Two years ago, I found myself starring in my kitchen cupboard at a set of darling, but ineffectual Jonathan Adler bud vases that I purchased on super duper, ‘are my eyes deceiving me’ sale. Because these were so adorable and bound to be useful, I bought 2 sets – I foresaw a trail of them as a dining table centerpiece or a tight arrangement on the coffee table, however I may have used 1 from 1 set once. It was in that moment of buyer’s remorse that I avowed to eliminate all non-essential household items that I had accumulated over the past decade.
Since only a few items would be of any modest monetary value, eBay and the like were not a viable option. I needed to fashion a garage sale without the benefit of a house, yard or driveway on a high foot trafficked NYC street. Although my building is poised on the perfect block for such a stupendous sale, the co-op board would have never granted me access. In certain Brooklyn neighborhoods, stoop sales are considered quite au courant: in Manhattan not so much.
I approached (read coerced) one of my besties whose husband’s family owns the Greenwich Village building where they reside to share in the fun and fortune of a Saturday sidewalk sale. The brownstone is located on a busy pedestrian neighborhood street with an uncommonly wide-open front yard protected by a diminutive wrought iron fence. Absolutely ideal for the re-sale retail environment I wanted to create!
With experience extending only as far as attending my kindergarten confidant’s family’s yard sale, I had to rely on common sense, marketing savvy and my keen ability to sell most anything to anyone to ensure our street sale a succe$$.
The following are a few tricks and tips that will guarantee a great event:
- Start to compile a collection that is intended to be sold 1 month in advance. 3 weeks later go through your possessions a 2nd time and continue to eliminate household items that can be contributed to the kitty.
- Prep every item by cleaning and placing a price sticker in an obvious location.
- Select a day isn’t over a holiday weekend and one a few weeks in advance of a gift giving one.
- Utilize social media outlets to advertise the sale – include photos of the most coveted items.
- Early in the morning of said date, flyer the neighborhood, but be sure to remove the flyers after the event ends.
- Create tags with brief descriptions of items that may increase desirability.
- Set up the selling space as if it were a retail store – a well merchandised table will entice on-lookers.
- Have plenty of change, wrapping materials and shopping bags.
- Be flexible and generous with pricing.
- Provide a ‘free gift with purchase’ item to encourage add-ons. (We offered individually wrapped Rice Krispie Treats.)
- Place a bowl of dog treats & water prominently for canines to discover.
- Donate whatever doesn’t sell at end of the day – DO NOT bring it back into your home!!
Taking the trash out.