Garage sales have been around for as long as garages have existed. For those of you wondering, that’s since the early 1800s. Hosting a garage sale will help you to declutter your home and make some extra cash in the process.
During this time of social distancing, garage sales must comply with state-based guidelines, and you’ll also need to consider your own personal health needs.
The good news is that like many marketplaces, the trusty old garage sale is now making its way online as virtual garage sales become the new normal.
If you’re thinking of hosting a virtual garage sale, here are a few simple tips and tricks.
Do your homework
The first and most important step is to do your research. You’ll need to understand the marketplace and gauge an understanding of which items are likely to be sought-after and popular by your target market.
Visit TradeMe, AllGoods and Facebook Marketplace to conduct your research and determine what items are selling and for how much. You can then use this information to set your own pricing strategy.
Consider things like the age and functionality of your items, any faults or signs of wear and tear, and where the item was originally sourced from. The items that are most highly-sought after at garage sales are furniture, antiques, power tools, lawn mowers, exercise equipment and whitegoods like fridges and/or washing machines.
Be decisive and considered in the items you choose to sell, remembering that if you wouldn’t pay money for something, no one else will either.
Conduct a stocktake
Organising and ordering the items you’re intending to sell will help people find what they’re looking for. Group like items together and consider bundling related products to encourage customers to purchase more in a single transaction. For example, it would make sense to bundle a dinner set, just as it would make sense to bundle a set of kitchen utensils.
As you conduct your stocktake, take photographs of each item and be as realistic as possible with price points. It’s important to remember that the goal is selling the items, not just demonstrating their value to potential customers. List your target price while also being realistic as to the offer value you would be willing to accept.
Use advertising to your advantage
Advertising is a powerful tool that will help to get you noticed and connect you with potential buyers. For a traditional garage sale, standard practise would be to post physical flyers up on local community boards and street signs to spark interest. This can still be done, although you’ll need to move your tactics online.
Think about what distinguishes your garage sale from the others – do you have interesting, retro, unusual items, are your prices extremely competitive, are you open to offers? Just as you would if you were starting your very own shop, name your garage-sale with an attention-grabbing title.
Social media is a powerful and mostly free tool. Sharing the announcement of your garage sale on Facebook or Instagram will help get your sale noticed. A Facebook Event will also help share your sale with friends and neighbours. Likewise, post links to your virtual garage sale in online community noticeboards and groups in your local neighbourhood to promote your virtual garage sale.
Many of us are guilty of hoarding old possessions that we no longer use or need; whether its clothes, furniture, electronics or jewellery and everything in between.
Garage sales can be an excellent way to get rid of items you no longer need or use while earning some extra cash in the process. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!