FishHawk Ranch Community Garage Sale
Update: The next FishHawk Ranch community garage sale will take place on April 24, 2021, from 8:00, am to 12:00 noon. This is a free event for residents and they no longer need to register.
This is a rain or shine event.
Thinking of participating in the FishHawk Community Garage Sale?
- Need to make a little or a lot of extra cash? Do some fall cleaning and de-clutter your home! Less is more. Less clutter makes you feel good and in control of your environment.
- Clean out that garage, attic, kid’s rooms, and bonus room. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year. And don’t forget that storage facility you pay rent on. Better to make money on those items than to continue paying more rent than what the stuff is worth.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get ready.
- Ask family members to join you. The more stuff you have, the more attractive you are to the buyers who drive by.
- Think like a shopper when you setup.
Where to Start
- Start gathering items and prices as you go! This will make setting up for your sale much easier. (see pricing below)
- As you find items to sell, make sure everything is in clean and good working order.
- If it’s broken or unrepairable, throw it out! If it’s dirty, wash it!
- Make repairs to clothing and or press and hang on hangers. Infant and toddler clothing should be neatly folded and laid flat.
- Decide what you will do if it rains. The FishHawk Ranch Community Garage Sale is a rain or shine event.
- When pricing your merchandise, think of prices you would like to see if you were shopping at a garage sale. The lower the price, the faster it will sell, the more money you make, and the less you will have to pack up at the end of your sale. Nobody likes packing up the leftovers. A good rule-of-thumb for pricing is 1/2 to 1/3 of retail prices.
- Make sure you have a tagging system like a different color ticket for each member participating. Colored stickers are easily found at retail stores.
- Do not use plain color-coded dot stickers and then have a price chart posted. It’s frustrating for buyers and hard to keep track of. Example; Pink dots – $1.00, Green dots – 50¢, Yellow dots – 25¢.
- Mark your prices large and clear on each tag with a medium line marker or pen.
- Do not use sticker tags or tape on paper goods or cardboard boxes. This may ruin the condition of collectible items when they are removed.
- Do not use markers directly on merchandise. This can ruin items and usually doesn’t come off.
- Do not place prices on the bottom of merchandise but rather on top or on the side where it can be easily viewed without picking up.
- Use an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper for large items such as furniture. Print in large letters and tape on the front or lay on top. String tickets attached to handles or knobs are another option.
- If you have a history of family items like the year you acquired it (especially if it’s an antique), this information can be valuable to the buyer. Print this on a sign and place it on the item.
- Make sure you indicate if an item requires batteries or if there is a minor fixable problem but it still works. Be honest about the condition.
- Offer a “free box”. Everyone loves those! Put in little items you know you can’t get a quarter for or little toys for the kids.
- Decide how many tablets you will need and beg, borrow and steal any extras you might need from family, friends, and neighbors. And don’t forget a table for checking out customers.
- I could be warm so you might want to borrow a fan or two for in the garage. The more comfortable you make your shoppers, the longer they will browse.
- Another item that works well in warm weather is a portable canopy. I will help keep the outside tables in the shade.
- How many people will you need for the sale? Create a schedule for everyone participating for all the days you will be open keeping in mind breaks, lunches, and people to help assist and watch customers. Make sure everyone knows their shift and their job.
- Make sure you have the following items ready for the day of the sale: note pad or paper for figuring and for placing price stickers on after-sale, pens, calculator, money box, or better yet, a fanny pack or carpenter’s apron.
- If you plan to sell adult clothing, figure out what you’ll use to hang up the clothes and borrow any needed supplies. Good ideas for hanging clothes are a portable clothing rack, a broomstick or shower curtain rod between 2 high ladders, or links on a chain-link fence.
- Start collecting bags and boxes to pack the merchandise in, along with newspaper for breakables. You’ll need plenty the day of your sale.
- For the FishHawk Community Garage Sale, the FishHawk Ranch HOA will take care of the advertising. Be prepared, there will be a lot of shoppers!
- If possible, set up the tables in your garage and start arranging a couple of days earlier.
- Sweep out the garage, cover things you do not want to sell with sheets or tarps.
- When setting up the tables, keep in mind traffic flow. Do not have any dead spots where people cannot get out or they get cornered. Keep an open path and enough room for people to pass one another.
- Cover tables with attractive tablecloths, sheets, or blankets for a nice display.
- Set up your hanging device whatever it may be and group adult clothing together by gender and size.
