Organizing a Neighborhood Garage Sale Part II

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If you didn’t read the first part, “Organizing a Neighborhood Garage Sale Part I,” be sure to read that first.

We left off last time with a date picked and 10 houses participating in the sale. I’m sure you’re curious how our inaugural neighborhood garage sale went.

We held the garage sale on a Thursday-Sunday.  Each house determined which days they were going to participate. Our sale was only on Friday and Saturday. The biggest turnouts were definitely on Friday and Saturday.  The weather was gorgeous. I wish there was a way to know which weekends would be great weather, because that definitely helped sales.

The map of all of the sales included addresses, what items were for sale and the days/times for each sale. Strategically, we had maps available at my house and at a couple of the houses on either end of the street. Every individual family holding a garage sale was given a map as well and could have printed off more copies.

I was not able to leave my garage sale, but I had a couple of family members (from out of town) who brought things over to sell and they walked to the other sales. They checked to see if anyone had questions and to see how it was going. The feedback during the garage sales was positive. We did have a little trouble directing traffic to the few houses that weren’t on the main street. (Next year we will work to get more involvement on cross streets, which will help to increase traffic off of our main street as well)

During the garage sale I met many of my neighbors and had a lot of people express interest in being part of the next annual garage sale. I collected names and email addresses so that I could include them in planning next year’s sale.

At our garage sale many people commented on our sale’s organization. When I set up our sale I considered what helps things to sell and what it is I like when I go to a garage sale. It took work to set up, but was worth it later. Be sure to watch for the upcoming post “Tips for an organized garage sale” to see exactly what we did.

After the garage sale I sent out an email asking for feedback from those people who did participate. My email:

“Thank you all for participating in the inaugural neighborhood garage sale. Please take a moment when you have a chance to let me know what worked, what didn’t and what could be improved if we do it next year. I had interest from more neighbors who want to participate next year if we do it again. Also, would you want to do it again and if you have names/contact information for anyone else interested, please forward to me. I will keep a file so we can gauge interest next year. Thanks again for everyone making it a huge success. I was happy to get rid of some stuff, make some money, and get to know many of my neighbors who I hadn’t met before.”

The feedback was great and people had very successful garage sales.  Feedback I received:

“ Yes I would like to participate next year. The map was helpful. I could tell people where the next garage sale was and how many there were.”

“We hope you had a great sale! Ours went very well. We sold or gave away nearly everything! Thank you so much for orchestrating this! You took care of a lot of legwork and that was SUPER helpful. We may not be ready for another sale for a couple of years or so, but please keep us in the loop, just in case. I feel that everything you did for advertising was very effective. The signs that we and other people put out were also beneficial, I’m sure. I would say that’s a good overall plan to stick with. The only thing I might suggest is to schedule a sale shortly after NIU move-in. We had really good luck, especially with furniture, when we held past sales after move-in weekend.”

“Thanks for all of your hard work, my sale was successful in terms of getting rid of much stuff. I am interested in having another sale next year.”

One piece of feedback that I heard was about the name of the sale. We called it the “Lewis Street Neighborhood Garage Sale,” since most of the sales were on Lewis Street; however the houses that weren’t on that street saw less traffic. Coming up with a name was difficult especially since we don’t live in a neighborhood that has a name. There has been considerable thought put into a name for future sales. One thought is since we are so close to an elementary school to call it the “School name Neighborhood garage sale.”  Maybe we can utilize the PTA to help get more families interested in participating.

At our garage sale we had three families selling items (us, my parents and one of my brothers). I did not mind having them bring things to sell, because the more stuff and the more variety of stuff you have for sale the more people are willing to stop. My only rule (and I encourage you to implement this) is if you are going to bring things to sell at my garage sale you have to work at the garage sale. It is difficult to manage a garage sale on your own. I do not encourage that at all. You want to be able to help customers and at times there are many of them there paying, asking questions, etc. You need to be able to take a bathroom break, grab something to eat and of course move merchandise around to encourage sales.

Garage sale totals

Day 1:    $ 376.10

Day 2:    $ 160.70

Total:     $ 536.80

Of those sales $247.35 was from our own sales. I consider that a pretty good garage sale. We will definitely be doing this sale again. Especially, because the second time around will be much easier to coordinate since the groundwork of having neighbors interested is already done. This coming year I would like to see the garage sale make over $1,000 and us personally at least $500. Given our decluttering I know we have that much stuff, it’s just a matter of selling it.

Be sure to check out other garage sale posts:

10 Tips for a Money Making Garage Sale

14 Steps to Organize a Neighborhood Garage Sale

Should you Hold a Garage Sale?

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