and accessories are always in demand and especially for Barbie and Ken or teen dolls. Toys go over big at any time. Dolls and stuffed toys. Make a hit with the kiddies and they, in turn, will finally persuade their mothers to buy something. Children are very persuasive!

Have a large quantity of items to sell, a big variety. And don't be afraid to drag out those outgrown items, old dishes, two-of-a-kind items you don't really need and generally "clean house". You'll find the money in your pocket is better than all the clutter in the house.

Homemade items are very popular. If someone in your household sews, then sew up aprons, doll clothes, dolls, stuffed toys from scraps of material lying around. You'll make use of those scraps taking up space and make money too! Fresh produce such as tomatoes, green beans, corn, fruits, etc. will also sell, if you should have a garden overflowing.

String up a clothesline to display any clothing you may have. Remember, clothing for all ages, men or women, is always in great demand. Children's clothing goes over best and especially about the time for school to start in the fall.

Set up card tables or ping-pong tables to display small merchandise. Place tables in a manner that will leave room for shoppers to browse without feeling crowded. Display your wares attractively. Be sure they are clean, usable, and priced temptingly.

People are looking for bargains. Don't disappoint them. Remember that what you sell is something you don't want anyway, so whatever you get is gravy.

Take advantage of the space under the tables, if you need more display room. You will be amazed how buyers spot the smallest item under the table. Colorful table covers draw a lot of attention to your items.

You will save yourself a lot of time answering questions if you show a price on all merchandise. Use a heavy black felt marking pen for lettering. If more families go in with you, identify your price tags with a code such as G 75 cents or M 25 cents. The letters designate, perhaps, the first letter of the last name of the family who contributed items to sell. Keep all the tags and at the end of the sale, divide the tags according to code and total the sales. You may not come out right to the penny on sales and change you had on hand as anyone can make errors in making change for a customer.

Be sure you have electrical outlets nearby to plug in toasters, blenders, electric skillets, irons, hair dryers, electric razors, etc., to show people that your articles do work. If you have to use an extension cord, make sure it is in excellent condition and preferably a heavy duty one.

If you have any fragile, rare or expensive items such as crystal, cut glass or jewelry, be sure it is displayed on a sturdy table and up high out of reach of kiddies. They are curious and you might be too busy to watch them.

Drinking glasses, dishes, cups will sell faster if you price them in sets of 6 for $1.00 instead of 15 cents each. Paperback books, magazines, records and items that have titles will sell more readily if they are marked separately. If they want them collectively, they'll ask you. Then bundle them all up and sell them. Sell everything!

Advertising. Run an ad in your daily newspaper. If you run your ad one day only, have it in the Thursday paper. You might like to run the ad two days to appear in both the Thursday and Friday editions. If your sale runs through Saturday, your sale is about over before the paper hits the street on Saturday. Therefore, 2-day advertising is usually adequate unless your sale is continued late Saturday night and through Sunday.

However, whatever you decide to advertise - BE READY! Be ready to meet any customer as soon as the paper hits the street, because some will come before the sale and before you even get ready to start the next day! In addition to placing an ad in the paper, place signs at points where people will see them. Some laundromats have bulletin boards on which you can place notices. Advertise all you can. Work word-of-mouth all you can. If employed, place signs on your company's bulletin boards.

Best days for your Garage Sale are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Sundays are usually a waste of time unless you're staying at home all day doing nothing anyway.

At the end of your sale you will have met a lot of nice, friendly people. If you want to continue your selling of any items you might have made, you can let people know then and have future sales all lined up. A circular made up and passed out to each customer would help to obtain any future sales also. You will profit both from the present sale and any future sales also. In short, you should have received much money, future profits, some new acquaintances and a weary but happy body!


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