S H E R W O O D G A R A G E S A L E T I P S
One of many organized garage sales, to include a refreshment stand!
Photograph by Amber Gardner, 2009
Collect Clutter All Year When you come upon something you no longer need or use and there's no one to pass it onto, start a box labeled "Garage Sale" and keep it handy in the garage where you can put all those treasures you want to get rid of. Once your box fills up, repeat the process over and over. As the year rolls around and the Sherwood Community Garage Sale approaches, you'll have several organized Garage Sale boxes full of another persons treasures ready to sell.
Have a Plan A successful garage sale does not happen without a plan. One week before the sale go through your home from top to bottom and clear out the lingering clutter. 2-3 days before the sale, take an afternoon to group items, price everything and organize your sale with tables (homemade tables: Take large sturdy boxes and place them upside down with a clean blanket or sheet draped over to display items.) Don't wait till the last minute to get change, small bills or balloons from the local grocery store - there's always the last minute rush that wait until the evening before or morning of - the stores don't like to get bogged down with requests for small bills and balloons and will decline requests.
Team Up One of the best “secrets” for success when it comes to garage sales is to have several around you participating our a multi-family sale that will fill your yard. Having more sales going on or a variety of stuff to sell will garner more interest from garage salers. If you're running a large garage sale or teaming up with another family, make sure to have enough help on hand so you can better manage your sale and make it more fun!
TIP: when pricing your items together in a multi-family sale, organize each family by color (Smith family uses pink price stickers and the Gardner family uses green) by pricing items per family, by color it will help organize the sale and make it easier at check out so you know where the money goes.
Timing is Everything Keeping a consistent schedule gives garage salers something to look forward to, as does a time of the year when the weather is usually pleasant. Sticking to days when sales are the most convenient for shoppers such as Saturday and Sunday are also key to planning a successful garage sale event. That's why every year the Sherwood Community Garage Sale is held the last weekend in June.
Clearly Mark Your Prices It’s easy to want to just stick a big sign on a table saying that everything on that table is a quarter, but, in the long-run it's a better idea to just put a sticker on them. Instead of having to make up prices on the spot, people will know exactly how much something is. This cuts out any potential confusion should you be selling something that belongs to someone else, or someone else trying to sell something of yours. Because some people are too shy to ask the price of an item, so you may lose a sale if an item isn’t marked.
Price Things to SELL When you put an item in your sale, commit to getting rid of it. While you want to price with a "little" room to negotiate on bigger ticket items, you want to always remember that when you're shopping at a garage sale, you expect to see garage sale prices. A general rule of thumb is to price items 1/4 to 1/3 of what they would cost new. And consider a freebie table or box at the front of your sale so it brings people in - we all love free stuff!
Effective Garage Sales are Heavily Advertised Craigslist is a big hit and it's FREE! While we do post our annual sale in Craigslist (early and everywhere to include a LARGE ad in the newspaper, facebook, blogs, websites, Willamette Weekly, garage sale sites throughout the web and put up "PROFESSIONAL" signage the week of) we do encourage everyone who participates in our community sale to also post their items on Craigslist as well with photos and great descriptions.
TIP: Participating neighborhoods of the Annual Sherwood Community Garage Sale Event are welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your address and brief list of items added to our annual Garage Sale Registry.
Final Day Mark-Downs Things are usually pretty picked over by the last day of the sale. That’s the perfect opportunity to get creative and hand out rock-bottom bargains like 50% off everything! We heard that “Fill a Bag for a Buck” is extremely effective and so is everything is FREE the final hour. You always want to sell for the highest price, so wait to advertise these mark-downs until the second they go in effect. At the end of the sale all remaining items are welcome to be dropped off at the GOOD WILL TRUCK conveniently located in the Sherwood Shopping Center near Mud Puddles Toys & Books and Safari Sam's. Donating your left over items to the Annual Grad Night Rummage Sale is also an option, there's a couple ways to go about that and they too offer tax receipts. That information is often posted on the Sherwood Bowmen facebook page and the Sherwood Garage Sale facebook page each year.
Don’t Forget the Goodies! What better way to teach your children entrepreneurial skills and let them earn a little money in the process than to have them set up their own little cookie and lemonade stands at the sale! Should our lovely Oregon weather kick in, try selling hot chocolate, coffee, fresh cinnamon rolls or homemade scones from Sweet Story Bakery in Old Town Sherwood... YUM!
These are just a few things which we've found to be a great help in hosting a successful garage sale. What are your best tips for having a great garage sale? We’d love to hear and post them to share!