Wednesday, May 29, 2013

10 Garage Sale Tips: Get their cash & clear your treasures. Selling baby clothes and gear

Want to sell your baby & kid clothes & gear in a garage sale?
Here's how I got buyers to pull out their cash & clear out my treasures.
I made $800 and just a couple of afternoons preparing. 

These folks are out at the crack of dawn for a bargain. Give it to them. Get them thinking "I won't get a deal like this elsewhere" and they won't walk through, scan the merchandise, and walk away.

I started out with bins full of excellent used condition (stain-free, showing little to no wear), brand name baby & kid clothing & shoes. I wanted to end up with empty bins. Do you?  

Price that outfit that people pay $15, $30+ for at $1 and it will be scooped up right away. Of course it was worth much more. But now, with no other kids on the way in our family, it's all just folded $1s in bins in storage.
Some folks start out higher priced & slash mid-sale, but the die-hard shoppers are out in the beginning, so make your sale the one they get their cash out for! 

My clothing pricing approach:
All folded items: $1, Hanging Items $2, unless marked. 
Nearly everything was folded & $1.
$2 hanging items:
2pc outfits, nicer sweaters & anything w/tags-on, jeans $2 (all hanging)

Coats & puffy vests (RL, Gymboree, Gap) $4 (hanging)
Shoes $2 (Stride Rite, Sperry, Sketchers, & designer adult shoes too)
(Adult clothing was $2 too, all hanging. People were shocked & handed over their cash!)

*I took photos of this set up the afternoon before the sale & posted them on Craigslist. I had several customers arrive in search of specific things they saw in the photos. Worth the time & effort.

Nearly everything from toys to crystal bowls was $1! And very little was left at the end. 

I spent my prep time setting it up like a shop with sections. Clothes were organized by size & gender (okay & season too, b/c I enjoy organizing!)

I priced bins & tables rather than items.
Ex: Bins of shoes $2, Toys $1, Purses $5, Books .25 or 5 for $1, DVDs .50

Clothes simply: $1 Folded $2 Hanging, unless marked. I wrote it on an easel that was set up in front of the clothing section & I greeted customers with the line: "Hi! All folded clothes $1, Hanging $2 unless marked."

Main gear items were listed individually on Craigslist mid-week before the sale. These items were priced as I'd sell them on Craigslist, rather than the discounted Garage Sale price. ($40 Jumperoo, $30 Baby Bjorn & cover w/box, $15 Bumbo seat, $30 pack & play, $10 pack of Aden & Anais blankets, $10 Bundle Me, etc.)  I didn't accept less on these items. I was counting on making up for the low prices on everything else by selling these items for what they were worth.

I offered to arrange purchase the Friday evening before the sale, if they contacted me (since I'd be out setting up anyway).

You are going to list your Sale on Craigslist.
Listing individual items in their corresponding category appeals to your target customer.
Make the most of your effort by including all of your like-kind "bigger ticket" items & your sale info in each individual ad.
Each ad allows 8 photos, so I chose 8 like-kind items & included ALL of those in EACH individual post, along with a concise list & description of the sale.
EX: Jumperoo had it's own post. In it the Jumperoo was described first, with photo uploaded first (1st photo appears in "pic view" on Craigslist).
Cut & paste the list of the other like-kind items, their prices, and a brief ad for the rest of the Garage Sale, including location & time to the end of the ad.
Same approach goes for non-baby/kid items.

Neighborhood and multi-family sales are high-traffic attractions. Get in on yours or consider organizing it yourself, asking other families to join on your street or even at your house. You can split a newspaper ad. Our neighborhood had a balloon tied to each participant's mailbox.
In addition to our neighborhood association's plentiful signage, I added a couple pointing toward our house, since our street tucked away and I didn't want folks skipping us in favor of the main streets.

6. GET CHANGE: lots of it. and keep it close, never unattended. I kept mine in a borrowed bank bag that I tucked in the pocket of an apron I wore all day.

7. GET IT OUTSIDE. Set your big, attractive items outside near the end of your driveway to appeal to passersby. If it's good weather, get it all outside. This is what I did. 

8 START EARLY. Be ready for early birds by setting it all up the night before ready to be pulled out of the garage. Set the timer on the coffee pot & wear something to bed that you can wear for the sale. I'm serious, you'll want the extra time to brush your teeth. Crowds form at the crack of dawn.

9. BORROW:  
  • hanging racks (key if you have loads of clothes), tables, etc.
  • display items from your house. Hunt around for shelving, benches, toy storage items you can clear off & pull outside.
  • a cash box or bag (I got mine from the bank when I stopped in for change, had to return it.)
10. CLEAN your stuff. Dust it off, give it a once over with a wipe or glass cleaner. Consider the price-tag. Selling it for over $10? Make sure it's clean.

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  1. Love the idea of posting your garage sale items on Craigslist! Great! We purged so much when we moved from TX to GA that it will be a while before we have enough stuff for a garage sale....although it does always pile up quicker than I think it will!

  2. Great post!!! So thankful you organize all this amazing information in ways I can come back and borrow it!!

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  4. These are terrific tips. Thank you!

    Have you ever tried TallySheet ( It is an app to help keep track of sales using your phone. I used it in our last sale and it was a huge help.

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