I had my biggest household disappointment this past weekend…an unsuccessful garage sale! I should just let it go, but I feel the need to analyze it. Over the course of two days, we had less than a dozen shoppers and made only $97.
What Went Right with Our Garage Sale
- We scheduled our garage sale for the same weekend as our city’s community sale (sponsored by the Lion’s Club). It was THE weekend for holding a garage sale with tons of shoppers.
- I enlisted my mom’s help for tables and pricing. She is a garage sale veteran and was a huge help.
- We had great product. We had a great variety of baby and toddler clothes, toys, and accessories. We also had a section of housewares and books. Compared to other garage sales we visited over the weekend full of junk, it felt like we had premium stuff at great prices.
- Willing to negotiate on prices…that is Garage Sale 101, right? We priced everything fairly for the quality, but I was also interested in moving inventory. I had saved everything up for 4 years, because I was not emotionally ready to part with anything. Now that both of my boys are well beyond the baby stage, I was ready and willing to negotiate to move this stuff out of my house and off to someone else who could use it.
- I posted a garage sale ad on Craig’s List.
- Save one shopper, every one who stopped by found something to buy.
- The downtime allowed me to photograph some big ticket items, which I plan to list individually on Craig’s List.
What Went Wrong with Our Garage Sale
- We didn’t get any traffic :( Our neighborhood is one of the furthest out from the city center and shoppers just didn’t seem to make it out our way.
- Given the first bullet on What Went Wrong, I think we needed more advertising to get more traffic.
- We should not have assumed several other garage sale signs at a major intersection were good enough to get people our way. As we were out shopping ourselves, we preferred turning into neighborhoods with the most signs at the corner. We should have added our sign to the corner full of signs to drive more people our way and to the neighboring sales.
- We just aren’t in a highly trafficked area. At the end of the sale my mom packed up all the goods to take to her house. She lives in another city, very close to a major road and always has successful garage sales. She will hold one later this month.
Setting up a garage sale is quite a bit of work. I started planning with my mom a few weeks in advance, but it still seemed like we were rushing to get everything set up the night before. In the end, I think the experience was worthwhile, mostly for the quality time I got to spend with my mom and sister, who also helped man the sale. Although I probably won’t host another garage sale at my own home, I certainly believe in garage sales and look forward to helping my mom with her sale (in a better trafficked area).
Please tell me I am not the only one out there that has experienced garage sale failure?
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