Garage sale tips • part 2

Here I am again with more tips I just tried from our (me and my parents) garage sale. Some worked, some not.

1. Branding and advertising

First of all, I decided to "brand" our garage sale. I've seen that tip somewhere on Pinterest. Being a graphic designer without a job, I had the time and skills to do it.

I bought a pack of neon coloured card stock at Michaels for $6. I've also seen Astrobrite thick computer paper at my local Walmart, only after I bought at Michaels. Bottom line, that card stock worked wonder on my finicky Epson printer. I used corrugated cardboard and leftover foam board as a backing for the street signs.

I used packing tape to make them stay on the stop sign but it was not the best. I saw a "competitor" using tie wraps and this sounds like a way better option.

I saw a lot of blog/Pinterest posts suggested balloons. It didn't worked for us. I taped one to the street light pole on my parents' yard and it just flew away. I would not bother with that, just focus on the colourful poster sign.

I didn't mention the address on the poster (and anywhere else, we didn't want people knocking at our door super early).

I advertised on kijiji (sorta like craigslist, but way more popular here) and I can tell it worked because at least one person told us they saw the ad on there. I also made a public post of my Facebook. I'm not a fan of those marketplace so I didn't go there.

I also used that branding in the "final sale" poster and on price cards for bigger items.

2. Seed Money

There was some years I didn't had enough, so I decide that this time would be different. I had exactly $42.50 and it was more than ok this time. I'm not 100% sure of the breakdown but it was something like: 5x $5 • 5x$2 • 5x$1 • 10x25¢

3. Last minute sweep

No matter how many time I checked my home, I would always find something new to add to the garage sale pile. Last year, I found out the week after the sale I still had Rollerblade I wanted to get rid of.

4. Free box

I was doubtful of this advice I saw often. It worked. We put some of the stuff we realized at the last minutes wouldn't be suited for sale. Some people were happily surprised about it. Honestly, I've never saw this done in any sale I've seen. Most people who picked free stuff also bought something. I wouldn't haul free stuff at the multi-people sale we are doing in spring at a school near my parents.

5. The setup

Here's some picture of our setup.

In orange, it's the posters I hung on the stop signs. In yellow, it's the small poster I made for some items (you can see in the next pictures).

This yeah, I used boxes/containers for CDs, DVDs and book that would be used to display and store for the next time.

I decided to hand Ziploc bags of miscellaneous items to free space on my table. I think it worked well. Check out the supplies section to see what I've used.

The view of all our tables.

6. Supplies

Here are the supplies I think are the most useful. Some may not work or apply to you.

  1. Tables preferably folding tables (not pictured: tablecloths to go over the tables)
  2. Trash can
  3. Saw horses, to make makeshift tables with...
  4. A wood plank big enough to make a table
  5. Camping or patio chair
  6. Water bottle
  7. A notebook and a pen/pencil to record your sales
  8. Packing tape to stick some poster, specially on electricity pole
  9. Post-it to make price tags. I like to use the one that stick almost all the surface, and the real brand because the off brands will fall down when there's a little heat/sun
  10. Sharpie
  11. Cash box. I use this Tupperware craft box and it does the job very well. I keep it with me at all times and often put it by my side in a box full of packing material, I only reach for it when someone buys something.
  12. Cell phone or calculator are useful when someone buys a lot of things you need to add up or when you need to give change, you don't wanna give too much.
  13. Painter's tape. Useful when you want something to stick, but not too much. I put price on vase with them and I also close a puzzle box with it. No damage when you remove it.
  14. Price tags. You can buy them but I make my own with scissors, paper, single hole punch and some string.
  15. Plastic bags ore extra re-usable bags (my parents had a ton of those and they give them away this way).
  16. Neon colored paper to print out poster or big price tags
  17. Bubble wrap or blank newspaper (I had those from art class in college... more than 15 years ago, I will use it to wrap more delicate things).
  18. Sandwich bags. I usually use the cheap one at Dollarama or Walmart. Very practical to group some little things together.
  19. Tie wraps, to strap the poster in place on stope sign pole. I didn't do that but saw someone who did and the sign didn't need load of packing tape like I did.
  20. A clip/hanger ENUDDEN from IKEA. Sadly, it seems like they do not make them anymore you can also use...
  21. Clips to hand from the...
  22. Rope to display plastic bags pictured in section 5

In conclusion we made a combined profit of $240. This sounds small, but it's the biggest garage sale profit we had since I was a kid with lots of toy for sale (like 20+ years ago). To us it was a glowing success.