Summer is fully underway, which means that homeowners nationwide are preparing for what’s generally considered the best time of the year to hold a garage sale. Summer streets are bustling with those enjoying all that the long days and warm nights have to offer, which means your sale will get more foot traffic than ever — that is, if you can pull it off like a pro. Here are just a few sizzling tips to help make the most of your summer garage sale.
Quality Over Quantity
First, many homeowners think that the more merchandise they can scrounge up from around their home and put up for sale, the better. But this isn’t necessarily the case. While having a wide selection of items for sale is always ideal, you shouldn’t overshadow the items you can sell for maximum profits with an abundance of lower-profit merchandise. This will just hurt your garage sale profits as a whole, and if it’s really a cluttered mess, it can overwhelm potential shoppers and drive them away. Instead, consider donating any clothes or household goods that may not be garage sale quality. Internationally, more than 14.3 million tons of donated American textiles help clothe people and families worldwide, and there are countless charities you can choose from that will make good use of your no-longer-needed items.
Spruce Up Big-Ticket Items
This may not apply to all sales, but if you’re selling any upholstered furniture or otherwise big-ticket items, it can help to take some time and make sure they appear as clean and new as possible. Typically, steam cleaning is the best option, since steam kills 99% of common household germs and bacteria like E.Coli, salmonella, and staph, as well as dust mites and bed bugs. Many homeowners skip the cleaning process because they’re already selling the item and they think it’s a waste of time. But it can truly make the difference between someone buying a piece or furniture or walking away empty handed.
It’s up to you to advertise your garage sale effectively and using various media. There are numerous websites dedicated to advertising garage sales, most of which can be found with a quick Google search. But at least create a quick post on Craigslist and write a brief description of the items you’ll have at your sale and when it’s happening.
“Post an ad on as many [websites] as you want, but aim for at least three. Feel free to describe your items in detail, but avoid sounding like a marketing executive. Simply tell people what you have and when you’ll have it, and let their own imaginations work out how wonderful it is,” writes Angela Colley on Money Crashers.
Of course, it’s also essential to advertise your items properly the day of the sale. This means both arranging them in an appealing style and marking each item or item section with a clearly visible sign and price tag. Several studies, including one from Brigham Young University showed that merchandise with a sign outsold merchandise without a sign by 20%, and just like retail stores, customers may get frustrated and walk away if they can’t easily find the price of something. Either that, or they’ll put you on the spot and offer you a price, which is likely to be lower than what you were hoping to sell the item for. Avoid the trouble and make sure customers can easily find the price of each and every item up for sale.
Don’t Neglect Customer Impulse
Finally, just like a retail store, it can help to arrange smaller items near the ‘check-out’ table. These items could easily be impulse purchases if they’re generously priced. For example, 75% of U.S. adults wear Rx or plano sunglasses, and selling things like sunglasses, keychains, and other trinkets for as low as $1 can make customers more tempted to snag them at the end of their shopping session.
Ultimately, marketing your garage sale effectively and based on natural customer instinct is the key to maximizing profits and sales potential.