Garage sale to add to debt payoff challenge
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  1. #1
    Registered User militlady's Avatar
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    Default Garage sale to add to debt payoff challenge

    I am going to have a garage/yard sale in May and add everything we make to paying off a debt. My plan

    1-go through all our rooms/closets and decide what we can live without. (So far I have 5 bags of stuff from 2 closets)
    2-price it as I set it aside so I am not going crazy the day of the sale
    3-Send out flyers to all the neighbors on my street and ask if they would like to participate in a street long yard sale. Hopefully attract more customers because of the increased amount of sales in a very small street.
    4-Start plants (tomatoes, flowers, herbs, etc.) and sell them at the yard sale.
    5-Make some quilts and other craft items and sell them at the yard sale.
    6-Maybe order some items out of my catalog and sell them
    7-Borrow tables from the armory to put my stuff on.
    8-Sell some coins and antiques from my FIL

    Does anyone have any other suggestions or want to join me in this challenge. My goal is to make $1000. Am I reaching too high or should I reduce my goal amount?

  2. #2
    Registered User mamamia's Avatar
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    I hope you make it! But I wouldn't sell the antiques or coins at the sale. People won't pay you what they're worth at garage sales. Have you ever been to www.craiglist.org? It's categorized by state/area. I know people that got a much better price there than they would've at a garage sale for their furniture. Also, it's free to list. I got some furniture I'm putting on there soon.

    Check it out and see if you think it's a good idea.

    Wishing you the best!

    Theresa

    Oh, and forgot to mention that some people grill hot dogs and make iced tea or lemonade to sell. Also home-baked goods I heard do good too. And you might want to advertise a 'Freebie Box', if you have stuff that you might think wouldn't sell for much anyway. Also mention having $1 tables (everything's $1, or $2, etc.) People like that.

    When I have mine, I'm letting the kids make up brown paper Grab Bags of small toys, jewelry, art supplies, etc. We'll categorize according to sex/age, and sell 'em cheap. Better than nothing and fun for the little customers too You could probably make 'adult' ones too. Maybe if you have odds and ends that you could group together might work better than trying to sell separately. (small kitchen items, jewelry, craft goods, etc.)
    Last edited by mamamia; 03-10-2009 at 04:28 AM. Reason: added on

  3. #3
    Registered User lvngwell's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Here is an article I wrote for a blog that may help your sale:

    "How to Make Signs that Get Them to Your Garage Sale"

    There is nothing more aggravating than searching for a garage sale only to drive around aimlessly because there were no signs to guide your way. Personally, I won't waste very much time hunting for a garage sale that has inadequate or missing signs. As a rule carelessly marked sales are usually carelessly planned sales that are rarely worth the bother.

    There are a few exceptions to this rule though. Some people will carefully plan a great sale but honestly don't realize how important good signs are or what a good sign actually is. They would take the time to plan and execute a good signage strategy if they knew what one looked like. For these people I have compiled a short list of criteria that when met will ensure you will drive the maximum number of people to your garage sale.

    Eye catching garage sale signs are:

    1) Sturdy - Wire or wood framed signs are the best. Leftover political signs make fantastic garage sale signs. Old "House For Sale' signs work well too. If you know a realtor ask them to save old signs they may have for you. The best garage sale sign we have is a wire frame about two feet high and three feet wide that we garbage picked. We merely slide out the old plastic card and replace it every year with a new cardboard one. If you don't have any of these types of signs several "H" style frames made out of thin strips of scrap wood are easy and cheap to assemble.

    2) Freestanding - Whatever you use make sure it is freestanding and sturdy enough to keep your sign from curling up into itself making it unreadable. Refrain from stapling a sheet of printer paper onto a telephone pole - those signs are the most difficult to read. When someone drives down the same road every day they are familiar with the scenery. A freestanding sign that wasn't there yesterday will catch their eye much faster than a sheet of paper pinned to a pole that was. They may wonder if that piece of paper is new or if it was there last week and they just missed it, but there is no question about the freestanding sign.

