How to Host a Community Garage Sale this Summer : The Saturday Weekend Review #175

 

how to host a community garage sale this summer

photo credit: PhotoBucket Hussaain

SELL YOUR STUFF WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS TO DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC TO YOUR GARAGE SALE!

 

Last week we received an email from our neighbourhood group about organizing a massive community garage sale this summer once again. Hosting a garage sale is a great opportunity to shed some excess weight of stuff collecting dust around the house.

My wife and I often joke about how our home has become filled with so much stuff especially since our son was born almost two years ago. Before then we moved into this house with the clothes, an air mattress and a dining room table and chairs. That’s it! Oh and our computers and a treadmill.

There wasn’t much to our move from a basement room we rented to our now quiet haven since we couldn’t stash too much stuff. In no time with our passion for second-hand shopping, garage sales and people gifting free items to us we’ve got too much stuff. Our basement is just over 1000 square feet and it’s full…and I mean full.

To be fair it’s not all junk and stuff it’s mainly renovation materials that we purchased before our son was born such as bathroom vanities, mirrors, hard-wood flooring and a bunch of other items. The amount of baby stuff cluttering the basement is quite large and although we are hoping to have another baby we aren’t going to hang onto things we no longer need or believe we will need.

Besides moving boxes from the UK that are still full of my belongings, stockpile from couponing, 2 queen bed sets and about 20 boxes of baby boy clothes our basement is still walk-able  maze. So, when our neighbourhood group emailed us to see if we wanted to participate we thought we might just do that this year. Most of what we would sell would be baby stuff as that is our main clutter issue.

There’s one thing missing though…

We have two 8-foot tables, a money-box and lots of stuff to sell but what we don’t have is the time. One thing I noticed since moving to Canada is that neighbourhood community garage sales are becoming more fashionable in the frugal buying and selling industry.

Since our neighbourhood group leader was asking us for suggestions to support this year’s community garage sale I started to think about all the ways we could improve this summer tradition. It seems over the years less neighbours are participating and they are hoping that will change this year.

 

Welcome to the neighbourhood

 

A few weeks ago I shared with you some of the best secret staging tips for a garage sale which are just as important when you host a community garage sale. If you plan to host a community garage sale below are tips I’ve put together from our experience moving into a new neighbourhood with an established community garage sale tradition.

 

Network the Neighbourhood

 

New families are moving in, others pass away, some downsize and move but for whatever reason a neighbourhood always has new faces coming and going. Over the years we’ve seen many seniors leaving the area and young families creeping in. Although house prices in our area are very high for our area the amount of for sale signs this year has brought in many new faces.

Who are these new neighbours? Most of us are nosey when we see the new people on the block so why not introduce yourself and welcome them to the neighbourhood. Another great way to say welcome is to bring the neighbours together with a community event such as a community garage sale.

You NEED this!

Just about everyone has an email address unless you’ve sworn away technology. Create a neighbourhood email list so you can send notices and messages to the people. A Facebook group is also a great option to send out notifications to the people in your local neighbourhood.

Spread the word.

One thing that we noticed when we moved to our neighbourhood was that it wasn’t so welcoming until we went to a local gathering up at the school with our son. Although we made it a point to say hello to neighbours that’s as far as conversations would go. We almost felt like people just didn’t have the time for us or maybe they didn’t like us. It was at this extravaganza of children and adults having fun where we filled out our information to make sure we were included in all the neighbourhood events via email.

On this ballot we left our name, address, phone number and email address so the community group could keep in touch with us about what’s happening in our area. We only completed this 5 years after we moved in because we didn’t attend these functions before our son was born nor did we know about them.

My tip here is to keep in mind that not everyone has children, not everyone wants to participate in community events and that it’s important to get out there and welcome newcomers to our little neighbourhood. Well, it’s actually a good size but the more people you meet the closer it seems.

Keeping track of house sales in the area, going door to door or posting memos on the community mailboxes are great ways to spread the word. If a neighbour has yet to sign up for an email subscription this is the time you want to leave one of those pull-off tabs with info on how to email their information or a phone number to call.

By encouraging residents to be friendly and welcoming to their neighbours and to spread the word about what’s happening in the community is another successful way to network. Word of mouth works very well.

 

Plan the Community Garage Sale

 

You can’t just send out an email one week before you plan to host a community garage sale. If you are planning to encourage neighbours to come together and host a yard sale on their property or at a destination center like a church or school parking lot you need to involve them in the process ahead of time.

For example: If you are hosting a neighbourhood community garage sale in a school parking lot you may want to address questions similar to these ahead of time…

  • When can we bring our garage sale items? Time?
  • Will there be bathroom facilities?
  • When will the event start and finish?
  • Who is the event coordinator?
  • Will we need tables and chairs?
  • Can we sell from our vehicle?
  • Will there be food and drink for sale or can we sell our own?
  • Where can we park?
  • Are there any rules we need to know before we join?
  • Will you provide labels to price items for sale?
  • Can we dress up for the event?
  • Will there be any games or entertainment?
  • Do you need volunteers?
  • How much money should we stock up with for change in our money-box? Will you have rolls of coin and bills available if needed?

