6 Reasons a Garage Sale Will Be A High Point in Your Kids’ Summer (Seriously)

Jul 13, 2016

The kids are home, they’re bored, and you’re tripping all over their stuff. What better time to turn your trash into cash by getting rid of those neglected Barbies, antiquated electronics and time-worn trends? Plan a yard sale and see how it might just save your summer.

For you, a yard sale is a chance to load the junk that’s cluttering up your home. But for your kids, it can be one of the most exciting and developmental days of the summer. Here’s how your pint-sized pedlars can get involved:

It’s All About The Marketing

The more people at your sale the better, so make sure you advertise. Get the kids to design a colourful eye-catching poster. Help them deliver it on the street and online. Key things to include: date, time, major intersection and snappy slogans promoting the goods up for grabs. Add balloons at the foot of your street for a festive touch.

A sign taped to a pole that reads

Photo by Lynn Friedman, licensed by Creative Commons

Take Inventory

This is your time to unload some serious junk. But don’t expect your kids to be quite as enthusiastic to de-clutter. You may be surprised to learn how abandoned stuffed animals still “spark joy” for your budding entrepreneurs. Give kids time to think over what they can live without. If they aren’t ready to part with some things, don’t force them. If you do, you will be hearing about it for years (and years).

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Grow Your Business

Invite neighbours to join in on the event. People are much more inclined to make the trek to a busy street sale and frankly it’s just more fun. Gather the local kids together to distribute flyers and homemade signs around the hood.

A man at a garage sale, ladeling out a glass of lemonade.

Photo by Dan Licterman, licensed by Creative Commons

Talk Price Point

Get together and price your items BEFORE the big day. There’s nothing worse than discovering your wee wheeler-dealer sold a $200 bike for 50 cents, or realizing your mini merchant tried to unload his one-eye babydoll for a cool $50. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss what things cost.

Two kids in a door frame outdoors with boxes of toy cars next to them. One sign says

Photo by Christine Jackowski, liscened by Creative Commons

Have A Side Business

Let your kids open their own pop-up shop by adding a lemonade or homemade-cookie stand. It’s virtually impossible to resist cute kids hawking treats and it’s a good bet they’ll learn some pretty important business skills. Stuff like product presentation, customer service and resisting sampling the inventory.

The back of a girl who is sitting at a lemonade stand selling a cup to a customer.

Photo by Adolfo Chavez III, licensed by Creative Commons

Plan For Profits

Before the bucks roll in, discuss what you will do with the proceeds of the sale. Should you donate to a local charity or put it towards a family purchase or trip? Also, if you are participating in a street sale be warned. Set out some rules about buying other people’s stuff. You don’t want to finally unload that rice cooker only to find your kid bought somebody’s old hammock. For you. For your birthday. So you have to keep it. Until the next sale….

Article Author Laura Mullin
Laura Mullin

Read more from Laura here.

Laura Mullin is a published playwright and writer and the Co-Artistic Director of the award-winning company, Expect Theatre. She is also the Co-Host and Producer of PlayME, a podcast that transforms plays into audio dramas now on CBC. She has worked in theatre, film, and television and lives in Toronto with her writer/producer husband and pre-teen daughter. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @expectlaura.

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