Holding a garage sale is not common practice in the country, because I think most Filipinos are sentimental in nature.
However, when it comes to finding some extra cash, nothing beats selling your own “junk”.
If you believe that one’s man’s trash, could be another man’s treasure – then it’s time to do some “spring cleaning” and get rid of clutter inside your home.
Here are some tips to remember when holding a garage sale.
Before the garage sale:
- Tell your your neighbors and encourage them to join.
- Get everyone in the household involved in the planning.
- Plan to hold it on an ordinary weekend, because people could be out of town for vacation if you hold it during a long weekend or a holiday.
- Don’t forget to do some marketing like distributing flyers around the neighborhood, announcing it on your social networks, and posting a notice on posts and community bulletin boards.
Preparing the things you’ll be selling:
- Designate a space in your house where you’ll store everything that you’re planning to sell.
- Together with your family, go through every room in your house to look for stuff you can sell.
- When in doubt, just ask yourself, “Have we used this in the past 2 years?” If the answer is no, then you need to sell it. If yes, then let the family vote on the decision.
- After collecting all the stuff you’ll be selling, take an inventory and write them down. Double check everything and don’t forget to include the quantity.
- Create a spreadsheet and assign the selling price of each item. Be fair with your prices, you don’t want to charge too high that nobody will want to buy it, and too low that you’ll regret selling it. At best, try to know the second-hand market value of the item.
- While it’s recommended that you only sell good, usable and working items, selling things which are broken is still an option – just be sure to label it properly, such as “not working” or “needs a part replaced”.
- Put a label on everything; and don’t just write the selling price, but also its working condition, where it was bought and other relevant information. Let the labels help with the “sales talk”.
- Be sure not to sell family heirlooms!
Setting up the garage sale:
- Create or print out a bold readable sign so passers-by will notice that you’re having a garage sale.
- Make sure you have lots of small bills and coins for giving change.
- Put things out early, be sure to have everything in place at least 10 minutes before the announced opening time because there could be “early birds”.
- Group and display your stuff according to their target market. Put those for older customers on tables, and toys nearer to the ground or within children’s reach, for example.
- If it’s going to be a neighborhood garage sale, set up and assign a booth for each participant. Just like in a bazaar.
- Put eye-catching and interesting stuff near the road or the entrance.
- Don’t put out valuable antiques and expensive art pieces. It’s better to have a photo of them displayed and simply take those who are interested to see them inside your house.
- Be sure to secure the inside of your house. Keep valuables inside locked bedrooms.
During the garage sale:
- Have most, if not all, members of the household present.
- Wear casual and comfortable clothing.
- Have water and if possible, snacks at hand for everyone.
- Be friendly and accommodating. Smile! They are after all, your neighbors. Remember that this is also your chance to know them better and build goodwill.
- Have a special, supervised area where kids can hang out, so that parents can look around without worrying about their children.
- When talking about the items, focus on the positives or why they should buy it. However, be honest about the negatives, and offer a solution. For example, “These plates are great to use for special occasions because they look elegant. There are water stains on some of them however, but I can teach you how to easily remove them.”
- Learn the secrets of a great salesman.
- Expect that people will haggle – so be prepared to negotiate. Know what your last price is for each item beforehand. And also, be prepared to give discounts to people who would buy several items.
- Keep your inventory list with you at all times, and use it as a sales ledger too. Don’t use a computer or a laptop unless someone can be solely assigned to manage it the whole day.
- The same goes for the cash box. Keep it with you always. Or better yet, don’t use one at all and just wear and use a belt bag for the purpose. When you get large bills, remove it from the bag and take it inside your room for safekeeping.
After the garage sale:
- Consolidate your inventory list and the stuff that was not sold.
- Account the sales and check the money that you have.
- Try to sell what’s left online or offer them to friends, and if all else fails, consider donating them to charity.
- Most importantly, put the money you earned to good use. Don’t buy stuff that you’ll eventually sell again in your next garage sale.
Holding a garage sale is one of the best ways to earn extra cash. Plus, it helps you get rid of clutter in your home, so that you’ll have more space in your life for the things that truly matter.
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