Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hot Tips for a Successful - Garage Sale For Gaza -

The point of having a - Garage Sale For Gaza- is to makes lots of money so the impact of our collective donations to worthy organizations are truly felt.

With this guiding principle in mind, I have listed how I was able to have a great Garage Sale For Obama, raising over $300.00 when I thought I had donated as much as I could. So think again, folks. We can do more than we think!

Supplies you must have:
1. Big, wide, black magic marker. People are going to be driving by the signs you post advertising your sale, so the letters and numbers must be large and wide.
2. Between 4 – 8 large, thick, PINK, poster boards. I’m talking 2 feet square or more. You are competing with a lot of other sellers and you want buyers to see and remember your sale. Absolutely DO NOT use white poster boards.
3. A hammer, some nails to pound into telephone poles, a roll of duct tape, some balloons and a couple rolls of left-over, curly, colorful Christmas ribbon.
4. A big plastic tarp or two to throw over your stuff in case of a shower.
5. About $50.00 in small currency and about $3.00 in change (in this example; U.S. currency).
6. A lawn chair, some cold drinks, snacks, sun block, umbrella…and a friend.

Organize your stuff:
1. I always organize my stuff by type. Kitchen stuff together, sports stuff, tools, and I even sort my books by category; cookbooks, sports books, novels, etc. People like to find not just a treasure, but a whole trove of treasures in one place. I am always personally attached to my books and work hard to sell a $20 - $30 book for $3 - $5 and people hate paying that much. They want to spend 25 cents. For an old paperback book expect that, but go for 50 cents. I’ve done my personal market research and there is a reason stores stock by category, so I do too. You will be glad you did. Aimless shoppers are not happy shoppers. Again, stand out from the crowd and people will notice and expect to pay more…plus they will tell their friends.
2. Talk to your kids, parents, neighbors, etc. and have them bring their stuff over. The more the better. Feeding frenzies are a good thing!

Select the best day to have the sale:
1. I live in Utah which is a very religious area so I have my sales on Saturday’s only. In California, I would have them on both days.
2. Check the weather forecast. Most sites like forecast out 10 days in advance.

Make your signs:
1. With a pencil, lightly sketch in the words to go on your signs. The fewer the words the better. I suggest: “Garage Sale”, “Saturday”, “the address” and a “directional arrow, if needed”. That’s it!
2. Make sure your sign is 7 words or less. No phone number, no details. Remember, cars driving by can only get so much as they drive by.
3. Using the big, wide, black marker, carefully trace over the pencil pattern. Good penmanship attracts shoppers.

1. In my area, the community newspapers let you post a free ad. Also, is a website in our area that lets us place free ads online. A lot of people go to garage sales as a hobby, so a lot of people read these ads.
2. Two evenings before the sale, go out and nail or tape up your signs. You want to place signs at main crossroads near your sale location. Intersections are best as people are stopped or going slowly. Near shopping centers in another great place since they are heavy traffic areas and you want to attract as many “eyes” as you can.

Sale Day:
1. ½ hour before your sale is scheduled to start, jump in your car with your balloons (blown up ahead of time), ribbons, tape and scissors and run around and decorate all your signs. You need these attention getting devices. They look like fun and will encourage people to stop. People notice when you stand out from the crowd.
2. Serious garage sale people will be knocking at your door at 7: am. These early birds are also the most wise, so you may not get the best prices. The late risers are the best buyers.
3. Park one of your cars out front in the street. Festoon both front and back with signs, ribbons and balloons.
4. Clutter your yard and driveway with as much stuff as you can. Don’t leave anymore in your garage than you have too. This is like spraying a pheromone all over your garage sale. People will be attracted to you like flies. There is no way they can see it all in a glance as they drive by and so they have to stop. Put your stuff right up to the sidewalk!
5. Traffic dwindles to almost nothing by 5: pm and you will be dead tired, so start wrapping it up and taking it inside by 4:45pm.
6. You are not done yet….hop in the car and go take down all your signs. You want to be a good neighbor, but you also want to keep your signs for next time.

Super Duper Garage Sale Tip:
1. Engage your kids, neighbor kids or church kids to set up a lemonade stand. Sell cookies or brownies too. This is a HUGE attractant. Kids beg their parents to stop. Dad doesn’t need much encouragement when he see’s cookies. Additionally, this is a real opportunity to show your children how to become politically involved in a fun way. Plus, let your kids do a little selling. They have unwanted stuff too and this is a great way to introduce them to the art of selling.

Selling Tips:
1. Be busy and sociable. Don’t sit in your chair like an unsmiling potato.
2. Tell buyers the history of the item they are interested in.
3. Take deposits while they run home or to the bank.
4. Have a power cord plugged in, so people can make sure a toaster or drill works.

Finally, if they stop, they want to spend, so be prepared to deal. Remember, get the best deal you can, but don’t lose the sale.
After all, this is not for your bank account, it is for Gaza and the future of our world.

Good luck to you all and please share your stories, tips and mis-steps. You will have a lot of fun, learn some good things and….I made over $300 in my last sale.
Terry Allen

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Have a Garage Sale, Save a Life.

It is my hope that those who come to this site will have Garage Sales For Gaza and donate the proceeds to keep the innocent men, women and children of that war torn land, alive.

I know I am not alone in having a wide range of emotions when I think of their desperate plight. I don't know all the politics and I don't care. For as long as I have been alive (57 years) I have seen their deaths on the news weekly if not daily. For all these years there has been suffering. We have all seen the photos of mothers and fathers holding the bodies of their children in their arms as they looked to the heavens for some comfort. We have all seen the photos of crying children looking for their parents, parents who will never comfort them again.

I have never done anything more than vacillate between the political points I have seen made on the news. I didn't know what or who to believe. I have never taken action to help either side.
Well, those days are over!
I will help those who are being isolated, imprisoned, bombed, strafed and totally destroyed.
Whatever the two sides have been doing all my life, it hasn't worked.
It is time to try something new.

Will you join with me and hold Garage Sales For Gaza and spread the word to all your friends to do the same? Perhaps if we spread the word far and wide to simply help the people who are being massacred, we can shift things in favor of mankind.

I would love to post the success stories of your Garage Sales and even photos. I would also like to post your stories of why you have decided to help. I'll polish up this site over the next while too. This is my first attempt at creating a site, so it does have some rough edges. Please be patient with me. If I waited until I was perfect at it, then children in Gaza would have to wait and suffer needlessly.

To donate: This is the link to a secure PayPal site for the International Solidarity Movement.

Please note that any amount of donation would help, no big amounts are necessary since the ISM members are surviving on basic needs. If you wish to see your donation be spent in a specific manner, kindly let us know. However we would appreciate if you could notify us of the time you intend to make the donation, if possible.
If you wish to donate in any other manner, let me know and we will get it done.

btw, you don't have to have a garage sale to donate, you can just use the same PayPal link to make a donation, like I did this morning. I just didn't want to wait. Too many people need help right this moment.

Please join me in this noble effort. I think we can make a lot of great friends while we save a lot of lives.

Terry Allen

My email: