My neighborhood's 4 person garage sale committee slowly dwindled down to a party of one (yours truly!) so I just wrapped up my work for this year's garage sale, which started on Thursday and finished up Saturday. I fortunately ran out of items (had a few odds and ends left) Friday morning, so I decided to call it quits for the weekend! In fact, I closed my garage door at noon Friday and by 2:30pm my cash was already deposited in the bank and my garage was already clean! :)
If you are organizing a neighborhood sale (or even just your own!) here are a few tips for organization and success!
1. USE FACEBOOK: My neighborhood happens to have a private Facebook group set up, and even though only around 80 houses are represented (out of approx. 300), it's a great quick way to pick the best dates and times, spread information and relay information!
2. PASS OUT FLYERS: Since majority of our neighborhood is not on our Facebook page, I decided to flyer the neighborhood to encourage more participation. Although I only gave 7-10 days notice to sign up with the flyers, they increased the # of participating houses from 10 to 26, so they definitely helped! Plus, it was a nice little work out!
3. UTILIZE FREE ADVERTISING: I did purchase signs (vistaprint.com was the best price I found, especially after promo codes) to put at all entrances as well as a paid ad in our local newspaper, but I also took advantage of free advertising sites as well! Always create a public Facebook event, Craigslist.org (I posted on two local cities' sites) and YardSaleSearch.com. We had an amazing turnout, so free advertising is the way to go!
4. MAKE A MAP: Using GoogleMaps, I created a map showcasing the location of all of the sales. In Picasa (photo software), I lettered the houses and wrote each address, hours, and descriptions of items below next to the corresponding letter. We got many compliments on the maps, so i am glad they were user friendly! Each house had a stack of maps and I would highly recommend this when doing a large neighborhood sale.
5. ORGANIZE YOUR ITEMS: Any garage saler can appreciate an organized sale, and I find that the more orderly and organized your items are, the better chance you have of selling them! For example, I hung all clothes by racks so people could look through, rather than rummage through piles and piles of clothes. I also arranged all clothing by size and created separators (using Cricut + permanent marker. I was surprised that for the most part, the clothes stayed in their designated spots! I also made sure to keep like items together. One table for housewares, one for home decor, one for holiday and one for baby gear/toys. This way, if someone is looking for something specific, they might end up buying more as everything they want is all right next to each other!
6. COMBINE ITEMS: Even more than making money, I wanted to get rid of my items, so with smaller or lower-cost items, I combined multiple like items together in a bag. Instead of selling decorative scissors individually for .25 cents each, throw 5 in a bag with a few containers of glitter and charge $1! Same goes with baby hair bows, socks and craft supplies. I don't think I had any "bags" left at the end of my sale ... and I was able to not end up with a bunch of nickels and dimes!
7. HAVE WATER AVAILABLE: If you are planning a late spring or summer sale, buy a pallet of ice and a large bag of ice and sell water for .50 a piece. I wasn't looking to make money on it, but did end up making a few bucks. And people really appreciated it as it was hot, hot, hot on Thursday!