Putting on a garage sale is quite honestly one of the easiest ways to make some extra cash and rid yourself of things you may have never wanted in the first place. With the following guidelines, your garage sale will be quick, painless and eye catching.
1. Advertise. A good sale needs good publicity. These days, we can rely more on digital advertising, though a few hard copy flyers won’t hurt. Craigslist is still a great place to announce that you are putting on a garage sale in your locality. A short and to-the-point ad there will be sure to pique the interest of locals in need of inexpensive home items. Of course, have at least some paper flyers placed in three to four strategic locations including a post outside your subdivision or on your mailbox at work.
2. Involve you neighborhood. Try to get your entire block involved by inviting neighbors to put on their own garage sales the same day as yours. Ask the two houses on each side of you, in addition to the house in front of you, if they would participate and publicize for a multi-house wide garage sale. All of you could even chip in to put an ad in the newspaper a week or two in advance. A larger spectacle will bring a larger crowd, which increases the probability of a greater financial turn around.
3. Organize items. It’s important to display your sale items in a way that is aesthetically pleasing in addition to being easy to find. Place men’s clothing with men’s shoes and vice versa for women’s items and accessories. Instead of lumping all miscellaneous merchandise, like toys, video games, DVDs and the like, separate them into bins and label them clearly. Easy rummaging increases the likelihood of a customer seeing and purchasing the item they want.
4. Haggle fairly. When setting prices and haggling with customers, remember that this is a garage sale where you are selling used and old items. Such a transaction has mutual benefit for each party since one is getting something they want and the other is getting relieved of something they don’t want. You are expected to haggle a little bit. The rule of thumb is don’t be stingy and don’t be a stickler about the things you are selling. It helps if you have prices clearly labeled for all things so that haggling customers can offer a price in that ballpark.
5. Invite friends. Most people are naturally hesitant to walk up to someone else’s home, so it helps to have a person or two already browsing the sale items. Ask friends or family members to walk about so that approaching a stranger’s garage is less of an issue for potential customers.
These two local places can help you get started:
Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
Hours: Mon, Sun – Closed, Tues to Wed – Noon to 8 p.m., Thurs to Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The public library on Woodward Avenue not only has inexpensive printing for garage sale flyers, but also provides a community bulletin board on which they approve sale announcements for those who know to ask.
Honey Bee Market
4223 Bagley Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216
Hours: Mon to Sat – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Honey Bee Market allows people to request and take home boxes from their warehouse, which can then be used as display bins for your garage sale. The best part is that the boxes come in many sizes, are more sturdy than the standard boxes and are completely free.
Sakina Al-Amin writes regularly for an accumulating number of online publications, but has dreams of one day being a spokesperson. She resides in the metro Detroit area with her husband. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.