When you want to jump-start savings, there is no better place to start than with the “stuff” you already have around the house. You can put individual items up for sale on ebay and Craigslist, but our goal here is to clean house and really boost savings with a kick-start.
You should go all out and organize a two-day garage or yard sale specifically and only to raise money for emergency savings. By having a two-day sale, you have opportunity to use the power of higher pricing on day one and discount to get rid of everything on day two. If you do it right, you could end up with a great start with just a little work.
How do you do this and really make the most money? Let’s take a look at 11 ways to boost savings with a two-day garage sale.
1. Take a week to really look at everything around your house. This is the time to be honest with yourself. Most of the things we purchase are really impulse purchases or things that make us feel better at the time but fade into our “old stuff.” Try to separate your “things” into things you love and things you don’t. If you don’t love it, figure out its’ value and add it to the list of “things” you are selling in your garage sale.
2. Organization is critical. Make sure you review everything you want to sell, price it and organize it. This will be important.
3. Presentation is everything. You’ve probably heard this before, but most people don’t put the extra effort into a garage sale. If you will put in the effort, the results can really improve what you make during the sale. Clothes should be presented on a rack. Electronics should be showcased. Special sale items can be sectioned off in a closed in area (like your kitchen) and you can make a special sign that asks “Do you want to see our SPECIAL ITEMS?”
4. Have a plan to produce good looking signs with simple messages and spend some time thinking about how you can drive traffic by placing these signs in the most high-traffic areas. Make sure you can read the signs from twenty feet away. Don’t allow scribbled out signs to represent your garage sale. These signs are not effective and are a waste of time. Put a specific person in charge of placing the signs and make sure they know exactly where you want each sign and how you want it placed. Use balloons and other “distracters” to draw attention to your sale.
5. Make sure you know the rules and guidelines to having a garage or yard sale in your neighborhood and county. If you need a license, get one.
6. Recruit other people in your neighborhood or friends to “partner” with you to sell their things at your garage sale. We call this “plumping up” your garage sale so you have a wider variety of items to sell. You’ll also love having the teamwork. It’s hard to do everything yourself.
7. Check your location. Are you near high-traffic areas? If not, consider doing the sale at someone else’s house. After all, the goal is to partner up and make the most money anyway. High-traffic is the way to go; low traffic is a waste of time.
8. Make it easy for people to purchase. You want to have a variety of pricing. This gives everyone a reason to “mingle” more and shop. Have your price marked on each item. You should also have a section that offers “discounts.” In other words, the prices are clearly marked, but you can have a sign that says, “1/2 off until 11 a.m.” This encourages the bargain hunters who want a “steal.” (Something for everyone). Make sure you price all items to sell. You know people expect garage or yard sale prices when they show up. Be realistic about your approach because your goal should be to sell it all.
9. Advertise your garage or yard sale on Craigslist. It’s free. You want to be specific. You want to talk about a wide variety of items at your sale and the fact that you have specialty items shoppers can view upon request. This helps you stand out. Make sure you put your sale on Craigslist about six days before the opening of the sale; repost the ad each day of your garage or yard sale. Focus on the hot sellers.
10. I know we covered signs earlier, but the bigger and brighter the sign, the better the results. If you put out crappy signs, you get crappy results. Your job is to get attention in high-traffic areas and lead people to your garage sale. Great signage will do this for you – don’t skimp on the signs.
11. Don’t forget the up sell. Bake cookies and other baked items. Offer lemonade and tea. Yes, you are going to charge for this. Set a reasonable price and make sure it is the first thing people see when they get out of their car. If you or your garage sale partners have children, consider cutting them in and letting them do the selling on these items.
Although you may be tempted, remember: Everything goes in actual savings. That’s the goal. You should have 15 to 18 months of expenses in emergency savings. Do you? Are you ready? If not, don’t let it overwhelm you. Using strategy like this one and others found in “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” at http://www.MiddleClassMoney.com can help you save faster than you think and without killing your lifestyle.
HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD
If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My own family didn’t believe in saving. They don’t believe in having a 401k. They have had “emergencies” all their lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. My parents thought they were shielding me from the realities of bills and worry. In fact, they were isolating me. I learned nothing until I had made many of the mistakes they made. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle. I have had to learn the hard way how companies mislead with marketing. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”)!
In this country we don’t do enough to teach our children about money, managing money, saving regularly (and automatically), compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future. As a parent, we are always concerned that they get a good education and go to a good college so they can make a lot of money or have a valued career path. The truth is that we could do our children the biggest favor and one of the best things by sharing with them sound saving and investing principles.
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If you want to give your children the same information we are giving ours, you can purchase the only thing we sell on any of our blogs or groups. It’s called “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” and you can get it for only $4.95 at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.
Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!
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