Sunny Summer days are the perfect time to organize a community garage sale and part with items in your home that are no longer serving you, while making a little spending money for summer activities! There are so many benefits to coming together to host a multi-family garage sale! From added motivation and accountability, to larger customer traffic and sales, a community garage sale can be simple and successful, if you know what to do!
Here are five steps to roll out a successful community garage sale your neighborhood will thank you for!
#1 Neighborhood Networking: Enlist the Help of a Neighbor or Two to Plan Your Sale
It’s exciting to think about the possibilities of getting everyone together for a joint venture, and remember, even the simplest of tasks can sometimes feel a little overwhelming alone! Reach out to a few neighbors to see if they are interested in helping plan the community sale, or create a post on Facebook or Nextdoor with an all-call! Having additional hands (and minds) on deck will be helpful when figuring out all the logistics. You’ll want to decide on a date to host the event, such as a Friday or Saturday, as these days tend to be most successful! Be sure to lock down a time frame as well, keeping in mind that most garage sale shoppers love to start their adventures early in the morning.
#2 Get the Word Out: Create a Marketing Plan and Assign Responsibilities
Spreading the word is your biggest responsibility as the planner! Think about the strong suits of each person helping plan the sale and assign different roles to each person. You’ll want to create a flyer for neighbors with all the important details on them to pass out to houses: date, time, sale coordinator contact information for questions, and helpful suggestions, such as how much change to have on them and tips for set-up. Divvy up the role of flyer distribution around your neighborhood so everyone is helping get the word out. Who will create signage and who will actually put out the signs the night before the sale? Who is the Internet-savvy neighbor ready to create a Facebook Marketplace ad or Craigslist post to market the event?
#3 Extra Extra! Read All About it: Inform Your Neighborhood about Dates and Details
The most important step in hosting a successful community garage sale is communication with your community! The flyers your planning committee created will be passed out, of course, per your marketing plan, but make sure whose ever contact information is on the flyer gets back to any questions that may be asked. If you have an HOA with access to a neighborhood e-mail list or Facebook group, perhaps send a reminder about the sale or create a poll to see who plans to participate! If you and your family tend to walk around the block in the evenings, don’t be shy! Embrace a little “howdy neighbor” Southern hospitality and let them know about the upcoming event!
#4 Make a Difference: Create Sustainable Ways to Part with Non- Purchased Goods
It may seem like your planning checklist is complete, but knowing what to do after the sale ends is just as important. The fact is, so many families will enjoy clearing out their homes and garages of unwanted items that the thought of bringing unsold goods back into their home feels awful. To avoid an unwarranted amount of useful items being wasted and sent to landfills, have a plan in place for what your community can do with unsold items. Have a few people who will pick up unwanted items to donate to a local thrift store or charity after the sale. You can also offer a drop-off location at someone’s home to make it easier. Be sure to include this information on the flyer you send out to your community.
#5 Gain Feedback: Survey Your Community About Their Experience
When it’s all said and done, you hope your efforts knocked it out of the park, and your neighbors enjoyed the community garage sale experience! While customers are looking around, ask how they found out about the sale to see which marketing tactics worked. Do they live in the community or did they see the sale on your Facebook post? If you are able to tag a family member in to keep an eye on things, try to walk around your block to talk to participating neighbors about how things are going during the sale. The information will help you determine any changes you’d want to make next time around and even help you make the decision to host again or not. Plus, this is a great opportunity to mingle with neighbors you may not have had the chance to meet just yet!
Remember, as cliche as it might sound, be sure to add “have fun” to the list! The best way to determine if a community garage sale is successful is if you and your neighbors enjoy themselves and feel like your efforts were met with positive feelings. Now get out there, start planning your own sale and go make some money!
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