...clothing, toys, games, videos, old electronics, furniture and so much more. Our children had left the “baby” stage and had moved on to young adult activities and the toys that go with it, and we thought that it was a good time to declutter.
Of course, we threw a lot away and donated items to charity.
However, there were a number of items that were in excellent shape but were simply no longer needed or wanted in our household. What to do? Garage sale - of course! I should tell you that I have never held a garage sale and I probably never will again. The thought of people coming to my house and taking away all my unwanted items for cash had its appeal. We honestly didn’t expect to make any money. People told me to expect a couple hundred dollars at the most and that a garage sale was not worth the frustration. We did it anyway because we thought it would be a positive family experience and it would pay for a nice dinner out. What did we get? Utter craziness, huge demand, competing 6:00 am bidders and about $1,500 for a scheduled five-hour garage sale.
What did we do?
All the unwanted items were separated out. If it was broken, ripped, torn, stained or unusable it was thrown away. I created an organized list of every single item and then researched on eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon to determine the current value of the items.
Put your best foot forward:
Once the items were separated, everything was cleaned and made to look presentable. The result: I was told by numerous people that our items were not only the best presented of any garage sale they had been to, but also everything being sold was of exceptional quality.
From my research, I determined the value of the items. However, setting a price was going to be tricky. I wanted the items to move quickly, but at a fair price, and I didn’t want to waste my time negotiating with people over whether something should be $2 or $1. My thought was that if you wanted it, you would be happy to find it, buy it, and then take it away. In the end, I sold the items for 25-50% of what comparable used items were selling for on the web.
Did people try to bargain the already low prices down lower?
Yes. Did I budge? Somewhat. Anyone who wanted a lower price than the one listed was told to come back between 11:30 and noon, and if the item was still left, we would sell it to them for that price. Most realized that the price offered was an amazing value and bought it. Only one returned later to discover that everything had been sold.
The usual street signs were put up. However, we also ran ads for the yard sale on Craigslist. In the posting, I listed all the items for sale and the prices. The result, I was told by many people this was their first garage sale – ever. They were searching Craigslist for specific items, and our detailed listing came up.
It turns out that most garage sales start around 8 am. We started ours at 7 am. Timing (and luck) again: It turns out there was a huge recall of a number of children’s toys. Our toys were older and in many cases actually made in the USA. As a result, we had a number of people who arrived prior to 7 am willing to pay more than the asking price.
Marketing people call it the 4 P’s: Product, Price, Promotion and Place. We called it, a clean house.
How does this relate to HR and your business? Do you have open and unfilled positions with no applicants, the wrong applicants or simply ones looking for something different than you have to offer? Sounds like it’s time for you to visit the 4 P’s as well.
- Organize (Product): Who are you? Do you have a well-written detailed job description?
- Price: Have you researched the market? Do you know what similar positions for similar jobs are paying?
- Advertising (Promotion): Have you advertised in the right place and have you provided enough information for an applicant to get excited about your job. Have you told the applicants what makes your job and your organization special?
- Timing (Place): Are you making it easy for people to apply? Do you still expect them to mail, fax or email their application or can they apply online?