    3) Uniform - In heavily populated residential areas it is not uncommon for there to be more than one family having a garage sale at the same time. I have seen as many as five at a time. To ensure that the crowds don't start following your signs only to be hijacked by a random sign taking them to another sale make all your posters uniform. The simplest way to do this is to use colored poster board to make all your signs. Pick a color a little out of the ordinary yet still light enough to write on. Everyone uses pink, yellow or orange so choose something different like violet or green. The neon version is even better! Any stationary or hobby shop is bound to have a good selection to choose from.

    4) Brief - You have precious little time to get your message across. A person driving at 35 miles and hour needs to focus on, read, and understand your sign with time enough to turn into your street without having to slam on the brakes and cause an accident! Say just enough to get your point across without being wordy.

    Something like this is perfect:

    GARAGE SALE

    1524 LEXINGTON

    FRI/SAT 7-3
    ------------->

    Anything more and you run the risk of them not being able to read fast enough to decide they want to stop. Finally, and most importantly, put an arrow on the bottom of the sign! A person will instinctively begin to turn in the direction of the arrow even while still reading. This way they know which direction to turn and only need to make a quick note of your address to guide them the rest of the way.

    5) Bold - I am constantly amazed at garage sale signs that are made out of huge pieces of cardboard yet contain a few hastily scribbled words crowded in the center of the sign. If you have a large piece of cardboard use it all! There is no such thing as a sign that is lettered too large. Lightly trace your words first in pencil to make sure they all fit then fill them in with thick marker lines. Again, the thicker the better. Bold letters are easier to read than thin ones. Carefully planned and lettered signs will impress your customers and catch their attention the quickest.

    6) Abundant - Assume that your customers don't know that Lexington is four streets down from the crossroad where you have placed your sign. Guide them every step of the way. Place a sign at every major intersection pointing them in the right direction and place interim signs along long stretches of road you want them to continue going straight on. You can never have too many signs. Get out a map of your neighborhood and look at the many twists and turns your customers may encounter. Pretend like they have never driven in the neighborhood before and painstakingly guide them from all four directions: North, South, East, and West. Place dots where you will place your signs. You can use this map later to remove them after the sale.

    7) Courteous - There is nothing more aggravating than following signs to a garage sale only to realize that the sale is not there. A second look at the poster confirms that the sale was last week and the family neglected to remove their signs! Send someone around to remove your markers as soon as the sale is over and make sure to use your map to get them all!

    The best garage sale I ever had was a last minute affair. We had recently moved and had a two car garage full of boxes we planned to sell in a garage sale "some day." We decided at noon one Friday to have a garage sale the next day. We worked for 18 hours straight throughout the night and opened the sale at 7 am the next morning. We had done no advertising. The only thing we had were excellently crafted and meticulously placed garage sale signs - lots of them.

    Our signs brought in so many people that an elderly neighbor had an impromptu garage sale just a few doors down from us. They came over later to thank us for the tremendous traffic and to tell us how well they had done. It just goes to prove that when you invest the money and time it takes to make and place outstanding garage sale signs you will be rewarded many times over with droves of happy, eager customers!

    HTH!!!

  4. #4
    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    we are having one in may too....i passed the flyers out in january to give the neighborhood plenty of time....

    post notices the week of on any bulletin board you can find:
    post office, library, grocery stores, laundromats, etc...if you have bulletin boards at work or any of the neighbors do have them post them there too...the post on signs is excellent...make sure you follow it.....

    group like items together (think like a retail store)...make sure everything is super clean and clearly marked...hang pictures if you can....

    for more space we use milk crates in the center of the table and use long sheets of shelving for 'upper shelves' (don't put any glasswear up here coz someone always knocks stuff off)...you can use anything really to 'build it up'...

    use ladders and poles to make clothes racks and put it 'out of the way'...people that have the 'room' to browse will take longer to look thru the clothing...i have been to sales where clothes racks are packed in with everything else and you can't even stand there long enough to look at them....put non-hanging clothes on tables close to the racks...seperate by gender/sizes (adult or child)...put odd & ends...(socks, belts, hats, purses, etc in baskets or boxes on the floor in front of tables...or on the table if you have the room)...

    have an electric outlet avlb (or extension cord) for people to try 'plug-in' stuff....

    put large or x-tra 'cool' stuff out closest to the road to encourage people to stop...if someone buys something but has to come back later...leave the item there but put sold sign on it...leave the stuff out...it attracts more buyers....

