Garage Sale: Ultimate Fundraiser

When your organization or club is running low on funds, you may want to consider having a large rummage/garage sale. The money comes in quick, and there is not much start up cost involved. When you plan on having a rummage sale, planning is the first step.

First, you need to decide where the sale will be held. This will help you evaluate how much stuff you can actually put in the sale. If you plan on having a large one, check your local church. Sometimes they will open up their fellowship hall for charity events. You may also want to check out your local community center. They are always willing to open their doors for anything that is considered good and service oriented. Your local bowling alley or grocery store parking lot will sometimes allow charity sales to take place on their lots. Why? You both benefit from the traffic.

Second, once the site has been located you need a place to store all the things that will soon be coming in for the sale. You can start in your own garage, and if that option is not available to you, check to see about storing the items at the actual site where you will be holding the sale. If it is at the church, or community center, they usually have more than adequate space. But, please be courteous to these generous sponsors. Keep the things neatly stacked and out of the way until the sell preparations get under way. Make sure that all buildings or rooms have working locks on the doors and windows.

Third, once the site has been located, the date planned and a place ready for storage, you must start locating the things that will be in the sell. The easiest and most obvious is to start with your own home, and the home of family and friends. Everyone is more than willing to get rid of the excess. Pass the word along. Have you ever wondered where the people that have garage sales every weekend get their goods? Most of the time it’s from another garage sale! That’s an insider secret. More times than not, you can go to a home right before they finish for the day and pay a small amount of money to haul what they didn’t sale away! So, never fear, you will have more than enough items for your fundraiser. Next, post a flyer up at your local library. Schools will sometimes allow you to post a small notice in their weekly/monthly newsletters, so check that out, as well. Be sure to also run a small ad in the newspaper advertising the drop off spots and days of collection. In this ad you will also advertise the event date itself. Do not put this ad in the classifieds. It will be overlooked. Have it posted under local events.

Fourth, a few days prior to the big day is the time to go in and start organizing. Items will generally fall into a few specific categories. Household, Clothing, Children, Tools, Entertainment, Home and Garden, Toys, Games and Misc. You will need to separate these into appropriate categories and mark the prices. Don’t let the clothing pile get you down. You can either mark the clothing individually, or have a set price for all clothing items, except specialty marked items. You can post a sign that states the set price for all books. An example might be 3/1.00 for cheap paperbacks, to 3/5.00 for the more expensive books.

You need to have plastic grocery store bags on hand for customers, and be sure you have a money till. You need to have at least one dollar in pennies, five dollars in dimes and nickels, twenty dollars in quarters, and fifty dollars in ones and tens, twenty-five dollars in fives, and one hundred dollars in twenties. You need to decide before the sale if you will accept checks. If you do not accept checks, you need to have that posted somewhere.

Another idea to add some extra cash to the sale and to get the children involved, is to let them sponsor the baked goods and lemonade sale. It will keep them busy while you are talking with the customers.

If you follow these tips, you will be on your way to having a successful fundraiser for your club or goup.

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