Get Stoop Sale Savvy


by Brandi Savitt – updated April 26, 2013

Gross the Most at Your Next Garage Sale

If you’ve ever strolled through Brooklyn between April and October, you know that you can’t walk down the streets on the weekend without stumbling upon multiple stoop sales (our urban version of a garage sale).  Every year, my co-op hosts a stoop sale in the front yard of our brownstone.  Our goal?  To sell as much unwanted clutter from our apartments as possible, and put our collective earnings towards a bunch of small repairs we need to make in the building.  At the end of the day, whatever we don’t sell we’ll donate to Goodwill.

In addition to getting rid of our junk, my neighbors and I enjoy mingling with the passerbys, bargaining with hardcore rummagers, and raking in some cash.  Our expectations are high, so I got some advice from one expert who rocks it every time – our favorite garage sale guru, Sofia Black.  Check out her tips on how to turn your front yard into an inviting and lucrative boutique for the day.  –Remember – one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure!

Set Up Your Shop Strategically

When you’re setting up your sale, think like a boutique owner and lure the foot traffic in with inviting and prominent signage.  Another trick to get people to stop and shop, is to display an eye catching item at the front of sale that people can see from the street.  But the real strategic key to your set up is to keep any furniture and BIG ticket items closer to the house.  You want your customers to have a reason to walk through your entire display and see everything while they make their way back to those super steals!

Create Streamlined Displays

When your setting up your displays, keep in mind how YOU like to shop.  Categorize items into sections so it’s easier for people to peruse – women’s clothing, men’s shoes, housewares, etc.  If you’re selling a lot of clothes, try grouping all the like colors together – this helps to create a more calming shopping experience.  Use brightly colored stickers for price tags, and set up a freebie box of things you know won’t sell.  People love to get something for free, and it encourages them to want to buy something else!

Get Your Cash in Check

The worst thing is to lose a sale because you can’t make change!  Make sure you go to the bank and get at least $30-40 worth of singles, some fives and some tens (these amounts will depend on what your selling and at what prices – do the math).  When you start to make some sales, take your initial investment out of the till before you forget – especially if your hosting the sale with other people!

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One Response to “Get Stoop Sale Savvy”

  1. Nancy Johnson says:

    Never set your items on the ground – it devalues them. Prominently display on a table. If you have the space with household goods, etc. set up vignettes like the stores do. People have a hard time using their imagination to know how it might look in their homes. It is more pleasing to the eye and more beneficial to your sale if your items look like they are worth purchasing. If the clothes look like you just dragged them out of the dirty laundry, you are going to get an offer that reflects that.

    Your advice is spot on! I love the LIKE COLORS advice – it is calming to view items that way.

    Great advice!

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