- Infant and toddler clothes may be folded neatly or lay flat on a table and also grouped into sizes or gender.
- Arrange items on tables and areas according to theme or category.
- Make sure electronic items have access to an electrical outlet for testing.
- Bring out extension cords if necessary to plug inside the house
- Have batteries available to show the items work.
- Decide where you and your helpers will park. You want to make it convenient for your customers. The streets will be crowded with cars driving in the community. Try to find a parking lot close and walk back to the house.
- Rope off your yard if you do not want people driving, parking on it, or walking through it.
- Have designated areas that you group like things into such as; tools, clothes, toys & games, infant items, books, household décor, electronics, and furniture.
- Keep any small items such as jewelry in a display case or very close to you or another adult running the sale. When it’s crowded, things can disappear real fast.
- Keep items off the ground if possible. No one likes to have to get on their knees to look or stoop.
- Decide what large items or extra tables can be brought out into the driveway for attention. Many cannot see what’s in the garage until they get out of their car. You need to make the driveway inviting and enticing with your merchandise.
- Place a radio in the garage and prepare to have easy-listening music playing at a low volume. Customers will shop longer if they are not confronted with uncomfortable silence.
Show Me The Money!
- Make sure you have been to the bank for change a day or two earlier. Have plenty with you because on weekends after everyone gets paid, they use a lot of twenties.
- Make sure you know who will handle the money ahead of time and make sure it’s someone good with figures and making change. More than one person can help during a rush.
- Make sure when a customer pays you, you leave the bill out on the table and then count change back to your customers, so there are no mistakes. Watch and be aware of quick-change artists and take your time.
- Have a system for running big bills into the house for safe-keeping.
- Decide if you want to accept personal checks before the first person asks you.
- Have a receipt book on hand in case someone requests one for a big-ticket item such as a piece of furniture, an automobile, or a computer.
- Have a tape measure or yardstick available for those needing one to see if something fits before they buy. This could clinch your sale!
- Put up an “ALL SALES FINAL” sign. This will save you a lot of hassle later!
- Have “SOLD” signs available to tag those items someone may need to come back with a truck for. Make sure they leave a good deposit or pay for the item in full. Write them a receipt showing the deposit or full payment.
- Don’t talk about how much money you are making. (Don’t tempt thieves.)
- Don’t let anyone in the house for any reason. Not to use restrooms or try on clothes.
- Keep all doors locked except the one near you that you are using to go in the house from the garage.
- Make sure each person helping with the sale knows what their job is. Is it collecting money, watching tables, getting lunch, running bills in the house, or greeting customers?
- Please do NOT stand or sit together talking or talking on your phone and ignoring your customers. Make yourself available to them.
- Discuss ahead of time if everyone is willing to negotiate their prices and when.
- Keep dogs inside the house or in another secured area. As friendly as dogs can be, accidents happen.
Ready, Set, Go!!!
- Get plenty of sleep the night before and get up early, make coffee, and eat breakfast! You’ll need the energy! The FishHawk Community Garage Sale opens at 8:00 am, do not open late! Better early than late!
- Double-check and make sure everything was unpacked and put out on display and is priced.
- Expect early birds to show up but don’t be pressured to open early if you don’t want to. Keep your garage door closed, be polite and tell them you will open at whatever time you have designated.
- Open your garage door, smile, and greet your customers!
- Expect a rush the first few hours.
- Pay attention and be helpful but do not pressure people or follow them around.
- As items sell, rearrange to make tables look full. If tables start to look empty, take them down and fill the other tables.
- Be prepared to haggle but don’t be intimidated into doing what you don’t want to do.
- Jump on offers toward the end of the FishHawk Community Garage Sale so you won’t have as many leftovers to pack up.
- Make sure you thank customers for coming whether they buy anything or not.
- The FishHawk Community Garage Sale closes at 12:00 noon so make sure you are staying open at the advertised time if you can.
- Have fun and if you want donate unsold items to Goodwill.
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About the author
Jeff is a top-selling, nationally recognized REALTOR® and local FishHawk Ranch real estate expert. You will find him selling homes in Tampa Bay, Florida, and surrounding areas. Some of those areas include FishHawk, Lithia, Riverview, Valrico, Apollo Beach, Brandon, and Tampa.
If you are looking to sell or buy a Tampa Bay area home, Jeff is your local and trusted professional. He can be reached via phone/text at (813) 421-3007 or by contacting him below.
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