Every year we have a neighborhood garage sale. This has been a legendary event for about twenty years. Sometimes anywhere from 30 to 50 neighbors participate, this amount varies each time.
At least two places provide a delectable beef and chicken barbecue or sandwich and beverage lunch. Many of the neighbors within a block will help one another, when things get very busy. Customers have become used to this event and come back year after year. Ours is the same weekend as a popular arts and crafts festival in a town close by and are able to nab some of the traffic.
Here are some steps to plan a successful and profitable neighborhood garage sale or to ramp it up.
1. Have a person in charge of the event. This person and several volunteers are responsible for organizing the project. This entails sending out flyers to all the neighbors letting them know when you will have a neighborhood garage sale, how much will be collected for advertising, signs and any other important information the potential seller should be aware of.
2. Call the lead person with any questions and concerns. Let them know what part you would like to play in this event. For example, if you will be firing up the barbecue, make up a brief menu; perhaps you will be providing baked goods or snacks. A flyer can then be handed out to customers letting them know at what address they can find these things, rather than by happenstance. This way it keeps shoppers in the neighborhood the whole day instead of wondering off for lunch and being sidetracked by another sale.
3. Volunteer to put up signs the morning of the sale. Take them down at the closing time that has been agreed to. This will eliminate late shoppers when you are in the midst of folding up for the day.
4. Realize that this will have extensive advertising. Find out if any ads state "no early birds, please". If it does not--you may wish to put up your own signage and clearly state this in front of your house or driveway. When you have a neighborhood garage sale many sellers love to have people the night before or early--before the actual sale starts--to get as much profit as possible.
5. Have a neighborhood garage sale that is successful and plan for an even better one the following year. Hold a meeting for ideas and feedback on what worked or any unforeseen problems. If this is not possible have the participants fill out a survey while the experience is still fresh in their mind.
These multi-home sales are favorite past times for many shoppers nowadays. Have two or more community extravaganzas a year and rake in the dough.
Tips & Warnings
- Get elaborate with customer hand outs: list specialty items, exotic plants, antiques or kitchen items and furniture pieces.
- Success can be achieved with everyone working together.
- Follow the policies in your community concerning garage sales: the type of signs, the period of time they may be displayed and any other rules particular to your area.
- Protect the security of everyone.