I recently ran this post over at The Motivation Station. It shows where I’ve been lately more than anything!
Day 6 (we did Friday and Saturday for 3 successive weekends) of the rummage sale was successful, though I feared it might not be when the snow began to fall. Fortunately, it did not stick and while the temperature stayed a bone chilling 25 with wind chill factor, the sun did eventually shine.
Tips for a successful rummage sale:
- When choosing an items for your sale, you have 3 decisions to make: 1) am I still sentimentally attached to this? 2) Is this really junk and should just be tossed or will someone else find value in it? 3) Would I be willing to move it cross country? If you’re answer was YES to any of these questions, then it’s not rummage sale material.
- Have plenty to rummage through. If you don’t, invite your neighbors to join in. Truly the more the merrier and the more hands to help with the work. If people don’t see a large selection, many will walk away before they even walk in.
- SIGNS – maybe the most important factor. Make sure people know where to find you easily. Use clear, LARGE lettering and colorful poster board. List the important items that may interest people most. Adding a stuffed animal of some kind might help too. We began our sale during the local Harvest Festival so we added a colorful scarecrow from the local dollar store to the signs.
- When having a multiple weekend event, it’s important to “ADD” to your signs. Things like “added items”, “last day”, “50 % off today only”, etc… and make sure to keep the dates straight. When I did this, I used different color fluorescents to emphasize the differences.
- Run a simple newspaper ad. I also took the signs down between weekends and then put them up fresh just before the next weekend.
- Place fliers on local bulletin boards.
- Many local radio stations will run a talk time where they’ll advertise your sale for free in smaller towns.
- Wide aisles so they can see everything and not trip over each other.
- Say hello with your customers and have a chat. Engaging them in conversation might shed insight into what they are really looking for. I sold items that weren’t even out for sale that way. Things I just hadn’t gotten around to pricing and putting out.
- Organize your items into like groups or ‘departments’.
- If you’re selling linens, clothes, quilts etc… launder them and clearly mark them to size and they are more likely to sell.
- Price items right. If you’re still so sentimentally attached that you’re asking more than someone else is willing to pay then you’re item will not sell. In my case with moving across country, it became a battle of sentimentality versus practicality. Most of what I had to sort through had become remotely sentimental by association. For example, when my father passed away and we closed down his house and antiques & collectibles business most of it went into storage for me to sort through later as I was currently working full time and going to school full time too. Just a few short months later was the Northridge earthquake. While I lost most of my personal belongings in it, the things I could save were packed up and added to storage for later while we re-built the house. A few short years later mom decided to move out of state and and many more things were added to that pile to sort through later. A couple years later hubby’s unit was deployed and things became even more hectic so the sorting was put off. After his deployment and an unsuccessful foot surgery he was forced to retire from his civilian job and we bought this investment house turned nightmare. We moved it all cross country with us. We are finally dealing with all that remote sentimentality after 16 years. Trust me, it would have been sooooooooooo much easier to deal with years ago and actually saved money and time and emotions to have already dealt with it.