Monday, June 25, 2007

The Garage Sale

*Prodigy’s “Voodoo People” blaring*

*vibrations on the bed*


The alarm clock on my phone rings at 7am. So does the clock at my bed side. I open my eyes and jumped out of bed. Then I shoke Paul to wake him and I ran around the house getting ready. I’m surprisingly alert and cheery and the sun isn’t even fully up.

We loaded the boxes into the car and headed to Centrepoint by 8.15am. Thank goodness for Sin Cyn who helped me segregate, price and pack then items the day before. In fact, I made my first sale off her – cat and dog clay fridge magnets and a black Tian Po toiletry bag.

The garage sales starts at 8.30am. Michelle Shell was already there with her books. As I placed the boxes of stuff to be sold on the floor to display them on the table, throngs of people came to take stuff directly out of the boxes and started haggling. By 9am, 40% of the stuff were sold! It was 45 minutes of pure madness. And it was even a little scary. I truly did not expect the selling process to be so intensive n constant. Good thing I had Michelle Shell and Paul to help out.

My objectives of the sale were to:

  1. Get rid of junk in the house and create more space
  2. Make a little bit of money
  3. To have fun

And I managed to achieve them all. It will take about 5 years worth of garage sales to get rid of the junk in my house though. But at least I make some money and have some fun while doing it.

Lessons to be learn when managing a garage sale, not to be confused with selling new items like in the Mont Kiara Art / Bric-aBrac / Crafts (ABC) Market or night market at The Curve:

  1. Bargain hunters come early so start earlier than the official start time in order to be able to set up without people pulling the items out of the boxes themselves. You can close after lunch as there won’t be much sales after that.
  2. Price items higher as people will bargain it down. Or price it so low so that they don’t need to bargain.
  3. It’s easier to segregate items according to price and placing them in specific boxes than having individually priced items. The bargain hunters will then surely haggle and it’s harder to calculate when you have 2 people simultaneously talking to you and jangling your on wares in your face. However, they will also pick one item from one box, look at it and dump it into another box. At the end of the day, its easiest to have one price for everything. And if they want a discount, get them to buy 5 to get one free.
  4. Some professional bargain hunters (usually old housewives) will continue talking to you loudly while placing stuff into bags as they tell you the price they want for the items, hand you the money for which they want to pay for the entire contents of the bag and walk away. When this happens and you’re standing there dumb founded and unable to get a word in, let you boyfriend handle her.
  5. Bring a fan. It can get hot. Or use a hand held battery operated fan. Bargain hunters will see it and wanna buy it off you.
  6. Don’t go to other people’s stall and buy their junk. This will only accumulate more junk which you’ll need to sell eventually not to mention eat into your profits. But I couldn’t help it! A stall was selling Patti the Platypus by Ty for only RM5. And he was almost brand new. Well at least it provided us with entertainment while waiting for customers to come.

Thank you Annie Boo, Boey and Steph who came by the stall to lend support. And to Teoh who contributed to sales!

I’m gathering more stuff to be sold at the next garage sale in August. Yes, you can pass me your stuff to sell but I get a commission!


The Godfather said...

Would you allow others to 'tumpang' some of my stuffs at your next garage sale?

Bubbles said...

Sure. As long as I get a commission of it. :)