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Home > Tips and Hints > Pot plants, scribbled signs and painted red microwave ovens.

Pot plants, scribbled signs and painted red microwave ovens.
By Gerald the Garage Sale Gnome
Sunday, 1 June 2008
Viewed : 16331 time(s)
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About the Author

Gerald the Garage Sale Gnome

Gerald the garden gnome, an original member of the egaragesales team, co-directs the business daily and is a garage sale enthusiast at heart. Gerald served as weekend support and part time tea and scone maker when egaragesales launched in 2004, before joining the administrative team two years later. He became the team's chief postal correspondent, sending off garage sale sign orders as well as making frequent appearances on the website. If you have a question for Gerald dont hesitate in sending him an email. He likes the attention.

Gerald the Garage Sale Gnome has written 10 article(s) for egaragesales.

Gerald : Hi Katie, firstly thanks for your time today, I really appreciate it. It's always great to get a good hands on interview with someone who has been involved in the whole process.
Katie : Thats ok, my pleasure.

Gerald : Why did you decide to have a garage sale?
Katie : Because I was moving interstate, and was getting removalists to move my things, and I wanted to minimise as much as possible to cut costs. And to help pay for the removalists.

Gerald : When did you have your garage sale?
Katie : Last July, 2007.

Gerald : Did you consider selling online at sites such as ebay?
Katie : No.

Gerald : Why not?
Katie : Well, I guess I was really only looking at advertising in the paper, plus ebay is really complicated and i didnt have time to invest into it, because i was madly trying to organise to move.

Gerald : Had you had a garage sale before?
Katie : Well, no not me personally but Id been involved in two others beforehand.

Gerald : How did you go about preparing for your garage sale?
Katie : Umm, well the first thing I needed to consider was what date I was going to have it on. Also a day that co-incided with my plans for moving. So that was the first thing, then I had to go through all my things to figure out what i wanted to sell and what i wanted to keep. So basically I piled everything that I wanted to sell into one room over a matter of a couple of weeks. Then went out and bought some labels and started pricing everything which was huge. Then I advertised in the paper. The next thing I had to do was umm, start preparing signs and I was lucky enough to be teaching teenage students at the time so I had them help me colour in large bits of cardboard after id traced out the letters. Thank god for their help otherwise it would have taken forever. So closer to the date I had to think of things like money bags, change and how much I was going to be prepared to drop the prices, things like that that go with selling. So because i was living on my own, I needed someone to help me on the day so my friends and i went out late the night before and stuck all the signs up and hit it off the next day. First customer arrived about 8 oclock the next day which was great because i didnt want any early birds.

Gerald : How much money did you make?
Katie : Umm, I think I made over $500 after I took the cost of everything out plus paid the girl that helped me. I made a bit over $500 but I was hoping to make more but some items didnt sell.

Gerald : Were you satisfied with the results?
Katie : Yeah I was really happy apart from the things that didnt sell which I questioned could have been priced too high.

Gerald : What did you do with the stuff you had leftover?
Katie : Gave a lot of it away to friends, to different friends who were really grateful and the bigger items such as the chairs and furniture, I got the salvos to come and pick them up.

Gerald : Tell us more about the salvos and what was involved.
Katie : It was really easy, all I did was look up their number in the phone book called them up and arranged a day and a time for them to come over and take the chairs away. Chairs and something else that they took, I cant remember what it was. They were really happy for the donation.

Gerald : Were you aware that you could advertise your garage sale on the internet?
Katie : No unfortunately because if i had been aware it would have made life a lot easier, especially when i was pushed for time.

Gerald : How would it have made life easier?
Katie : Well it would have saved me some money because its not as expensive as its a lot cheaper than advertising in the newspaper. Moreso the free printable signs that are available would have saved a lot of time and hassle.

Gerald : How did you advertise your garage sale?
Katie : The newspaper.

Gerald : How much did advertising in the newspaper cost you? Were there any limitations?
Katie : Overall it worked out to be quite expensive because i advertised in a few different papers and each ad cost approximately $25. Well there wasnt any limitations but they didnt offer all the great benefits that online advertising offers. There was no limitation however, the more words you used the more expensive the ad.

Gerald : What items sold really well?
Katie : Im just trying to think back. Electrical, bits and peices, bric a brac. Things that you dont expect to sell well, sold well, jewellery, makeup all that kind of stuff. Lots of kitchen utensils. The kitchen utensils were a real hit, all of the kitchen stuff went quickly. Even the painted red microwave sold. Amazing!

Gerald : Is there anything you would do differently if you were to have another one?
Katie : Yes there is. Most certainly i would advertise on the internet, and not bother with the newspapers because the cost is so much more effective. That seems to be the way of the times, or the way things are heading. I would plan the positioning of items a lot better, because one thing that I was dissapointed about was the pot plants that were so cheap, hardly sold. And I think it was the location of where I had them because they just looked like part of the back yard.

Gerald : Anything in conclusion or advice to others?
Katie : Let me see. Dont price anything too high because people go to garage sales to get a bargain and that way youre not going to have that much stuff left over that you have to worry about which is the whole idea of having a garage sale in the first place. Also I would definitely taken advantage of purchasing the signs from - as they look professional and stand out to people driving past.

Gerald : Thanks Katie, it sounds like you had an enjoyable time and made some decent money. We hope you advertise with us next time!
Katie : Definitely, and thanks for having me.

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