Last weekend I hosted a garage sale as part of the annual Garage Sale Trail. Seeing as we don’t even have a garage this would appear a pretty amazing feat, but that’s just how I roll.
The Garage Sale Trail is an annual event in which everyone is invited to host garage sales or get amongst the sales as a buyer. It began in Bondi and now in its third year has spread Australia-wide.
Originally I was motivated by the idea of clearing out stuff I don’t need and making a bit of coin at the same time. I did this, but it was so much more than that. The whole day had a great buzz in the air and was a lot of fun. So if you’ve ever thought about having a garage sale here are some tips and observations from the day.
People buy EVERYTHING and ANYTHING
I hosted a sale with a friend and sold mostly clothes, accessories and a few random items. It was impossible to predict the things people would buy. Who knew my friends ice cream maker would be hot property while my favourite handbag didn’t get a second glance? It can be borderline offensive when much-loved pieces get shoved aside to view the ugly sarong you used for a tablecloth. In hindsight I secretly wished I’d tried to ‘accidently’ sell my housemates lamp. Look at it.
Have an angle
Our sales pitch was that we are 2 Broke Girls. I made a sign and everything with our extensive marketing budget.
We went the sympathy vote and I think it worked. One lady even paid more than I was asking for a pair of Shoes. It also proved a little controversial as one, let’s call her, ‘friendly local (meth addict)’ told me I’d get in trouble for copyright infringement. Well creators of 2 Broke Girls, if you’re reading, please rest assured I have removed offending sign!
Your crap will brighten peoples day
In no other circumstance could you display all the crap you have lying around and be met with such excitement. It was fun to see how you could brighten someone’s day with the whiff of a bargain. I loved seeing my once loved, but long forgotten clothes go to happy homes. You’re better off without me awesome Cue top, I have no need for you in my slovenly agency job.
Sell it cheap
Unless you have a wardrobe taken right off the catwalk, don’t aim too high. People expect things to be cheap and might be put off if you charge too much. Weirdly, hardly anyone tried to bargain, so don’t set the prices higher thinking they will.
My sister is great at de-cluttering and once said to me, ‘do you want to live in the past or the future?’ She is right, there is no point hanging onto crap from the past and, evidently for me, anything size 8. But it can be hard to let go, especially if you have a ‘but it could come in handy one day’ mentality. Having a garage sale is a great way to shift that extra stuff and when you know it’s going to a happy home it makes it easier.
Prepare yourself for a chat
The best part of the day was definitely meeting some of the neighbours. Sadly I don’t live on Ramsay St, so my inner city communication with locals usually only happens in the following circumstances:
- a) It’s 3am, you’re having a party, and they are threatening to call the police
- b) If they are drunk/high
- c) If they are asking for money
- d) If they are drunk, high and asking for money
So it was really nice to meet people from the area in an environment where you could easily have a chat without it seeming forced.
In a society that has less and less face-to-face contact and perhaps less community interaction this was a great day. Now I won’t feel weird having a chat with them in line for the bakery or passing on the street. And I have to find out how their home made hazelnut praline ice cream turned out!
So all in all it was a success, we made over $250 between us. Not bad for a fun day chatting to locals and getting rid of old junk. I’d recommend having one if you get the chance.
Have you ever had a garage sale? How did it go? Is there anything you really want to go rid of but your partner/housemates won’t let you?