Any garage sale MUST have advance prep and a solid foundation if you want it to be successful especially if you need to get permission to use a parking lot or indoor facility. Besides garage sale prices that should be reasonable and learning the art of garage sale negotiations you don’t want your neighbours to bring stuff back in the house. Most homeowners leave what they don’t sell on the curb for free after but then consider just doing that from the start if you don’t plan to put effort into the garage sale from the get-go.

By creating a free online WordPress website or Facebook page where the community group can share blog posts like this one or create newsletters with tips for those new to the garage sale scene or other events will be appreciated. If your community leader is too busy with other agendas maybe appointing a neighbour to manage such pages, blog or newsletter is a great way to involve more people in the process.

Related: How to price items at a garage sale

The event information is crucial.

Whoever is in charge of the community group must come up with a reasonable date to hold the community garage sale. Our neighbourhood holds our community garage sale during the May-24 weekend when most people are on holidays from work. Although plenty of people head to the cottage or camping there are lots of families who do the stay-cation, open pools or general cleaning and landscaping so they stick around the house.

It’s these people who will visit your community garage sale so giving them plenty of advance notice as well to the vendors will ensure that the calendar is free so they can plan and participate. I’ve seen people throw a garage sale together in the morning without advertising and posting a few signs. Although that worked in the past this form of advertising alone is not enough.

Once details of your community garage sale are finalized send the information to those on your neighbourhood email list. If there are any questions you have now given yourself time to answer them.

There is more though.

 

The Garage Sale Ad

 

going to garage saleNeighbours are coming together to see if they can all host their garage sale on the same day in hopes of driving more traffic to the neighbourhood, hence selling more stuff.

It’s always hit or miss with a garage sale depending on a few factors such as weather, time of year and most of all garage sale advertising.

The good thing about hosting a community garage sale is that word of mouth has a wider network which means more people will be reached.

Garage sale advertising signs on posts MUST be visible and a bit of humour helps drive traffic to your sale. Keep in mind that technology has taken over the world which means if you want customers to visit your community garage sale that you’ve worked hard to put together you MUST advertise your garage sale online.

You can post or find garage sale listings on Facebook, Kijiji and other community pages in your local area. Print media still shares the community garage sale or yard sales but in small numbers in the local newspaper or a free community newspaper. The more places you can advertise the community garage sale you will then increase the visibility and likelihood for a successful mass sale.

Overall, a community garage sale held as a neighbourhood affair or in a large parking lot or field is a super opportunity to meet new people, get out of the house and downsize contents you no longer use.

Whether you are a new neighbour or have lived in the area for a while take the opportunity to say hello to those you pass by during your walks. You don’t have to become best friends with you neighbours but it’s certainly nice to have a community who cares about the neighbourhood they live in.

What other tips can you share from earlier community garage sale events?

 

What did I do this week?

 

This week was a write-off for us as we had appointments to go to and soccer practice for our son which didn’t turn out so well. It was practice two of 12 and he just freaked out. Granted he had napped late in the day for only 30 minutes where he naps three hours and we rushed him off to practice when he got up.

It wasn’t an ideal situation for the little guy so next time if it happens we just won’t bother going. I’m sure it was similar to the feeling of getting up late for work, jumping in the shower and going without coffee.. nothing.

I got a few more bits done around the house but I’m focusing on my job for the next two weeks as I have a big assignment that needs to be completed by mid-month. We did manage to squeeze in haircuts and a couple of new recipes this week so not all was lost.

We donated the basketball net that we picked up for free to a little boy too. He was so happy.

How was your week?

 

Awesome posts I published this week

 

Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below. If you are looking for past Saturday Weekend Review posts scroll down to the bottom of this post where I will list up to 5 previous weeks for you to read.

If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each one. If you want to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details! I’m more than happy to chat via email to bring your story to life.

New: If your story submission gets chosen and published you will be entered into a yearly draw for a $25 Gift Card or $25 CDN via PayPal if you are from the USA.

Right now CBB is posting Tuesday (Grocery Game Challenge), Thursday (Personal Finance Post), Saturday (Personal Finance and Weekly Wrap-Up and a Frugal Recipe on Sunday!

Top performing CBB Post this week : How much should my Grocery Budget Be?

 

Fan Budget Brags

 

June Garage Sale Jen 3 Baby GateYou got WHAT for HOW Much?

Submit your Deal or Brag:

Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge .

Join the Budget Brag Challenge 2016 and WIN!!!

What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!  In 2016 if you send me your Budget Brag you will automatically get entered into a yearly draw for a surprise gift card.

If your Budget Brag gets chosen you get an extra ballot! So start sending in your brags with a photo and tell me about your deals. If you are from the USA and win I will PayPal you the money in CDN dollars. Open to Canada and USA only.

Email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.(ca) < remove brackets) or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

June Garage Sale Jen 1 Aeropostal clothes

Hi Mr.CBB,

Check out these awesome garage sale deals I found!

