sale

Monday, June 13, 2011

46 Project Purge: An ORGANIZED Garage Sale

Yes my friends, I am still alive.  I know I was MIA last Friday, but with good reason which I will share in an upcoming post, and it also has a little to do with this GARAGE SALE we hosted on Saturday!


Setting up a Garage Sale is no easy task, as many of you already know!  I honestly can't give you enough virtual hugs and sloppy smooches for all of your inspiring tips from my gearing up post last week!  You all got my booty in gear in so many ways when it came to setting up this little sale of ours, intended to assist in getting rid of all the items we purged back in April!

I thought it would be fun today to recap some of your tips and show how we incorporated them into our sale.  I will chat about what worked, what didn't and all the things we learned along the way!   Here we go!


1.  HELP!  I asked my BFF for help.  I have been busy busy at baseball every night, running the daycare every day and with all that needed to be done, my bff offered such a helping hand sorting and categorizing all of the items I had piled into the garage!


To say "Thanks", I played with her little guy and sent her home with some of his favorite trucks and goodies from the sale!


2.  Advertise!  We posted on Craigslist, however, not until the day of.  Mistake number one.  We totally should have ahead of time to gain more out of towners!  Lesson learned.  We did however, also place an ad in our local paper and included our information on a town list since it was the biggest garage sale weekend of the summer in our area.

3.  Signage!  We are big DIYers, so I made my own signs out of poster board, which we placed in front of our home!



We also had signs at the end of the street with arrows to ensure individuals from the busier streets would pop down our more quiet area!  We also strung large letters printed on card-stock from the front of the garage to bring just a little more attention to the place!


4.  Clean!  We purchased a big tub of disinfecting wipes and cleaned all of the items we placed out in the sale, we wiped down all toys and furniture and household items, to ensure there were no fingerprints or dust.  The better shape the items appears in, the more likely it is to sell!

5.  Categorize!  This is where I had the most fun of course, being the little sorter that I am!  You all suggested to use tables, and display things in categories as one would in a department store.  We did just that, we had tables for toys, we had tables for household items, we had clothes hung together!


In fact, we made it easier to sell "like" items together, by bundling things, either in paper bags:


Or Ziploc bags:


Or even with twine:


6.  Hang Clothing!  What's funny about this is we tried....


Twine wasn't strong enough.  Good thing the clothes fell the day before the sale and not during!  It was laughable.  We actually used two dog leashes hung from hooks screwed into the ceiling, to hold a metal rail instead.  That was much stronger and safer and worked oodles better!


7.  Make sure everything is clearly marked!  We marked items in a variety of ways, and not one shopper asked once about a price on anything {unless they were trying to talk us down}.  Nothing worse than hitting up a sale and having no clue what is for sale or for how much!

We used stickers...


I made signs for the clothes vs. marking them individually:


I placed similar items into bins or stacks and used note cards to price them all {vs. individually}:


 
8.  Price fairly!  A couple of you mentioned to price a little high to allow for the shoppers to bargain down the price a bit {since they will try!}, and others mentioned to price low because the whole point it to get rid of everything!  We did both.  We went a little higher on the bigger items since we knew those typically would be bargained for, and we stuck low with items such as toys and household goods.  It seemed to be a good balance.  And when things weren't selling, we moved them around or marked them down to try and push them out the door!  We even had some boxes out front marked "free" to not only make things easier for us, but to also encourage people to dig around a bit!
 


9.  Use your driveway!  We had tables lined up within the garage, and totally took advantage of reeling people in by placing all our larger and brighter items out in the driveway!


The kiddos even did some playing with the toys out front to demonstrate how much they are loved and to encourage youngster shoppers to beg their mom's to let them bring the items home... sneaky sneaky!


10.  Be prepared!  We used a plastic storage box we had on hand as our "money box".  But it was also a great place for us to stash extra batteries {for those wanting to ensure items truly were in working condition}, a calculator, new labels for marking items down, etc...


Also, since we don't typically bring home many bags from the grocery store since we have been "green bagging it" for over a year now, we popped by the local grocery store and asked for a stack of brown bags so that our shoppers would have a way to carry home their belongings.


11.  Play Music!  We popped a radio into the garage and left some quiet tunes playing to ensure it never got too quiet or awkward.  The hubs is a totally a chatter bug social butterfly, so he was pretty great about making his rounds with the shoppers as well!

12.  Be Careful!  Some great advice was to watch that money box closely and not to let strangers into your home.  We had individuals stop by from out of our town and even out of state scoping out the sale, you never can be too careful about what else they are scoping out.  Sad, but true!


