Now let's talk about the "inside secrets" of drawing people into your sale, and the merchandising "gimmicks" that will result in the maximum sales and profits for you. First, call attention to your sale. Don't be shy, bashful or self-conscious about letting everybody for miles about know that you're having a garage sale.
Some sharp operators do the next best thing to having the Goodyear blimp overhead: They rent miniature blimps, send them up above the housetops, and tether them there on their sale days. Of course this giant balloon or miniature blimp has some sort of sign on the side of it, inviting people to your garage sale! This is one of the strongest available advertising ideas for pulling "traffic" to a sale of any kind. For more details, write to Pie-In-The-Sky Company, PO Box 5267, San Mateo, CA 94402.
You have to give your sale some flair. Put some posts up across the front of your property and run some twisted crepe paper between them. Even better than crepe paper, run brightly coloured ribbons. Invest in some colourful pennants and fly them from temporary flag poles. And don't forget the balloons!
Make your garage sale a fun kind of event with clusters of balloons anchored to your display tables and racks. Be sure to "float" them well above the heads of your customers as they are browsing through your merchandise displays.
Cover your display tables with colourful cloths. Don't hesitate to use bright colours with busy patterns. Regardless of what you sell, effective display is still predominantly essential!
You cannot "dump" items haphazardly on a table, sit down, and expect to realize great profits. The people doing the most business - making the most sales - are the ones with interesting displays, action and colour.
Try to have as wide a selection of colours as possible in your clothing racks, and mix them for a rainbow effect. Make sure that your jewellery items shine and sparkle. Arrange them in and with jewellery boxes, jewellery ladders and other items sold for the purpose of showing off jewellery while keeping it neatly organized. We know of one lady who regularly arranges jewellery items in a battery operated lazy Susan. Seeing this jewellery slowly turning on the lazy Susan never fails to draw attention.
Think about it, and then study the methods of display used by "rack jobbers" in the stores in your area. These are the wire racks that usually hold card packaged items. This kind of display rack would lend itself beautifully for anchoring a cluster of balloons. Keep these things in mind, and build your individual displays as part of the whole; make it pleasing to the eye as well as convenient for your customers to browse through and select the items that appeal to them.
Look for some kind of interesting and unusual item to call attention to your sale - something you can set up or park in front of your home during your sale. Some of the displays we've seen along these lines include a horse-drawn surrey, a restored Model T, an old farm plough. But anything of an unusual and interesting nature will do the trick for you. One couple we know put up a display using a manikin dressed in an old-time farm bonnet, long dress and apron. The display depicted a farm woman of old, washing clothes with a scrub board and two steel wash tubs. You have to believe this drew crowds and made people talk!
Wherever your imagination takes you, you have to be different and distinctive, or you'll get lost in the hundreds of garage sales going on all around you. If you'll take the time to employ a bit of imagination and set your sales up with the kind of flair we've been talking about, you'll not just draw the crowds, you'll end up being the one holding the most profits.
It's almost a compulsion of many women to go shopping, to search for interesting and sometimes rare and valuable items. This fact alone will keep you as busy as you'll ever want to be - staging and holding garage sales. The market is so vast, and the appetite so varied, that anything from a brass bedstead to a used diary of somebody's long-for-gotten grandmother will sell, and sell fast at garage sales. Put it all together, use a little imagination and you'll easily make all the money you want! And have them print up 50 to 100 copies for you.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor.