Maximize the success of your yard sale by teaming up with your neighbors. Not only are community sales more fun, but you’ll likely do more business and have less work to do.
Advantages of Organizing a Community Yard or Garage Sale
1. Increased promotional budget
The cost of printing up and distributing flyers and signs, plus online and newspaper ads, can be considerable. By pooling funds and labor, you and your neighbors not only save time and money, but increase exposure for your sales.
2. Larger network
Many people learn about garage and yard sales from friends, relatives and work colleagues. By teaming up with neighbors, you grow your word-of-mouth marketing significantly.
3. Ability to attract crowds to out-of-the way neighborhoods
If you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, it can be difficult to attract people to a garage sale. Garage sale aficionados are more likely to make the trek to a remote location if they know that more than one sale is happening at the same time.
4. Pooled childcare
Looking after kids during a garage sale can be a tough task. By working with your neighbors, you can assign childcare duties to individual adults, older teenagers or even higher professional babysitters to supervise the children during the sale.
5. Increased security
There are several security risks in holding a garage sale, including individuals stealing items as well as casing properties for future burglaries. You and your neighbors can look out for each other during the sale.
1. Contact neighbors
Contact your neighbors either by e-mail, personal visit or dropping off flyers around the block. Ask if they would be interested in joining the rest of the community in a community yard or garage sale.
2. Do Legal Research
Research your town’s laws on garage sales and similar events. You may be required to obtain permits for each sale, or your community may have a multifamily yard sale permit. One advantage of getting a multifamily permit is that you may be able to restrict access to the block, which makes set up and tear down easier and creates a safer environment for shoppers and their kids.
3. Set up an initial meeting
Set up a date for a meeting at a neighbor’s home or a community meeting room, such as a rec center, church or library.
4. Decide on a location and a date
In most cases, your community garage sale will be held at the homes of the neighbors in your cul-de-sac or on your block. However, you may also decide to hold a sale at a central location, such as a community center. Discuss these options at the meeting, and set a date.
5. Set a promotional budget
Do some research on promotional options, and price the cost of printing up and distributing fliers, as well as purchasing online and print advertising. Once you have your budget, ask each family to contribute to the fund.
6. Market the event
Begin promotional efforts at least two weeks before the sale. Remember to ask local news sources, such as newspapers and editors of church bulletins, for their deadlines. Place flyers on community bulletin boards at grocery stores and libraries and coffee shops. Post information about your sale on Craigslist and other online community boards.
Start putting up signs in your neighborhood a couple of days before the sale to attract other neighbors and people who work in your community.
7. Set Up
To avoid confusion, ask all participants to be set up and ready to go at a certain time. As an inducement, you might want to set up a table with coffee and doughnuts in a central location so that neighbors can fuel up as they set up their sale in the morning. Just be sure to move the edibles before the sale actually starts.
8. Shut down
It’s important to leave your streets looking great, so encourage everyone to do a good job cleaning up after the sale. One option is to request that a charity come by with a truck to pick up your garage sale leftovers. Consider holding a barbeque or holding a pizza party as an incentive to keep people outdoors and cleaning up.
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