Garage sales can be excellent fundraisers for college organizations. They don’t cost a ton of money to run, and they can yield decent profit if you have the right amount of stuff to sell. If you’re new to garage sales, you may not do everything you can to earn money at your sale. That’s where this article comes into play. Here are a few tips to help you get through your garage sale with as much money possible.
Get a Permit
Most people don’t realize that they need a permit to run a garage sale. This is not the case in every state, but it may be in yours. Contact City Hall to find out if you are going to need one and how much it is going to cost. Then you’ll need to run down there to City Hall to pick it up. The permits are fairly cheap, but they are necessities in most areas. If you don’t have one, you could get a fine from a police officer that strolls by. I’ve held many garage sales in my day, and I have only had one cop check my out (not in that way people…geesh). Nevertheless, it would be to your advantage to have a permit on hand, just in case.
You can only make so much money if all you’re selling is clothing and shampoo bottles. You need to have some big ticket items to draw in a crowd. You could contact the school to see if they are getting rid of any furniture any time soon. They may be in the middle of remodeling a building, so you could potentially sell the furniture they’re tossing. Couches, recliners, beds, dressers, and desks all sell well in college towns, but just about any furniture could draw attention with the right display.
Advertise as Much as Possible
You can’t rely on people driving by to bring you money. You have to advertise your garage sale to get a crowd in. Put an ad in the newspaper because a lot of traditional garage salers will use that as a point of reference. You can also put an ad on Craigslist for free to let people know about it. Put signs up in the neighborhood the week prior to the sale so people driving by will know what to expect. Then you can focus on good old word of mouth to get people to the sale. Don’t forget to have members of your organization or online courses advertise for you on Facebook. That could be the key source of traffic for you.
Use Colored Labels
If you need to indicate which member of the organization donated certain items to the garage sale, you can use colored dots that signify that. I do this a lot when I have combined garage sales with family members. We put all of our stuff in the same sale, but we each have a different colored price tag. That way we can easily record the contributing party for the sales. In the case of a fundraiser, this will determine who made the biggest contribution to the sale, just in case you have a prize system.
Have a Closeout Sale
When the end of the garage sale day comes, try to think of new ways to clear out everything you have left. You could declare a 50% off sale or start throwing in free items when people buy other items. My mother and I once had a grab bag sale, where we allowed people to pay $5 for anything they could fit into a standard plastic bag. People went nuts, and we made more money than we would have by throwing everything away. It’s creative tactics like that that will bring you the most money in the end.