Tips for Planning a Garage Sale Fundraiser

Tips for Planning a Garage Sale Fundraiser

Looking to add a twist to your garage sale fundraiser?  Try a tropical theme!  Read on for tips on organizing a garage sale, and adding a fun theme to the event.

Most people at this time of year do a good spring-cleaning.  Why not take advantage and have a garage sale fundraiser at the same time?  After all, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, and it’s always fun to make money from things you were going to toss out anyway!  Why not make your garage sale fundraiser a bit different…let’s make it “tropical”!

Why a tropical theme?  Themes are a great way to create atmosphere.  At our garage sale fundraiser, we’ll want people to be relaxed and having fun, so they’ll be encouraged to stay longer and spend more.  A tropical theme is a great way to do that!  All our volunteers will wear colorful “leis” around their necks (these can be picked up at most dollar stores), and if we have the budget, we can even hand these out to customers as they arrive, or as thank you gifts for purchases.  We’ll play some tropical music, and serve fruit juices and cookies (at a cost of course)!  We’ll decorate our tables with bright streamers, and palm trees cut out of colorful paper.  Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts will be on the recommended dress list, and to add an extra special touch, we can even get a local restaurant to donate brightly colored drink umbrellas to add to the fruit juice!

Now that our theme is all set up, lets get down to the real planning part of our Tropical Garage Sale Fundraiser.  The first step is to set a date.  We need to let our volunteers and participants know at least two months ahead of time.  After all, it does take some time to go through your things and collect all those hidden treasures to put up for sale.

Next, we need to find a storage space to hold all of the goods.  This could be anywhere from a big garage in someone’s house, to an empty room in a local business (hopefully donated!).

Now we need to reserve a high-traffic location for this tropical event, such as the parking lot of a school, business, mall or church.  A school or church with a large indoor space would be great, just in case some rain clouds join the party and we need to take the tropics indoors!

Once our date, storage space and location are determined, we must get the word out to the community.  Just the title, “Tropical Garage Sale Fundraiser”, will have all kinds of curiosity peaked.  People will come to the fundraiser just to see what makes it tropical!  We will advise the local TV and radio stations, and our local newspaper – these are great sources of publicity!

The day before the event, we will need a few volunteers to sort through the goods (Some things really can’t become anyone’s treasure…).  We’ll organize the items by category.  For instance, group together all clothes in one section, kitchen items in another, etc.

The day of the event, we’ll place the categories on different tables so it will be easy for people to go through.  Most importantly, near the cash, we’ll have some impulse purchase items such as: suntan lotion, seashells, and other neat, tropical items!  These will be sure to bring-in some additional sales.

We’ll obtain some plastic or paper bags from local merchants in order to place everyone’s purchases.  To increase purchases, we could also offer a gift with purchase.  Such as, everyone who purchases more than $25 gets a free coconut.  Of course a local market would donate the items.

The challenge is getting all these donations from the community.  We just need to ensure that we explain the reason and the goal of our garage sale fundraiser so that people feel they are contributing to something worthwhile.  Of course, a tropical fundraiser will get some smiles, and maybe even some extra donations!  Some donations can even be used as a tax break so it’s a win-win for everyone.

A successful garage sale fundraiser is based on TEAM work (Together Everyone Achieves More).  So, once all the items at the Tropical Garage Sale Fundraiser are sold, don’t forget to thank everyone who helped make it happen.  Maybe you could even give them a thank you card glued to a coconut shell.

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