Offering Special Deals

Sometimes, it's just not enough to sell a shirt for $1.  On day two of your sale, if you're discovering that a lot of your items didn't sell as you expected them to, there are a couple of things you can do.  First, you can go through and reprice everything -- a hassle, especially if you only have one evening.  Or, you can offer some special deals.

Big time discounts on these shoes

If you want to attract shoppers from the day before, you can offer a percentage off everything (or selected items).  Have some leftover signage material?  Perfect!  Make up some little additions that say "50% Off Everything" or whatever percentage you'd like to offer, and go staple them to the ends of your original signs.  If you decide to only offer some items at a percentage off, make up more signs to hang around your yard sale in the appropriate places.  Be sure to choose bright colors that will attract attention, much like a sale at a retail or grocery store.

Two-for-one sales are best if you have a ton of the same or similar item.  Books, clothes, and action figures are prime candidates for two-for-one sales.  You have a couple of options for your signage on this one: if you already have a sign that proclaims, for example, "Paperback Books 10¢ Each," you can dramatically scratch out the "each" and write in "for two."  Or, you can simply replace the sign -- "Buy One, Get One of Equal or Lesser Value Free" is a good option, or if all the items are priced the same, "Two for the Price of One."  You can take on a "Sale Today!" addition to your signs if you want to advertise it to your potential customers.

Keep track of which hours had the least customers the day before, and during that time the next day, hold happy hour specials.  You can even advertise on day one; mention to customers that there will be happy hour the next day, and to keep an eye on your signs for more information.  During happy hour, offer deep discounts on your merchandise, especially anything you are eager to get rid of.  It's a known thing that people will buy stuff they don't need or want if it comes at an appealing price, so you could even list a few especially tempting numbers on your sign additions.

Have you ever been to those stores where they offer the bag deals?  The basic premise is that you receive a bag of some sort or size, and whatever you can manage to stuff in there, you only pay a set amount for.  Sometimes, you end up paying more than if you just bought each item separately, but most of the time it's a great deal.  If you've got a bunch of clothes you want to see walk away from your driveway, why not have a bag deal?  Collect several bags of the same size and choose a price to fill them.  Just make sure that whatever you decide to offer, you're willing to sell for that flat fee no matter what!

Many garage sale hosts offer closing specials right before they pack everything up and take it to a charity or the dump.  This may happen in the form of a customer approaching you with a very low offer and you taking it, or you might be aware ahead of time that you're planning to offer slashed prices at the end of the day and want to advertise it.  Either way, keep in mind that at this point, you're back to dealing with those items in your house or garage if you don't get rid of them, so be willing to recuperate any money, no matter how pathetic it seems.

Do you have any special deals that you like to offer?  Let us know in the comments!

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