It is that time of year again, garage sales and yard sales, etc. So why not share some tips and tricks to have a successful one?
Get the most money out of your garage sale with these retail tricks
Garage sales (yard sales) will soon appear in neighborhoods throughout the U.S. and Canada. These sales are a great way to clean out clutter while making some additional money. “Garage sales are just another form of retailing. Why not use the thinking retailers use to get the most of your garage sale?“ asks John Schulz, the academic director for the advertising, fashion and retail management, and design management programs at The Art Institutes International Minnesota.
Approaching the garage sale with a little innovation and creativity will help maximize sales. Advertising department chair of Miami International University of Art and Design, Judith Anderson offers some ideas that can generate buzz: “The same theory Mr. Schulz uses applies – it is imperative to use the same thinking advertisers and event planners use to maximize the opportunities in a garage sale.“
These opportunities include a mix of tried-and-true tactics blended with newer retail innovations. “Retail establishments use customer loyalty programs to increase return business,“ says Tammy Tavassoli, fashion department faculty member at The Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg. “Applying some of these tactics can increase not only your current garage sales, but future sales as well.“
Schulz, Anderson and Tavassoli offer these suggestions to make the most of your garage sale:
Garage Sale Tips
Scheduling/location/traffic: When scheduling your sale, think about high traffic times like community events or neighborhood garage sales.
Customer convenience/loyalty: Many shoppers will arrive with children, so offer a designated play area to help keep them occupied while parents shop. Also, offer refreshments like lemonade and cookies. Place a welcome book at the refreshments table. After the sale, send visitors a thank-you note and notify them of your future sales.
Pricing/merchandise: Since garage sales rarely have a “cost“ associated with merchandise, any income is pure profit. You want to price your wares fairly, and consider combining large tables or areas to group like-priced goods – and post the retail on a large sign. This saves time and eases set up. For those who include their contact information in the previously mentioned notebook, you may want to offer a small discount.
I personally have set a lot of my items at very low prices and they went very fast. (Steve Patterson, owner of this blog quotes)
Advertising/marketing: A garage sale should be thought of as an event that requires planning and promotion using advertising strategies to ensure its success. For example, choosing a theme related to the merchandise and carrying it throughout the chosen advertising including the day of the event can be very effective. Some classified newspapers allow you to run free garage sales line ads and free yard sale line ads.
I also place advertisements in some area newspapers. That seems to help. Another great place to place your yard sale is Craigs List. I have also designed a flyer that can be used to place on bulletin boards. (Steve Patterson, owner of this blog adds)
Some other ideas include:
- Creating an advertising campaign employing traditional media-standbys such as neighborhood signs and flyers (placed in city hall, local business bulletin boards, laundry mats, PTA and school/church bulletin boards) and local directory and newspaper listings.
- Continuing the advertising campaign with new media by creating a social networking fan page and creating an event for the garage sale inviting friends and family.
- Using your Facebook and Twitter updates to inform your networks of the event at least four times (2 weeks prior, 1 week prior, 2 days prior, and the day of the event).
- Other social networks MySpace, Linked-In, Etc. (The list could go on and on).
- The day of the sale use Facebook and Twitter to offer discounts to customers or promote additional incentives for referring fans or customers.
Successful garage sales require creative planning. Borrowing effective strategies from the merchandising and advertising industries can ensure success. It is important to remember all the tools and resources available, and to minimize wasted time and resources while maximizing your profit margin. To learn more about The Art Institutes schools, visit www.artinstitutes.edu/nz.
Did you know that the second Saturday of August is National Garage Sale Day?
Steve Patterson wants you to please feel free to share with me as a comment your yard sale tips you have.
Courtesy of ARAcontent