    don't take checks...cash only...have plenty of change and $1 bills...DO NOT let the money out of your sight for one second !! don't hold something unless someone pays you first...get name & # and agree on how long you will hold before you get rid of....

    post your time but expect people to be there at least an hr earlier...don't deny these people...they are the SERIOUS buyers.... stay open later for people that want to come after work...i know its a long day but heck you went to all this trouble setting it up...stay open....

    wrapped snacks are good sellers (think little debbie's) bottled water & soft drinks too...people are hungry...they want to shop...not stop to eat.... i have been to many a sale where they are selling hot dogs too...one sale the husbands got together and opened a 'grill'...they had the whole set-up and were grilling burgers & dogs and serving meals...(of course they were having a grand old time themselves drinking beer and being brats) lol... you can pre-package other snacks too for the 'little hungry shoppers' (goldfish crackers, m&m's...dry cereals)..... just don't get greedy on these prices and you will 'out-sell' the other 'kitchens'.....remember these are 'bargain hunters'....they aren't wanting to pay 5 star prices on food either...

    have plenty of 'helpers'....sale days can become hectic...keep the place neat and organized...constantly fill in 'empty' spaces and refold/organize clothing....remove all empty hangers off the clothing racks...hang more items on walls after items are sold...'work' the sale...don't sit at the pay-table with your nose buried in a book....walk around...answer questions...be friendly....be available.....(that's why you NEED helpers.....).....very important...... if possible send little kids to g-ma's or friends they can be very distracting to both you and the shoppers.... or have one person take care of all the kids (out of sight) and take turns during the day.....put your dogs away....you love them...most of us love them...but some don't....keep them away from the sale....

    clean the garage well before the sale and get anything out of there that you can...the less 'stuff' of your own that you have piled everywhere the more the buyer can concentrate on whats for sale....cover stuff with sheets or something if you can't remove it from the immediate area.....

    have your 'pay-table' out of the way of the shoppers so they can get around the items for sale....

    if you can...line the perimeter of the walls with tables and then put a row down the middle so shoppers can get down both sides...if there is not room don't put that middle row in coz people are uncomfortable with 'butt-rubbing' so they tend to move along faster...give them room to browse....and hang stuff along the walls above the perimeter tables...

    move your own vehicles (and all helpers) as far away from the sale site as possible to allow parking.....put balloons on your mailbox or another attention grabbing item....

    if it is a one-day sale hang signs 1/2 off last hr...or 2nd day...1/2 off or whatever...have a 'sale' to get rid of the last remaining items...i have had many a people 'come back' to get other things even cheaper....but advertise it at the sale so people will KNOW....

    barter your items with the neighbors...have a pre-sale where you 'view' each others items the night before and 'trade' stuff....
    if you don't do that...at least check out THEIR items before the sale starts...you might find some stuff you need....offer the neighbors 20% off...early bird sale the night before....

    expect people to stop when you are setting the sale up the day before...let them look...let them buy...they don't mind climbing over you and your stuff...hey..a sale is a sale...we let EVERYONE in.... and they just might come back a second time if they like what they see going up....

    don't over-price your items...i know you paid alot for them...they are sentimental...but this is a garage sale and if you don't want to be dragging it back into the house or 'giving' it away for free after the sale...price it accordingly...it's better to get less per item and sell the whole darn place then sell only a few items for top dollar.... be prepared to haggle...come down a little but don't be taken advantage of either...it works both ways...

    repair anything that needs it beforehand...screw loose-tighten it...button hanging off-sew it back on....the better stuff looks the more inclined a buyer will take it...

    post 'AS-IS' signs everywhere... no returns.....you can post the typical 'not responsible for accidents' signs but in reality you are responsible...you own the property...if someone wants to sue you...they will... (doesn't mean they will win...but the law GIVES them the right...your sign doesn't hold up in court)...so keep the place as safe as possible...keep stuff out of the aisles to prevent tripping...don't put heavy stuff up high...if someone is struggling with something...HELP THEM...before an accident happens...stay on your toes....and unfortunately you will have to watch shoppers kids too coz alot of the times they won't be....
    and be prepared for shop-lifters...they hit garage sales too....

    that's all i can think of off the top of my head...i'm sure if i really put my mind to it i can find some more....

    good luck on your sale and may you make 'tons' of money....

