Multi-Family Garage Sales: Planning And Organizing

When planning a garage sale, why not unite with neighbors to create a multi-family event that will attract a wide range of customers?

Garage sales are a great way to get rid of unwanted household items and make a little cash in the process. But did you know you may be able to multiply your earnings by coordinating the sale with other families in your area? You can share the costs of marketing and publicizing the event to draw more visitors and yet keep individual profits from the things that you sell in your garage.

1. Talk with the people you know in your neighborhood, preferably on the same block or surrounding areas, about your plan for a garage sale. Find out if they are organizing similar events. If so, see if all of you can agree on a date, typically on a Friday and Saturday, on which to hold the sale. If there are several homes in your area, you might want to make up a flier and distribute it door-to-door or at least to those that you have talked with previously and include your telephone number so they can call you by a certain date if interested.

2. The flier should include information about newspaper advertising rates for publicizing garage sales. Call first to get this information and mention on the flier which newspaper the rates pertain to. Then list a breakdown of potential costs. For example, if five families participate, a three-day ad of 10 lines might cost $10 each. If ten families sign up, the cost drops to $5 each, and so on.

3. Indicate the option of posting road signs or posters at local commercial entities like restaurants or supermarkets that provide this community service. You might even want to list the cost of sign supplies or indicate what will be needed in case someone already has them, such as cardboard, spray paint or marker, posts for the ground, or nails for hanging signs outdoors on trees or other areas, with tape or stick pins for indoor display.

4. Invite participants to list two or three of their top sale items, like tools, equipment, baby furniture, etc., that will be listed in the ad to help draw customers who are looking for those specific things. Draft a copy of the ad and circulate it among families who are sharing the cost for their editing and approval. Then have someone call it in to get it published on the desired dates.

5. Coordinate sales efforts. If two or three families are selling baby items, you may wish to gather them at one house, marking price tags by initials to distinguish between profits, to provide customers with a large product display. Do the same for things like dishes, clothes, and other items that will save the customers' time so they won't grow tired after one stop and decide not to move on to the other garage sales in your area.

Multi-family garage or yard sales play on the strengths-in-numbers idea. Work collectively to benefit individually by getting organized early and sharing ideas and efforts. You may get to know your neighbors so well that you will want to plan other collaborative ventures in the future.

© High Speed Ventures 2011