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 www.weatherchannel.com 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, www.ksl.com 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.
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.
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.