Do you have what it takes to be a good garage sale host? Here's a quick overview of some basic principles you should follow:
Put on a smile for every customer. Don't just plop into a chair at the sales table and look up with a grunt when someone approaches. You need to sell your items! Which means you need to start by selling yourself, with a friendly greeting or at the least a welcoming smile. Garage sales are a time to put aside your prejudices and treat every customer the way you want to be treated the next time you visit a yard sale.
Be prepared to barter. You can't be surprised when someone approaches you with an offer of a lower price -- you need to be ready to name your price and then slowly barter down. Sure, there might be some pieces you aren't prepared to sell away for low sums, but in general, bartering is a part of the garage sale life. Know how to successfully barter and go into your sale prepared.
Start out with lots of change, and be willing to round down. Forcing customers to dig around for coins and bills because you don't have the right change is rude. Sure, they should have come prepared, but you're the one making money, so you should be the one with the bulk of the change. Even if they hand you a twenty, you should make change if you can, although it's okay to ask for smaller bills if you've been getting a lot of larger ones. Also, if they can't find that last quarter, be willing to just round down and let them keep the extra.
Show customers where to park. Make some signs and point out the best spots for your customers' vehicles. While you're at it, point out where they can't drive -- a polite sign saying "please don't park in the driveway" should be enough to deter all but the most stubborn customers.
Use large, visible price tags. It's annoying to have to ask how much the host wants for something every few moments, so when you're pricing your items, use big tags that will easily catch your customers' attention. If you aren't firm on your prices, you can be more lax about this, but you may end up with clientele irritated at the lack of ballpark pricing.
Provide bags for carrying away items. Just some simple plastic grocery bags will do, but make sure you have plenty on hand. Start collecting a few weeks ahead of time, and ask neighbors and friends if you need some extras.
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