13.  Mark it DOWN!  At the end of the day, mark items down to at least half off.  Or let individuals take a bag and fill it for a specific price.  Best advice we didn't take and now we are paying for it.  Lesson learned number two.  We had plans to do this, and all the sudden it was late in the day and we stopped getting visitors.  And then we thought about opening for an hour the following day and following the CLEARANCE plan, but we had things to do and it didn't happen.  Learn from my mistake, because now we have things left I KNOW could have been out of there, the whole point is to make a little moola from the purge before donating it for good.

14.  Have a bake sale/lemonade stand for the kids!  Yep, did that, and will post about that tomorrow since there are too many pictures already going on here!


15.  Goodbye!  You are now on your path to living more simply.  Take note of the items that you got rid of and make a mental note as to why.  Enjoy your new simplified space and remember the "Less is More" saying before making impulse purchases.  DO NOT BRING YOUR LEFTOVER ITEMS BACK INSIDE!  Donate donate donate!

So to recap our sale.  We did really well considering we only ran it one day and it was on the last day of a three day garage sale party that the town was having {so we are sure most people were probably already garage saled out}.  We weren't $1000 super stars like many of you, however, we raked in about $400 which was our goal {we have a fun basement project in the works and now it's funded completely!}.  And the $400 isn't bad considering we really didn't have many large items and we priced everything pretty low, we really cleared out most of the products which was GREAT and the whole point!  What really surprised us is that we opened at 7:00 a.m. and didn't get our first customer until almost 9:00!!  Where were all those early birds?  The weather wasn't working in our favor either, it was only about 50-60 degrees and cloudy all morning and many of the shoppers were complaining of being cold.  Only in Wisconsin...lol. Clothes didn't sell AT ALL {we only had mine for sale, kid's clothes are always handed down to friends and family}.  Only one pair of paints and that was it!  Adult sizes are a challenge to sell since you must have a buyer your exact size, I knew that might happen, and I feel great that I have a lot to donate instead.  The best part is the feeling of shedding the waste.  It's crazy to think how much space excess items can take up in your home!  And visual clutter is totally mental clutter!

Thanks again to everyone for your encouraging tips and tricks!  You really helped me out!

Anyone else rake in some dough through a garage/yard/rumage sale this weekend?  Who else is itching to sell the purge?  Did we miss any other important tips?



46 comments:

  1. We did ours a couple weeks back and we had the same issue with "early birds." No one showed up until 9 for ours either! And at ours it totally rained....so that was prob a factor! Alot of the big stuff that I sold on Craigslist, I had them pick it up the day of the garage sale, and they ended up perusing our tables as well and purchased a couple more items!

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    1. I like your idea of having the big items sold and have them pick them up durring the sale. We are having a garage sale Fund raiser for our Junior High youth group and I think this would be a help thanks!

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  2. Great advice! Garage sales are a ton of work but if you are organized they go pretty smoothly.

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  3. I think you made your sale visually very appealing and that encourages people to want to shop. Congrats!

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  4. Great tips! You were beautifully organized as always! I liked the sign for the clothes prices; great idea! Is there a consignment shop near where you live? The clothes may be able to sell better there (if you wanted a chance to sell them before donating everything)
    We are also planning a garage sale later this summer; we've decluttered throughout the house and now working on the garage. I was supposed to work on garage organization this weekend, but was busy/procrastinating with going on a family bike ride & setting up our garden w/the kids :-) (it's all good, right?).
    My last post is: Tips For Organic Gardening at Home

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  5. man I wish I could hit up that yard sale! $5 for that scentsy bundle! thats a steal. ppl here on base want $20-$30!! gosh all those yummy goodies...thanks for all the helpful tips:)

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  6. wow you were really organized-- my mother in law and I have garage sales every other weekend(she has enough stuff to open a store)and It's nowhere near this organized and we're pretty organized! Great job and thanks for the tips!

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  7. CONGRATS!!!!!! Awesome tips (of course!) and I love your colorful displays-- everything looks so close to new! <3

    So awesome that you were able to raise 400 for your secret squirrel basement project! can't wait to find out what's in store! <3

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

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  8. Love all the signs you made. That alone would have brought me in and want to buy something. You did really well. Great job. Sounds like a lot of stuff went and now your home is lighter. Thanks for sharing with us. We were thinking about doing a garage sale, but we might just donate all of our stuff to Good Will instead. We don't have any kids, so no kids stuff. Toys & kids clothes really bring people in. I think I really like the idea of donating and doing something for someone else that needs it more then we do. But we will see what we decide. ;)

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  9. I totally would have bought your scentsy! :) Glad everything went well!

