Garage Sale Item Demonstration

If you've got a big-ticket item that you really want to sell, but are afraid no one will snap up due to the price, why not hold an item demonstration to show off what it does?  Having a demonstration is not as complicated or time-consuming as it sounds.

Demonstrating an item in front of an audience

Some examples of items you might demonstrate are large electronics, such as laminating machines, high-quality scanners, or old-school printing presses; outdoor tools, such as shears or a ride-on lawnmower; and smaller gadgets, such as cameras, keyboards, or kitchen appliances.  It would be silly to try to demonstrate how your set of golf clubs work, for example, especially since how they work for you is not necessarily going to reflect how they would work for others, so don't waste your time doing a demonstration on anything that doesn't need some time to show its capabilities and the same performance for every user.

Advertise your demonstration ahead of time, both on the signs you hang around (at the bottom or on the side, write "Demonstration of {Your Object Here} at {Time}!") and at your sale.  If your customers express only mild interest in your big-ticket item, mention as they pay or leave that you'll be holding a demonstration at, say, one o'clock that afternoon.  Chances are, people won't come back unless they're already very intrigued, but in the end, those are probably the only folks who will shell out the money to buy it.

As you're setting up, mark off an area or create a stage where your demonstration will be held.  Take into consideration the size of your item, the distance to an electrical outlet (if necessary), the amount of space needed to demonstrate, and room for the viewers to stand.  Keep this area free of other items so you don't have to scramble to move everything when it's time.  You might even put your item here for sale during the rest of the day so there's no work involved.

Test out your demonstration ahead of time!  This is vital for a few reasons.  First, it calms you down if you get nervous speaking in front of people; you can run through your script, make a few changes, and know what you're doing.  Second, it helps you confirm that you've got enough room and your observers won't be crowding each other to see.  And third, it assures you that the item will work!  There's no worse way to try and sell your item than to have it fail in the middle of your demonstration, only to find it was just the extension cord...

When it's time to demonstrate, make an announcement to whoever is gathered at your sale and lead them to the spot.  Turn on your item or make it go however it works, then walk your audience through the process, demonstrating each step as you go.  At the end, allow some time for questions, in case your demonstration did not thoroughly answer all the doubts your potential buyers had.  Then ask your audience if anyone is interested in making the purchase; if more than one person wants it, you can sell the item auction-style.

While you're doing the demonstration, have someone guard your sales table for you.  It's easy to get caught up in the process and forget that your money box and all of your other items are sitting out in the open unprotected, so grab a family member or neighbor and have them sit in for you for a half hour.

Let us know about your garage sale and your demonstration at GarageSaleCow.com, where listing is completely free!  No more hefty newspaper prices...join in the nation's fastest-growing garage sale community without any charge!




Comments (10) -

Jacob Cooper
Jacob Cooper
3/24/2013 12:24:42 PM #

If you want to have a demonstration for your items, you need to be fluent in speaking and most importantly, be convincing and confident at the same time. You can't stutter in front of your audience. Being fluent in English verbally is a must. In addition, you need to get the attention of your audience and entice them to buy your product. You know that you're doing your job well if you yourself is convinced to buy your own product.

Gabe Freeman
Gabe Freeman
3/24/2013 12:28:06 PM #

The ability to demonstrate and convince people to buy your product is innate. It's either you have it or you don't. There's no such thing that you somehow have it or your just good at it. For me, it's not something that comes along with practice. You need to be a natural. I admit that it needs practice but you need also to have pure talent.

Audrey Cox
Audrey Cox
3/24/2013 12:34:07 PM #

I've seen demonstrations like in the picture of this article in malls and shopping centers. Sometimes, even if I'm not shopping, I somehow get attached to the thing itself if the person speaking in front is confident and has that appeal that makes you buy their products.

From my experience, it pays to practice in front of the mirror and just keep doing it. I haven't tried demonstrating products but at school, I had the experience of speaking in front especially during elocutions and declamations. I somehow have stage fright but I overcomed it as the years passed by through constant practice. I can testify that practice really makes perfect!

