1. How would you describe what your website does/what it offers people?
www.egaragesales.com.au really takes the whole garage sale experience to a new level by utilising a new medium - the internet. Rather than traditional newspaper ads that are costly and somewhat limited, my website provides a truly unique experience by offering ads starting from just $10 with no word count limitation, free printable garage sale signs, image upload features, garage sale reviews, maps with directions, and best of all members can place their ads days, weeks or even months before the day of their garage sale as they control when they wish to show their address. This means that instead of spending $30 on a newspaper ad that is in the paper for 1 day, members receive better exposure and in turn gain more interest whilst maintaining their privacy. Members can also be notified via email of upcoming garage sales in their suburbs automatically as they are listed on the website.
2. How long have you been running your business?
The site has been operational since mid 2004 with interest growing rapidly during that time. I still feel that the shift between peoples mindsets towards garage sales online instead of newspapers is yet to happen. Hopefully soon though!
3. About how many hits do you get weekly?
At present Im getting roughly 35,000+ visitors a month. Some garage sale advertisements are being viewed up to 200+ times!
4. Do you think garage sales are popular in the Ipswich/Springfield area? Why?
I dont necessarily think garage sales are more popular in any given area, although occasionally I am told differently. Camira definitely comes to mind - that area usually has dozens of garage sales each weekend, its amazing! The funny thing is with garage sales is that I find them to be somewhat contagious, meaning that if your next door neighbour is holding one - you unconsciously begin walking through your house thinking about what you could possibly sell! Especially when they make good money!
5. Can people make lots of money holding garage sales?
Definetely - its really surprising actually. I always follow up with my members to see how their garage sales went. Some people dont do so well making just a few hundred bucks, but others have reported making anywhere up to $3,000 in just one day! Not bad money at all!
6. What types of stuff can people sell?
This always makes for interesting conversation. Ive seen people selling anything from boats, cars to old record players and even underwear! You name it, its there!
7. What is popular/sells well?
I continually see bric a brac listed. No joke, this stuff must be in everyones garage! That and baby goods, kids toys, kitchenware, and definitely items such as record players, cassettes and second hand clothing. The big stand out would have to be toys and computer bits and peices though.
8. What tips do you suggest if having a garage sale - ie, opening times, advertising, bargaining (anything at all, my story will be guided by what you suggest) - how can people make sure their garage sale is a success?
A few things off the top of my head...
- Place an ad on egaragesales.com.au (of course) in advance as early as possible - long gone are the days of placing your ad on the "day" or "week" of the sale!
- Expect early birds and hagglers, this goes without mention, however warn early birds that show up at ungodly hours that they will be charged double for arriving before the start time.
- Keep any pets (dogs especially) out of the way
- Watch your valuables - keep them inside if possible
- Price your stuff realistically and think about dropping your prices towards the end of your sale - be sure to give stuff to charity groups - stuff thats left over that didnt sell.
- Put up plenty of signage - and make sure people can actually read them!!! - be sure to respect your neighbours and local laws and take your signs down at the end of your sale
- Chuck on a sausage sizzle or bbq - charge people for food ($2 a hot dog) - hey why not!
- Put up balloons in the street and attach them to your signs - it makes it a whole lot easier to follow balloons down backstreets than it does reading badly written signage!
- SATURDAYS are the days for garage sales - I rarely see successful garage sales held on sundays
- Hold a group garage sale - get your neighbours involved!
- Be sure to have heaps of change on the day
- Be able to plug in appliances to demonstrate that they actually work!
- Check the weather forecast! - no one wants to go garage saleing in the wet! or wind!!!