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  10. Amazingly organized, and I agree your signage was great. With the clothes, next time try to face some of your nicest items out, or display a couple of whole outfits. A huge long rack is pretty daunting to go through and most people wouldn't bother. Also, you could offer multiples discounts - $2 apiece or 3 for $5.

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  11. Great advice! I've always been good about purging and donating but have never tried a garage sale. Maybe when it cools down here (I'm jealous of your weather) I'll give it a try.

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  12. I had a garage sale this weekend as well, only I was open Friday night and all day Saturday. My hubs is a chatter box too, but he wasn't willing to help out! Although I didn't sell everything, I did make enough money to buy a fabulous new screen door for our house! Woop for home projects!

    Glad your sale went awesome!

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  13. I had my annual garage sale this past weekend also! I always do a Thurs/Fri/Sat, to maximize the amount of stuff that goes. I know Thursday sounds crazy, and might be hard to do with your daycare, but it's always my busiest and most productive day. Over the years I've found that adult clothing just doesn't do well. I donate it to the local YWCA shelter or thrift stores. I usually have household items, DVDs, tools and usually a couple larger items like a TV, furniture, etc. This year I had all my baby/toddler clothing and toys my kids have outgrown and baby gear and those went really well. And as long as I had it all set up, I invited a couple of people I knew that were expecting babies and money is tight for them and let them shop for free.

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  14. I loved the way you organized everything, and your signs and the lemonade stand were adorable.

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  15. Our neighborhood does an annual garage sale, which is nice, since we're sort of rural. I tend to donate everything we don't need, it works for me to get it out of the house right away, before I'm tempted to go back through them again. And that way, once it's boxed or bagged, it's gone. We're thinking next year we might try the garage sale, but our goal this year is to not bring useless items into the house, so that by next year, the only things we're getting rid of are toys and the clothes the boys have outgrown!

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  16. I took some things to a friend's street sale this weekend and made $45! I was excited because it went to the purchase of our new comforter.

    I am going to save this post so that I can reference it next year when I have my own sale :)

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  17. Great tips. With regards to the money, I wore a cross body Coach bag to keep an eye on the money.

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  18. Jen, You should take all your clothes to a cash for clothes place like Plato's Closet or a consignment shop. I'm sure there must be a great consignment shop in your area that would love to sell your maternity clothes!

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  19. We had a yard sale this weekend. Just some random things we were going to donate and we made 62 dollars and I was psyched! $400! Amazing! Your tips are great for when we have a big yard sale. They are always so overwhelming, but the tips make it seem a little more manageable.

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  20. I wish I had a garage so I could set up in the week prior to a sale, but I don't, so it's a real pain having to lug everything out in the morning of the sale. then lugging it all back in!

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  21. Looks like a great success and leave it to you to have a "cute" and successful garage sale :)

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  22. So glad your sale went well! We have had umpteen garage sales over the years and now, at this age, have decided to just donate now. I recently gave away some clothes to a friend, then donated the rest and got rid of ALOT! It DOES feel so good to get some empty closet space, and garage space. XO, Pinky

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  23. ok, so I would LOVE to make 400$ BUT that didn't happen a few weeks ago at the flea market. The reason I'm leaving a comment however is to share my ecstatic find at the table next to ours... a SUPER great blender... (Ninja) for $30.... that made it worth going and sweating over the junk! :)

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  24. Great post Jenn! I will be using your tips this summer when we host a sale! Thanks!

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  25. I so wish I could have gone to your sale (in WI but a further South)! My son would have insisted on every vehicle you had there :) I am a huge rummage saler and nothing bugs me more than people selling dirty stuff, so way to go on the cleaning! :)

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  26. We just had our sale and I featured a few blog posts about how it went. Love your impecable organization!!

    http://sweetsewnstitches.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-did-sale-go.html

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  27. I'm having a garage sale the end of this month and will refer back to these tips. One thing's for sure, you sure do make everything look good!! LOVE all your pretty signs. I'm a sucker for marketing and packaging. :)

    I am starting a linky party on Mondays for my "Make a List Mondays". Would love it if you could join me. If you miss it on Mondays you could join in early in the week. :)

    Crystal

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  28. Your sale looks beautiful! I had a sale last summer on a Friday/Saturday...and BY FAR made the most money on Friday! Several other more "experienced" friends say it's always like that. I guess the die-hard "garage salers" like to shop that day. This spring I did one of all my daughters' things as she is now older and we know we are done. I was clothes crazy and had six 6' racks of clothes plus bins and bins of folded items, shoes, etc. I made about $1800! It was amazing. Adult clothing never seems to sell; I put out the maternity things and sold a few things but not much. This summer we are going to do a "household" sale and more of her items, hope it goes even a quarter as well as the spring one! It's nice to be able to donate the rest at the end...as you said, never let ANY of it back into your house. : )

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  29. At the end of our garage sale, we boxed up a few things and put it in the trunk for Salvation Army. The rest went to the curb with a 'free' sign, we intended to donate what was left of that by the end of the evening but ALL of it was gone within an hour.