Antonio Sullivan
Antonio Sullivan
3/24/2013 12:39:06 PM #

Some say demonstrating can be hard if you don't have the right equipment to work with. But I think that's not true. Just exude with confidence when you're out there and speak loudly and clear and lastly enjoy what you're doing and I know, you'll do fine. All of us experience that fright or feeling of having butterflies in your stomach but the challenge is to overcome those and triumph. Don't let your fear eat you up and hinder you from succeeding.

Jesse Hayes
Jesse Hayes
3/24/2013 12:45:08 PM #

Make sure that the appliance or product that you're planning to demonstrate with is actually working. All of your preparations to make your presentation successful would be put to waste if you're product can't even support what you're actually advertising.

The embarrassment of failing in front of an audience is just a small thing. The great impact would be towards your sales. That will greatly depreciate and put a stain in your name as a host of a garage sale. People would most likely no trust you that much and would translate to lesser sales and profit.

Aaliyah Rodriguez
Aaliyah Rodriguez
3/24/2013 12:50:14 PM #

Having someone attend to your tables and at the rest of your garage sale is critical. While you're very occupied with demonstrations and marketing one product, you could lose a lot more than you can actually think off. Some people could steal or may be disinterested because there's no one entertaining them.

Putting an equal attention to both areas would be a great idea as supposed to putting all your time and effort in demonstrations and forgetting that it's a garage sale. You should learn to focus on the things that are actually important to you, most especially your goals and objectives for the sale. Happy Demonstration guys...

Leah Bran
Leah Bran
4/10/2013 1:01:55 PM #

Practice in front of a mirror if you really want to be a successful demonstrator. Can't really expect to be a great speaker if you're not used to public speaking or just speaking just by yourself. You can start by correcting your diction and pronunciation so you will sound smart and credible. You can try recording yourself in your digital camera or cellphone and see what you can work on to improve.

Michele Wienstien
Michele Wienstien
4/10/2013 1:05:01 PM #

Your appearance also matters when you try to sell a certain product. First and foremost, wear something comfortable because you'll be standing, talking and moving around throughout the day. But don't be too casual like you're just going to the market to do some errands because you fell short on vegetables and stuffs like that. Make sure that it's comfortable and that it's presentable to have an impact to your costumers.

Vanessa Farley Els
Vanessa Farley Els
4/10/2013 1:10:10 PM #

Being able to sell yourself is the main part of demonstrating before you can sell your product. Be prepared before handling a demonstration so you can make the flow of things smoother and easier.

Another thing would be, try to spice things up a bit. Incorporate humour into your demonstrations to catch the attention and curiosity of the audience. It will make them feel at ease and won't even notice that they're in a demonstration and that they're slowing liking you. In turn that can translate to better sales because now, they start to trust you and believe in what you're trying to sell.

Sophie Hoare
Sophie Hoare
4/10/2013 2:01:10 PM #

I am medical representative and I've been at this field for just about 6 months only. But I already had gone through a lot of things and gained tons of learnings. From the interview to the first knock and step you take into the manager's or any other interviewer's room is for that matter, you are trying to sell yourself to them. Starting with your looks, height, body built and etc...

As I was starting, I was very honest and precise in interviews so I was declined for a lot of positions before I got this one recently. I wondered why was I getting left out and those who are not that smart are the surprising ones that get hired. Then I realized, I was being too honest in my response like my working experience and I was very shy. I started to change myself and change everything about me, I was now presentable, smart and very confident. It was like I'm demonstrating myself to my costumers or strictly speaking, my employers.

During my first few attempts to approach a physician to market a specific product, I reaped not so great results since I hardly had experience under my belt. It was getting harder and harder to sell to those individuals with all the competition you're up against. Some representatives were models and well known experts and I felt little about myself. But I then I realized that I would succeed if I'll stay this way so I strategized a plan and used by talent in arts especially in painting and drawing as my ticket to exceed my quota. Unexpectedly, it was successful. I was bringing in sales here and there because I drew some of the physicians and made them a personalized painting they can display at home.

The Lesson is try to work on your weakness and emphasize strengths. Try to be resourceful and make use of what you have. Don't ever compare yourself to other people. The person you're trying to beat is YOURSELF. Be confident and enjoy what you're doing.

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