All the garage sales I've ever had essentially: 1) allowed me to get rid of stuff I didn't want to move, or 2) were exercises in carrying stuff outside ... only to carry it all back inside two days later. So, when I saw another 3-Dayer talk glowingly about her garage sale fundraiser, I asked for tips. Here's what Lynna said:

1) Make it a group project: "My neighborhood does a yearly giant yard sale, and we advertise in the local paper, hang fliers in local businesses and put out directional signs EVERYWHERE!!! I did start asking for items about 3 months in advance. I had people from church dropping off car loads FULL of stuff!! Granted, there was some weeding though that we did - one lady seemed to bring us all her old things that by rights, should have been taken to the dump. Some of it was usable, so I didn't argue too much. We got furniture from people, bikes, car seats, sooooo much!! It was crazy!! By the last two weeks, I was not able to park in the garage anymore, and we had to ask our neighbors if they minded us using part of their yards!!"

2) Advertise, advertise, advertise: "I put posts up all over Facebook, announcements in the church bulletin, my kids helped make posters to hang....it was pretty well organized."

3) Let everyone know it's for charity: "One thing that helped me also, was that I had posters up all over my driveway and tables what the proceeds of the sale were going for. I had copies of my credentials and donation forms so people would know I was being legit and not just "using" the name for my own gain!"

4) Make it easy for people to shop: "My husband (who is awesome!!) stayed up very late the night before and helped me get everything organized onto tables. We had "aisles" of kids clothes, kitchen appliances, Christmas/Holiday decorations, toys, etc. Everything was categorized and prices marked. Of course, we would bargain a bit, but we always made it clear that we were donating the profit, so most people backed down."

And for you McHenry County folk: Boobalicious Babes (yes, I did just have to check to make sure I spelled boobalicious correctly. It's not in spellcheck :) is hosting a big garage sale for the Chicago 3-Day at the Lake Julian Trout Farm in Cary on May 22. Each of the six team members will be contributing items for the sale ~ three are repeat walkers, and three are newbies.

So, next week, to conclude my Friday FundRAISER series, I'll talk about my wine-tasting fundraiser last year. I loved the idea, loved the actual event ... and was a little disappointed I didn't raise more money. So, I'll talk about what I would do differently if I were to plan it all over again. Have a good weekend!

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5 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    We did the same things as a fundraiser for the 3-day. The only difference was we didn't mark anything. We had so many donated items it would have taken weeks to mark everything. We instead asked for donations for the items that people selected. 99% of the time, people were more than generous and offered a fair "garage sale" price. We made over $2000 in 2 days and in Michigan, where the economy is what it is, we thought that was incredible!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I can't wait to hear about your wine tasting fundraiser! We're doing a yard sale (that's more of an event!) next weekend and a wine tasting in June :) Love all of the tips!!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. debra Says:

    we did a wine tasting last yr, at a winery. we raised over $700 days, but i think it could have been more if more came. This yr, we are doing at a rest. that holds them, they have regularly 30 to 40 attend added to my 30 or 40, and they are donating $10 from each. plus hotel percentage. tell me more, thanks, d.

  4. mom of twins Says:

    Thanks for the tips Jilian! Your an awesome team captian! I am looking at doing a garage sale myself so thanks for the pointers.

  5. Linda Says:

    Thanks so much for the tips. We are also planning a neighborhood garage sale on May 22nd. Stop by if you can, we are in Flagstaff, AZ and would love to have you. Our proceeds will go to our 3Day walk in 2011. Great tips, especially about not marking items but just taking donations. Good luck, Linda