  • Baby gate (older one in front with blue handle) $2
  • Baby gates (two in behind, like new!) $5 for both (they were asking $10 for both)
  • Clothes (all brand names – for my friends daughter except for the purple shirt and blue headband that are for me) – blue head band (lulu lemon) $.50, under armor shirt, lulu lemon pants and purple sheer shirt 3/$5, remainder of the clothes $5 (they were asking $6)
  • Cars traffic light $2 (they were asking $3)
  • Two espresso wicker baskets $2
  • Books $.75
  • Puddle Jumper floatie $2
  • Pylons – free!
  • Clock for learning time $.10
  • Magnetic calendar white board with markers $1
  • Disney tea set $3
  • Shrek character stuffies $1 (they were asking $1.75)
    Total spent $29.35 (not even the cost of one baby gate retail! Lol)

June Garage Sale Jen 2 toys for kids

 

Making a difference (MAD)

 

Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2016 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world. If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you. I’m currently booking for July and August.

This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans. Today it is my pleasure to share with you the blog, The Millennial Budget run by my good friend Stefan.

Hey Mr.CBB and Fans,

The Millennial BudgetMy name is Stefan and I am from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. I graduated from college in May 2015 and am currently pursuing my MBA which will conclude in August 2016. I am also studying for the CPA exam and hope to complete all four parts by September as I will be working for a big-four accounting firm upon graduation.

I have found personal finance a passion of mine and have thus started a blog called The Millennial Budget. My blog focuses on personal finance topics such as budgeting, saving, investing and much more. During my senior year of college I had a personal finance course which taught me everything I know about money today.

My professor taught me about crucial topics such as emergency funds, retirement plans, and the power of investing. Based on his teachings and my own personal experiences, I hope to pass on my knowledge to my readers as financial literacy is a major problem in the world. The sheer amount of debt and awful spending habits is a crisis I believe undervalued by higher powers.

One goal I have for my blog is to teach people how to live within their means. Technology, and particularly social media, have put so much pressure on keeping up with the Joneses that we find ourselves spending far more money than we need. Come join me over at The Millennial Budget and together we will break the trend and free you from your financial shackles.

 

Yummy Recipe Find

 

watermelon rice krispiesFood and grocery shopping are relevant to us because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with.

We all have to eat to survive but just because we have a budget doesn’t mean we can’t eat delicious home-cooked meals that are drool-worthy.

If you are someone who would rather buy convenience foods consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch. Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you’ve accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.

For the past 2 years I’ve had a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world. I also share recipes on the blog on Sunday either made by home cook and mom Nicola Don or myself.

This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to Mari over at Inspired By Familia for this awesome Watermelon Rice Krispies treat which is perfect for summer! I’m sure the kids will just love them as would any adult. Check the recipe out!

 

Top DIY project

 

food art diy watermelon bbq grill

If you’re planning a Back-Yard Party this summer then you will want to check out this awesome display of Fruit Kabobs on a Watermelon Grill. How cool is that? I think this is brilliant will certainly be a show-stopper and conversation piece among your guests.

 

Editor’s Choice weekly read

 

Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with all of you. Please head on over and give the post a read and let them know that Mr. CBB sent you if you comment. Thanks.

Editor’s pick (That’s me Mr.CBB) This week I read a post by Derek over at Life and My Finances about How to Enjoy the Weekend When You’re In Debt which is perfect timing for all of you who are stressed about debt when everyone else is having fun. You still deserve to have fun but sometimes it’s not about the money it’s about the imagination. If you really want out of debt you’ll find a way to pay it off while enjoying the freedom of life. A great read with lots of tips.

 

Financial Quote Of the Week

 

its not your salary that makes you rich its your spending habits

Do you have a quote you think should be featured? Email me today!

 

CBB Google Search Laughs

 

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog. Some of them are serious and others are meant to have a laugh.

  • ATM gave me $10 too little– Tell them don’t search online about it.
  • Kids eating us out of house– That’s what they do apparently
  • Bought a house for 7K and renovated– WOW that’s cheap
  • How to avoid paying OSAP back? – Really… just pay your bills.
  • I never ask for help– You should

That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by.

See Ya!

-Mr.CBB

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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your community garage sale tips. We had a garage sale 2 years ago and since we share driveways with our neighbours we talked to them before and had one together. While we didn’t make a ton of money but it was great to clear out the basement to prepare for our renovation that we started later that year.

    • That’s great!! I don’t think a garage sale is meant to make a tonne of money but some do depending on what and how much they are selling.

  2. There is a website where garage sales can be added, if it’s a whole town or even one suburb of a town. This is one way to bring people into your neighbour of garage sales.

    The website is http://www.townwideyardsale.ca/.

    In the past, I’ve been part of garage sales, especially when New Dundee has their on Victoria Day Monday but now, I’m just a spend my time looking over other people things.

  3. Thanks so much for choosing Life and My Finances’ article as your Editor’s Choice this week! We try to meet people right where they are financially (I’m a staff writer for Derek). Thanks for the great tips on having a community garage sale. I really liked your garage sale sign. 🙂

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