Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thrifty Thursday!

 Last week, I caught the crazy "Let's have a garage sale" bug!  With two guys down and stuck at home, I thought it'd be the perfect time to purge the closets and clear things out!  It was also our only free Saturday for like the, season?  It got a tish crazy getting things ready and it definitely could have been a little more organized.  However, we set a goal to sell enough to purchase a twin mattress for the boys' top bunk bed and stroller for the baby--and WE MADE IT!  A successful garage sale is definitely worth the crazy rush of work!  Next time, though, I don't think I'll have a garage sale when my husband isn't able to lift!  After a zillion trips up and down the steps with full totes and bins and having only the help of an eight year old to set up the heavy tables, my pregnant body was really screaming for a break!  It's done now...profit is in the bank! (for now!)

Thrifty Tip #64:  Follow these handy tips from Fox Business and All You for a successful garage sale!

Make sure you have enough items to sell.  If you only have a small collection of items, you may be better off donating them to a charity.  If you're set on selling, team up with friends.

Be wise about how much you charge. Price your goods at around a quarter of their current retail cost. Using a thick black marker, write the price on a sticker and affix it to the sale item (don't write directly on your merchandise). After an item sells, remove the sticker and place it in a notebook to help keep track of profits. Make sure you have a safe place to keep change: You'll need at least $100 worth of coins and bills, especially small bills.

Price everything beforehand. Shoppers will feel more comfortable at a sale with prices that are pre-determined, so that they don't have to consult you each time they are interested in buying an item. If you don't have the time to price each individual item, like small trinkets, set up a table where everything is $1 or $2.  *Think bulk:  customers are probably only going to have around $30 to $50 cash in their pockets, and you want them each to walk away with six things!  Don't hesitate to price things so you can make deals.

Organize, organize, organize. People attending garage sales know they are looking at used items, but that doesn't mean they don't want to shop in an orderly, attractive environment. For example, clothing always sells better when displayed on a garment rack, and cleaning things goes a long way. Keep it looking like a store—replenish tables with other items after selling things to keep it looking full. Also, make sure you have bags and newspaper to wrap up the items you sell for customers.

Schedule to draw crowds. Plan your sale for a Saturday, when people have time to stop and shop. Mornings and early afternoons tend to bring in the most profits, so start around 8 or 9 a.m. Since early birds may come by sooner, set out display tables the night before so you can stock them quickly in the morning.

Advertise. Getting the word out there is half the battle.  List a garage sale on Craigslist, use social media and hang signs around the neighborhood.

Have a clean-up plan. Make sure you know when you plan to close up shop at the end of the day, and make sure you have enough people to help you. Also, have a plan of action for the items you didn't sell.

Have fun. Make your garage sale a place where customers are drawn to, with music and a lively atmosphere. If you're big on social media, live tweet or take pictures.  *We make it fun for our family by always going on a yummy donut run!

So...when's YOUR garage sale?  Thrifty mamas want to know!


peter marie said...

I'm glad your sale was so successful! Still bummed I couldn't make it, but thanks for the goodies. :)

Katie and I are having our garage sale NEXT Friday and Saturday at her house. Be there or be square!!

une autre mère said...

Oh, I love a good garage sale post! :) And I especially loved your garage sale! Can't wait to use our new bike buggy! :)

Abby already mentioned it, but I'll mention it again for good measure - Come to our sale next Friday and Saturday at MY HOUSE! I'm not going to post my addy on here, but you can visit my blog and email me if you need it. :) We promise to have a fun atmosphere - Abby's going to be doing some impromptu interpretive dances and I'll be performing amazing feats every hour. You don't wanna miss it!

peter marie said...

How could I have forgotten to mention the dancing?! I'm bringing out my old drill team uniforms and pom poms. It's gonna be awesome!

H-Mama said...

you are my garage sale hero! the last garage sale we had nearly did me in, so i've been dropping things off at the salvation army ever since. my wallet is not happy, but my body is. ;)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps next year, just send me a message about what you're saving up for, and I can purchase it for you in exchange for Titus's new wardrobe. Save you the trouble. :) --Jess

Amy Kramer said...

I would have personally LOVED to have made your sale, but I think the $4/gallon of gas would have put a small damper on that.
I want to see pictures of your sale! My garage saling season begins tomorrow (I'm super duper excited, I hope I can sleep tonight). We are having a "done having babies sale" in July... but waiting until our 'baby girl' is here, to make sure extra parts don't grow during the cooking process. :)
Post pics! I'm a nerd like that and love seeing other peoples sales!!! :)

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Wow, I'm going to have to bust a move on up to your garage sale! Abby reliving her drill team days is going to be fantastic!