In addition to the best prices on trash and treasure alike, many garage sales boast some sort of the "attraction" -- an extra side show to keep you entertained while you shop, or a booth (besides lemonade, Rice Krispies Treats, or brownies) with some sort of homemade goodies. If the idea of adding an attraction to your garage sale is appealing, check out this list to get inspired.
-- Pet shows. Does your dog know a special trick that you've never seen a Labradoodle do before? Put her on display for a small viewing fee. Or maybe your cat does funny things when he gets catnip. A more unusual example of a pet show is a live feeding -- where a snake devoured its frozen mouse food whole for fascinated viewers (at $1 per head). An event at a specific time, if it is interesting enough, may bring shoppers back to your sale, bringing with them the potential for second sales.
-- Craft stands. You still remember how to make pony bead keychains. Why not put it to good use and make some money off those beads that have been gathering dust in your closet? (Pony beads are a good example; they're almost at vintage status now, as people grow nostalgic for the 90s all too easily.) Perhaps you have a different crafty touch, like making jewelry or window stars or dreamcatchers. This is especially great if you have the supplies already on hand; your up front cost is nothing, and even if you luck out and only sell a few, you have pre-made birthday gifts for those friends you didn't want to shop for anyway.
-- Live music. Your driveway might as well be a downtown street, if you sit on the curb with your guitar and put a hat in front of you. Shoppers have their coins at hand already, and they might toss you a few if you're good enough. Keep them entertained by taking requests for a quarter, and by the end of the day you'll have sore fingers and a hat full of laundry money. Better yet, if you know how to play an unusual instrument, you can draw extra attention by serenading shoppers with your exotic notes.
-- Goodie baskets. At Christmas time, everyone bakes goodie baskets to give away as gifts. Take advantage of extra baskets (or something more creative!) lying around and make some delicious cookies, bars, mixes, and bases to sell. If selling in bulk doesn't appeal to you, you can make smaller batches of your signature dish and pawn those off on shoppers.
-- Lessons. Where can you get a one-time, on-the-fly lesson in music, a foreign language, or cooking? A garage sale, of course. Offer a low price for the first lesson, as a sort of trial, and then if the customer is intrigued, you can tell them you'll continue teaching them for a higher rate.
-- Lunch. While this isn't an attraction per se, it will certainly grab hungry shoppers' attention. Around lunch time, have someone else man a table and take orders as you work in the kitchen. Make something simple in bulk, like soup, hamburgers, hotdogs, or spaghetti, and have it ready to serve to customers as the orders come in. You can make bank off of shoppers who don't want to stop by McDonald's!
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