    “After the last tree has been cut down, after the last river has been poisoned, after the last fish has been caught.
    Only then will you find that money can't be eaten.”

    ~ Cree Indian Prophecy










  5. #5
    Registered User Milly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by militlady View Post
    I am going to have a garage/yard sale in May and add everything we make to paying off a debt. My goal is to make $1000. Am I reaching too high or should I reduce my goal amount?
    Looked at another way, do you have 1000 items you can sell for a dollar each? If so, it should be possible.

  6. #6
    Registered User lvngwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by militlady View Post
    Does anyone have any other suggestions or want to join me in this challenge. My goal is to make $1000. Am I reaching too high or should I reduce my goal amount?
    Never reduce a goal. Shoot for the moon. Would you rather make it halfway to a big goal or all the way to a small goal?

    The one-day, impromptu, non-advertised sale I talk about in my sign post above made me $600 and I had my stuff maked up pretty high cause I took it directly to a consignment shop for sale afterwards. I would have easily doubled that if I had not had the consignment shop plan already in place!

    BTW - I live in a very small town too!

  7. #7
    Registered User militlady's Avatar
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    Wow! thank you all for the great ideas. I have also added a hot tub, a small fishing boat with a trailer, and a snow mobile to the mix.

  8. #8
    Registered User onencgirl's Avatar
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    4-Start plants (tomatoes, flowers, herbs, etc.) and sell them at the yard sale.

    I would have never thought of this. Brilliant!!
    If You Find Yourself Dancing In The Rain
    You Have Been Blessed

  9. #9
    Registered User Saydee's Avatar
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    We just had a rummage sale last weekend and it was a huge success. We made $1,200 and we couldn't believe it.

    We started ours on Thursday afternoon, all day Friday, and half a day Saturday. I didn't price every piece of infant/childrens clothes and gave everyone a bag to fill up for $5.00. Had people calling other people to tell them about our sale.

    Good luck on your sale.

  10. #10
    Registered User TheRootedNomad's Avatar
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    We are planning at least one here for the spring as well. As I frequently purge the house of clutter I know we won't have a lot of big ticket items but I'm still shooting for a couple of hundred each time I have one. My goal is to make a few bucks to stuff that will not be returning into the house anyway.

    I think $1000 is completely doable if you haven't cleaned out everything recently.

  11. #11
    Registered User lvngwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saydee View Post
    Had people calling other people to tell them about our sale.
    Now THAT is an awesome sale!! You need to tell us how you did it!!

  12. #12
    Registered User militlady's Avatar
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    I decided on May 2nd for my garage sale. I just need to check with the city to make sure that nothing major is going on that day and then I will make my flyers for my neighbors to see who wants to join in the sale and what types of things they want to sell so I can put an ad in the paper and on the bulletin boards at the library, gas stations, restraunts and post office. This is exciting. I also found a huge article in our local newspaper on Saturday about garage/yard sale tips. I am probably going to be overprepared for this but I don't want to be rushed on the days of my garage sale.

  13. #13
    Registered User militlady's Avatar
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    So there are at least two of us doing the garage sale this spring. Anyone else? Let's get rid of some clutter and make money in the process.
    Last edited by militlady; 03-16-2009 at 09:47 PM.

  14. #14
    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    We are having a garage sale on the last Saturday in March. DD will be home to help us go through our storage space - source of many treasures!! Mahalo for all the gread ideas!!
    No spend days: J 9/16
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    Monthly savings: J-202, F-186,M-170,A-154, M-137, J-118, J-102, A-86, S-70, O-54, N-38, D-28

    “Decluttering isn't just simplifying your life. It's having a vision, setting new priorities and using those notions to get rid of obstacles.”
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  15. #15
    Registered User militlady's Avatar
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    Hey Mauimagic. I hope you sell everything you put out and make lots of money. I used to live in Waianae and have been to Maui a couple of times. It is beautiful there.

    I wish we could have our yard sale sooner but we still have a couple of feet of snow in the yard still.

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