Saturday, June 1, 2013

How Not To Have A Garage Sale

After months of collecting and organizing items...
Hours to pack them up safely and transport to my mom's house...
After an hour and a half of set up...
Seven hours of selling... 
And an hour of cleanup... 
I made a whopping $42.75. 
(and my mom made only $21) 

A complete flop, wouldn't you say? 

Last weekend was so disappointing. We put in tons of effort and hardly sold a thing. We are going to have another garage sale at the end of the summer to try to sell off what we have left, but next time we will do a few tweaks to be more successful.  

Here's what I learned from this fiasco:

1. Location: We had our garage sale at my mom's house in Federal Way. For any of you who know the area, you know it's overrun with ghetto people unfortunately. This calculated into cheap people who didn't appreciate all the antique and vintage items we had. Next time, we are going to host at my home in Buckley where more people in the area will be looking for the items we have. Also, my mom's house isn't exactly set up to be garage sale friendly. Everybody had to walk down a short, but very steep driveway to get to her side yard to see everything. We had a ton of drive-bys but so many people just couldn't see everything we had from the street. My front yard is flat and level with the street, so hopefully this will make a huge difference.

2. Variety: We had mostly antiques, vintage items and nice household decor. No "guy" stuff, clothes, toys or children's items. Next time, my husband will be cleaning out his garage to get rid of some "guy" stuff so we have greater variety. Neither of us have any "kid" stuff so we'll just have to make do or bring in another family to sell with us.

3. Pricing: Some of our items were a bit overpriced. These items should be put on craigslist for somebody who is looking for that specific item and is willing to pay closer to what it's worth. It seems everybody who goes to garage sales thinks everything should be a dollar or less. If you aren't willing to part with it for way, way less than you bought it for, don't sell it at a garage sale. All the items I ended up selling were things I didn't care that went for so cheap.

4. Hours: We originally had the sale posted on craigslist for 8-4. The day after I posted it I decided I didn't want to have to get up at 5 to be to my mom's house at 6:30 to setup, so I changed it to 9. Well, early birds still showed up before 9 and one man even complained because he had only seen the original ad that said 8. So, my advice: stick to a schedule and don't change it. Also, in doing research, it seems most people who are serious shoppers want to come first thing in the morning for greater variety. Next time I will just suck it up and do my sale at 8am. (It really does suck I'm not a morning person!)

 Hopefully, following these tips will make my next sale (or yours!) more successful! Happy Selling!

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