Sunday, June 14, 2009

Welcome to garage sale season, 2009. Officially, it got underway with Memorial Day weekend. UNofficially, it ends Labor day weekend, with those rare sales after that time being "gold" to us garage sale fans. But, to have good attendance at your next sale, please follow a few simple rules.

For those holding sales, please do this:

1)Make your signs very readable, very large, and NOT confusing. Do NOT make a sign like the one above, captured live in Ionia County, Michigan.
2) If you post hours you're open, STAY OPEN during them. There's nothing more irritating than chasing down what you think will be the holy grail of sales, to find it closed.
3) Price everything. Don't run an "ask us about pricing" sale. Rather, price things with room to negotiate, and allow your customers to ask for a better deal. Buyers don't know whether your sale is one to "get rid of it all" or, one to "make all the money I can, and if I don't sell it, so what!" Buyers want to know if your sale is an overall good deal or not.
4) Make sure everything is CLEAN and has its instructions, all parts, and is complete. If it's not, then label it as such, so your buyer knows of the honesty of your sale. Don't sell stuff that doesn't run, doesn't work, or isn't complete without telling your buyer.

For those attending sales, YOU have a responsibility, too:

1) Be polite. Don't look at something and insult it. If its not for you, so be it! If the price is too high, and you don't want to ask, then quietly move-on!
2) If you want a better price, don't say things like, "I'll give ya two bucks for this" when it's priced at $10. In other words, don't INSULT your garage sale operator. You're a guest in their garage. A better approach is always, "Is this your best price?" on a particular item, or..."Make me a deal on these things" when showing interest in multiple items. This usually works best.
3)Try NOT to park in such a way that others are blocked-in as you browse, and don't turn around on a lawn unless you ask first. I know this sounds basic, but...believe it or not, people do it.
4) It doesn't matter whether you're buying for a gift, for resale in a shop or on the 'net, or....for yourself. Don't blurt out things like, "I can re-sell this on Ebay"...or, "Wow"....what a deal. The seller may not know values on all their items. I've always maintained that if the seller sets the price and its low, you win. No matter what the intended use of the item.

This is the first of hopefully many random-topic blogs, some will be "lighter" than others,, June 13th seemed a good day to start working with this new software for blogging and the new domain on the web where I can park these thoughts.

Have a successful garage sale season......and many more.