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  30. I am here visiting from 30 handmadeDays...I love your tips. I keep saying that I am going to have a Garage Sale and this really makes me feel like it is doable. Thanks so much!

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  31. I found your blog through Sunny Side Up blog. I am absolutely fascinated by it!! This garage sale looks awesome!! You totally inspire me to organize :) I just started a blog as well. Check it out if you would like. http://happy-as-a-lark-lovingmomma.blogspot.com/

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  32. We did half price our second day and got a ton more traffic than we would have normally and moved some more stuff - we added a huge 1/2 price off sign to our signs by the road and updated our Craigslist ad the night before as well. If you're not going to do a half price day I think a one day sale is the way to go - it's hard to move stuff on day two at full price.

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  33. Be sure to mark how many children's pants, shirts, coats, underclothes, toys, books, etc before donating. I've figured out that you'll make TONS of $$ back on taxes, not have to deal with yard/garage sales and you'll get the junk out of the house quicker.

    I'm currently working on a post about directly donating and the savings on your taxes versus garage selling and then donating the left overs...only thing is...it gets to be set aside as we're STILL purging and cleaning things out! ;)

    As someone who enjoys lists and organizing....I loved this post! ;)

    Honey
    @Mondorfment

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  34. just read this (I'm a bit behind in my reader) and have to say you did great! We had a garage sale the same day and only made $175. We've never had good luck with sales and I thought this would finally be our time since we were selling a couch set and furniture. Nope. I couldn't sell the couch for $20 and it's in good shape! The funny thing was that our neighbors saw we were having a sale and pulled out a few bikes, surf boards and a twin canopy bed. They easily made $400. But in our area people want things dirt cheap and so it's really hard to make money on the "small stuff". Oh well, the flip side is that you can get some great bargains when you go garage saleing!

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  35. Love your blog! I write my own blog at DIYHomeBlogger and work for a company called DIYGarageShelf.com

    You should really check out DIYGarageShelf in regards to storage issues in your garage! It is a great product and gives you a ton of linear square feet of space.

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  36. Love your signs! Can you tell me how you made them? Thanks!

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    1. I actually just whipped them up in Microsoft Word.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  37. Followed a pinterest pin from my sister in law to your blog.. and HOLY COW, what an amazing yard sale!!! I love having yard sales, and I am also a DIYer, and I've followed most of your tips above for years, but for some reason it never even dawned on me to take the time to make my signs so colorful, printed, and cute! Usually I'm scribbling on some scrap paper with a sharpie. I will remember this for my next sale.

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  38. when i do sales i set the clothes at .50 they sell a lot faster seeing how people dont buy up a ton of clothes. at .50 they seem to dig a little more :) if you are going to donate them anyhow might as well try to push it besides i dislike buying high priced used clothes and i get happy to go saling and they have 50 cent clothes

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  39. Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but just to let you know, some states have very strict lemonade and baked goods laws. I've seen some shut down for not having a license. It was heartbreaking for those kids, but it's happening more and more unfortunately.

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  40. Thank you so much for posting this. It was very helpful with my garage sale a few weeks ago! This is a great blog!

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  41. Wow - you are awesome at what you do! You did a great job making your sale look visually appealing and I know that would make me want to pull over for sure! :) Way to go! Another way of advertising is with this website that I use ALL THE TIME to find my yardsales and it works wonders every time :) Here's the link: http://www.yardsalesearch.com/?rf=b

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  42. This blog was awesome! I'm trying to put together a yard sale our house is in desperate need of de-cluttering and ran across this. So glad I did! Your ideas are so inviting! I'm going to be using the colorful signs and such!
    -keep being awesome!

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  43. I love your blog! I just stumbled up on it after searching for great resources for hosting a garage sale. I'm mentioning garage sales today in my new blog, moderndaytonmom.com. I linked up to this article and wanted to let you know! Thanks for the great resource, and I hope to send some more readers your way, as well! :) Happy blogging - and organizing!!!

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