Simple Garage Sale Marketing Trick

By | February 24, 2017
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My nephews were interested in starting a lawncare business, mowing lawns, etc., so I took them to some garage sales because I wanted to stake their business a bit by buying them a decent used lawnmower to have as a backup should their new mower break down. Looking around one of the garage sales, I noticed they had several large signs advertising their wares that passing motorists could see from their cars – signs like “BOOKS,” “CLOTHES,” & the like. A smart job of advertising, I thought.

Then I had an idea. I had my nephews make an eye-catching lawncare flyer stating the services they offered, their phone number & other pertinent information. They ran off a lot of these. Next they got – for next to nothing at Big Lots – some of those colored cardboard folders with pockets inside the covers like you used to buy for school, and they placed their flyers inside the right-side pocket; on the left pocket was pasted a neat “Please take one” sign.” They now had their own media kit.

The next week they took some of the small change we all have stashed in jugs and cans around the house, and placed some of the change in plastic baggies. Then they took these baggies and their notebooks to several neighborhood garage sales and asked the sellers if it would be all right if they left their little notebooks nearby where the sellers would be set up to accept money, or any other handy place. They offered the small bags of change to the sellers, who always seem not to have enough change-making coins on hand at garage sales, as payment for the favor. (Most of the sellers turned down the change and were happy to help the boys out with their capitalistic endeavor for nothing, by the way.) To keep the sellers from just tossing away the folders when the boys left, the boys told them they would be back later to retrieve however many flyers were not taken.

The result of our creative effort: five new customers within four days! Today, a year or so later, these two kids have more work than two guys can do, and it all started with these first five customers and some flyers.

Maybe you can apply this simple garage sale marketing trick to something you would like to market. You can tweak the method to fit your needs.

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