Tips for organizing a community garage sale
Now that you and your neighbors have finished Spring cleaning, you’re likely wondering what to do with your unwanted items. An economical option is to host a community garage sale! This is a great way to dispose of unwanted and unused items around your house while making some extra cash. As they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”
In this article, we’ll go over tips on how to organize a community garage sale, as well as some features available on your website that can aid you in doing this.
Benefits of hosting a community garage sale
Hosting a community garage sale in contrast to hosting individual ones has quite a few advantages. One of these being when you host a garage sale for the community on the same day, rather than individual homes having sales on various days throughout the year, this will help keep your community appearance looking clean.
Another benefit to hosting a community garage sale is it can help increase resident engagement through volunteers helping to organize it and different residents participating in the event. Additionally, having multiple people assist in organizing the event will help distribute the work and reduce the legwork that needs to be done by a single person.
Lastly, hosting a community-wide garage sale will bring in more traffic! Having a garage sale on a larger scale, versus a single residence hosting one, will bring more exposure and potential buyers. Therefore, with a larger pool of prospective customers, more items are likely to be sold.
Before you start planning your community garage sale, you’ll want to meet with your community to gain approval. There may be certain guidelines within your community that will need to be met in regards to garage sales. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure this event is in accordance with those rules and regulations.
Prior to bringing this up in a meeting, gather resident feedback on how many would be interested in participating in a community garage sale. A great way to collect this information is by using the “Surveys” feature on your website. An example is shown below:
Once you’ve received approval from your community to host the garage sale, you’ll want to start planning!
When planning your garage sale, you’ll want to first decide on a location for it. Will you be hosting it in one central location or at individual residences? For instance, if you live in an apartment or condominium complex, having your garage sale in a central location may be the best option.
Next, decide on the date and time the garage sale should take place. The most popular days of the week to host garage sales are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and you’ll want to plan the sale to be at least one month out to give both the community and individual sellers time to prepare.
When deciding on a date and time, it’s also a good idea to collect community feedback to see which date and times are most popular. Creating a survey on your website for residents to fill out would be another a great use of the feature. An example is shown below:
Also, check with your city to see if there are any rules or ordinances about garage sales. This is important to inquire about as you may need to have a permit before you can host your garage sale. There may also be regulations on where signage can legally be posted and if you need to put it up at a certain point before the date and time of the sale.
Once you’ve sorted out these details, notify your residents of the event information! This is a vital part of the planning process, as residents will need to know where and when the event will be taking place in order to participate.
To inform residents of this information, you can add it as an event on your community’s “Calendar” page on the website and send out a blast email to all residents with the event details.
Now that you’ve spread the word about the event, to get a better sense of who will be volunteering and/or participating, you can create a signup sheet. Knowing who would be willing to volunteer to set up and advertise the event, as well as which residents would like to participate, will assist when planning the event. If this is information you’d like to have, you’ll want to collect it at least a couple of weeks ahead of time.
The “Custom Form” page type on your website is a great tool for getting an idea of who would be interested in participating and/or volunteering. Compiling a list of residents that respond to this form will ensure willing volunteers are assigned necessary tasks and those participating in the garage sale have the event details they’ll need.
We’ve provided an example of what this form could look like below:
Spread the word
There are various ways you can advertise your garage sale around your community, city, or town. You can spread the event information by word of mouth, in print, or digitally. Here are some examples of ways you can advertise your community garage sale:
- Advertise in local papers’ classifieds sections.
- Post event on your community website.
- Post on social media pages.
- Put up flyers around town.
In addition to deciding how you would like to advertise your community garage sale, you’ll also want to decide when you would like to start doing this. Advertising too far in advance runs the risk of potential customers forgetting that it will be taking place. Therefore, a good benchmark to start advertising is two-weeks in advance up to the day of the event.
Day of the sale
You’ve made it to the day of the sale, yay! However, your job isn’t done yet. There are a few things you’ll want to do before the event starts to ensure it runs smoothly.
The first is to remind your community that the event is happening! Sending out a blast email or text message from your website is an easy and effective way to inform your community of the event details so they can go out and shop the sale, too.
Next, on the morning of the event, you’ll want to place signs in prominent locations and on roads leading up to where the community garage sale will be taking place. We’ve listed some tips below on what you’ll want to keep in mind when creating these signs:
- To draw attention, use brightly-colored signs and large black lettering.
- Use arrows to direct shoppers in the right direction of the sale.
- Keep the messages short and informative.
- Add balloons for a festive touch.
If the garage sale will be hosted at individual residences, place signs in the yards of the participating properties so shoppers know where to go. Also, if your community has narrow roads, you may want to place signs for which side of the street shoppers can park on to avoid congestion.
Lastly, when the event is over, you’ll want to take down the signs you put up earlier in the day. If you leave these up, you may mislead potential shoppers that see the signs after the event is over.
Hosting a community garage sale takes a bit of organization and planning, however, having the right tools available to you helps this process run smoothly. Therefore, we encourage you to use the features available on your website to gather community feedback, communicate event details, and advertise the garage sale.
Taking the time to make sure your community garage sale is well-coordinated and sufficiently advertised will help ensure the event results in a successful, profitable sale.