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Hot tips from Rummage Hunter!

Important Notice

  • 1. Make sure that you check with your local council prior to holding your rummage sale and ask the questions: about signage, parking, how many you can hold per year (some councils have limits)
  • 2. Check your insurance re public liability
  • 3. Advise your neighbours as you don't want to get your neighbours offside with endless vehicles clogging up the street.
  •  

    Most of all your sale should be fun and hassle free.....Have a great rummage

A Rummage Sale Checklist

Running a yard sale is not rocket science. But if you put a little effort into creating an environment where it is pleasant to browse and easy to find junk treasures, you'll make a lot more money.

  • 1.
    Be clear on the purpose of your sale. Are you selling things to make money or to get rid of them? This question affects everything you do, from how you price things to how willing you are to negotiate. Surprisingly, you can often make more money (and get rid of more junk) by pricing things low. (If your goal is to get top dollar, you should really be selling on eBay.)
  • 2.
    Advertise. Stick an ad in the newspaper. Put up a notice on Rummage Hunter. Post simple, effective signs around the neighbourhood. It's best to use big bold text like "MONSTER SALE" with an arrow pointing the right direction. Make sure your sign is readable.
  • 3.
    Get cash. Have about $50 in coins and a few $5 notes. Do this a day or two before the sale, so that if you forget, you can still get the change on the day before.
  • 4.
    Prepare your staging area. People will be more inclined to stop if you set up shop in your yard or driveway. Some people are reluctant to enter a dark and dreary garage. Make your sale inviting and easy to browse. You can lure customers by placing highly-desirable items near the road.
  • 5.
    Go over ground rules. Make sure that everybody working the sale is in agreement. Be clear on your bargaining policy. (You don't want your wife to be angry when you sell her jewellery box for $2 when she wanted at least $5 for it.)
  • 6.
    Think like a customer. As soon as you've opened and fielded the initial flood of shoppers, walk through your sale as if you were there to buy something. How does it feel? Are things clearly marked? Is it easy to move around? Are your books on the ground in boxes? Or are they placed neatly on shelves or tables? Would you pay $10 for that rubber chook?
  • 7.
    Display items to their advantage. If you have folding chairs unfolded them and place in clear view as folded and leaning against the wall of the garage is less likely to sell. If you have books try using bookshelves it's a little more work, but you will sell more.
  • 8.
    Play background music. Shops play music why? to sell more. It's a little uncomfortable to visit a garage sale (or to host one) when there's complete silence. But don't play offensive music either — play something appropriate for your audience.
  • 9.
    Promote expensive items. Big-ticket items can be tough to sell, but you can do it with a little extra effort. For example, I have a digital camera I wanted to sell. I gathered all the bits and pieces and placed them together on a table along with a printout of the specs for the camera.
  • 10.
    Make it easy for shoppers to test electronic items. If you're selling electrical items, make sure you have an extension cord handy so that people can test them. No smart person is going to just take your word that your television "works great". They're going to want to see it in operation. Also, have some batteries on hand so that a prospective buyer can test that old Nintendo Gameboy.

Top 10 Rummage sale tips

Garage sales are a popular with most frugality and simplicity types. They help achieve multiple objectives. They're especially good at generating a chunk of cash, and at purging excess stuff from your life. They're also an excellent way to meet neighbours and to learn about the history of your community.

  • 1.
    A group sale is better than selling alone. If you can coordinate a weekend with your neighbours, you will draw more traffic. If you sell on your own, You'll be lucky to get one-tenth the traffic.
  • 2.
    Be prepared. Wear comfortable clothing. Have water and snacks at hand. Get coins the day before. Or you'll spend half the sale scrambling trying to break big notes. (Good thing, the first two early birds paid with fifties.) Move things out early. The hassle of early birds is that they prevent you from getting displays set up.
  • 3.
    Plan your sale layout with customers in mind. Use wide traffic lanes and use clear signs with bold lettering. Place the stuff that would appeal to older customers on tables. The stuff for kids is on the ground. The stuff you want more people to look at is in the centre of the driveway, accessible from all sides. Eye-catching stuff is near the road.
  • 4.
    Price things carefully. Most things are easy to price, but some will give you trouble. You don't want to just give away your perfectly functional television, but at the same time you want the price to be low enough that people will be interested. Some stuff just won't sell at any price.
  • 5.
    Label things well. It won't matter. People will still ask you how much that potholder costs, even though it has a $2 price tag on it. Label anyhow. If something "works great", label it as such.
  • 6.
    Be friendly. You don't need to chat with everyone, but be open to conversations. Say "hello" to people. Answer questions. Entertain the kids so that their parents can shop. Build goodwill.
  • 7.
    Do NOT bad-mouth your items. At one group garage sale, a friend consistently explained to customers what was wrong with the items they were purchasing. "Oh, that book is awful. That's a terrible movie. That skillet doesn't heat very well. That game is boring." Needless to say, we sent this friend inside to drink beer ASAP. Your goal is to sell the items. Don't lie — just emphasize the positives. "Oh, that book is very popular. That movie won three Oscars. That skillet is great for pancakes. That game is fun for kids."
  • 8.
    Be willing to bargain, but be less flexible at the start. On the first day, you want to get as much as you can for each item. Most people will still buy your rubber chook at $5 even after asking you to sell it at $3. If they're bargaining, it's because they want the item. Don't be completely rigid on the first day, but don't give your stuff away.
  • 9.
    Keep a ledger. It's easy — and useful — to keep a written ledger. For everything you sell, jot down a brief item description, how much it cost, and who it belonged to. This is especially important in large multi-person sales. The price and the item description are most important; if the description is good, it's easy to find out who owned the item.
  • 10.
    Do NOT use a cash box. Carry your money on you at ALL times. You don't want to present a target for casual thieves. More than that, you don't want to be duped by professional swindlers who run distraction con games. It happens. It is devastating to see the profits from all your labour and the proceeds from your hard-to-part-with items vanish in an instant. Do NOT use a cash box. Use a cheap cloth apron/utility belt from the local hardware store. It works beautifully. Some people use bum bags.

Have a great rummage if you're the buyer or sale if you're selling

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