Should I Sell My Handmade Jewelry at a Garage Sale?

by Yvette.
(Lake Elsinore, California, USA)

My neighborhood is having a 2-day community garage sale. It’s organized by a professional so there is going to be a lot of advertising and signs that’ll direct people to your home.

I’ve never sold my jewelry at garage sales, but I was wondering if it would be a good idea to try to sell some.

It would also be a first for me because the majority of my sales are from selling directly to friends and family.

Do you have any suggestions for me?

I would really appreciate your expert advice. ;0)

Yvette

 

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  • Natascha says:

    Hello Yvette,

    what exactly hinders you NOT to use this opportunity? Is it the feeling of not beeing good enough? Skip it! I think you should just plunge into it and see how your sales go. And even if you do not sell much, see it as another promotional venue. Good luck!

    Natascha

  • Yvette says:

    Thank you, Natascha! You’re right – how will I ever sell if I don’t put myself out their? I’ll give it a try! :0)

  • Tamara says:

    I would say go ahead and take advantage of the opportunity right in front of you. But be aware that people coming to garage sales often are looking for something for next to nothing. So make it clear to them that this is handmade jewellery and is a business. And be firm about the price you want.

  • When this question first came in my first thought was that it would be difficult to get people attending a garage sale to pay for handcrafted jewelry. My assumption is the pricing would be much higher than what your potential customers would be expecting to pay for anything at a community garage sale.

    Plus, it’s all cash and someone may see something they like but not want to spend a lot of their cash on a piece of jewelry when they’ve come to a neighborhood garage sale.

    If it were me, I would use it as more of a marketing opportunity than one for a lot of jewelry sales. Though with a little luck, it could be both.

    First, I would make up some simple pieces using elements from your full blown designs. Pendants on cord. Or do a table full of simple earrings and stretch bracelets.

    I would set up a separate display table, away from your garage sale stuff with your jewelry business signage, and brochures with pics of your more elaborate pieces, like the ones pictured here. I’m not talking about fancy brochures. I’m talking about simple tri-folds that you can create and print yourself. Make sure your contact info is on there as well.

    Your simple pieces can be sold inexpensively but still be profitable for you, and you can give everyone who makes a purchase a brochure and business card. Even those who only buy your garage sale stuff can get a brochure and business card.

    I would also put a photo book on your table of some of your work including custom work if you offer it.

    It’s definitely an opportunity to get the word out in your community about your business and cultivate some future clients.

    Alicia
    JMJ Content Specialist

  • Yvette says:

    Thank you Tamara for your advice.

    Thank you Alicia for all your suggestions! I am afraid of having customers not willling to pay the price for handcrafted jewelry or try to pay less for something I worked hard on. Then, there is the feeling of my jewelry not being good enough, but I’ll work on that. The next community garage sale is not until about April so that’ll give me enough time to work on the things you suggested.

    Thank you again for your help!
    I really enjoy reading all the post on this website and especially love the friendly atmosphere.

  • Lisa says:

    I didn’t have much luck trying to sell my earrings at our large neighborhood garage sale one year. I was trying to get rid of some inventory so marked them way down. Most people just walked on by and didn’t even stop to look at them. Obviously most were not in the market for jewelry that day. I only remember selling one pair to a little boy for Mother’s Day. Of course I later took them to a local craft fair and sold many at three times the price!

    Go head and try selling some of your jewelry, you just never know. Be aware that some people may try and bargain with you.

  • Grace says:

    I don’t know how it is in other parts of the country but here in my area of North Carolina everyone is looking for a bargain. Items that are selling for .25, people still want a bargain and ask you to sell it for .05 or .10. So my thought on it would be no. A lot of time, creativity and supply expense has been put into each piece of jewelry and you should not short change yourself. See if your town or neighboring towns have Craft shows or Art shows where people understand the creative aspect of your work and are willing to pay for it. Best of luck.

  • Beverly says:

    Selling at a garage or yard sale is good marketing. My very first showing was at my church’s yard sale. I didn’t sell anything but I did pass out a lot of business cards and got a lot of suggestions and calls informing me of future craft shows and flea markets in the area. I got a lot of encouragement and positive comments on my designs. Most people shopping at garage and yard sales are looking for bargains. That would be a good time to get rid of old inventory. I say go for it. Best of luck.

  • Rain says:

    My main concern would be that people coming to the garage sale would be in a bargaining mood and would try to haggle with you on the price. If you’re okay with that, then go for it! I like the idea of using it as an opportunity to get rid of some old inventory.

  • Judy says:

    At all garage sales that I have attended and/or partipated in — the customers all want a bargain. They do not want to pay “full price” for anything. What they want, I think, is for you to give it away. But, as one person suggested, you could have a table away from the regular garage sale item, showing off your expertise on jewelry items. Let them know that the price is what is listed.

  • Pam says:

    Our town has a bi-annual yard sale/flea market, and our family regularly participates. Like some of the other posters, I thought that yard sale shoppers would only want cheapie bargains, so while I took some of my jewelry the first year or so, I took only low end stuff, set up simply – not wanting to look overdone at this town yard sale. Boy was I wrong! Last spring, I set up my whole booth, banners and all, and did great! One of my popular items is my wire crochet necklace/earrings sets. One guy came along and bought three sets! Later in the day, another customer bought one of my wire wrapped sterling silver bracelets at $40, and later called me for two more!

    The fall yard sale is this coming Saturday. Can’t wait! I am no longer afraid of doing the more humble shows – customers are customers. besides, there are a few advantages here:

    1) Minimal booth fee
    2) very little competition (I was the only jeweler there!)
    3) Yard sale shoppers are regular people like you and me. Some may expect to haggle, so be patient with that. If your booth is set up professionally, you’ll get more attention from folks who are just happy to see you there.
    4) While most yard sale sellers are cash only, most people have credit cards, and those cards normally reside inside their wallets – Your potential customers will most likely have a way to pay you – as long as you take plastic! (And if you don’t – that’s a whole OTHER conversation!) 😀

    Still, it is fall, so I’m taking some very low priced Halloween earrings and stretchy bracelets with kids and teens in mind. They draw the kids in, the kids go drag their moms or dads over. Moms often need a gift, and dads are my best customers, as they buy for moms without guilt. (So funny to listen to women try to justify getting themselves something!)

    Give it a try – what have you got to lose except a very low booth fee. Don’t forget to take business cards and have them in 2 or 3 holders across your table. Nothing more fun, at the next bigger show, than having someone come by and ask, “Didn’t I see you at ….?” Now you have a relationship!

  • Yvette says:

    Wow, thank you ladies for all your comments!! I really appreciate all your concerns, suggestions and stories!! With all your input I, now, have a lot of different things to work with and other things to work on. I’ve already ordered my business cards from Moo.com and I’m just waiting for them to arrive.

    And Pam, I do take credit cards – I use the Square app. :0) If you know of something better, please let me know! ;0)

  • Joan says:

    Hi, Pam. Truthfully, I think selling your handmade jewelry at a garage sale cheapens your creations. Garage sales are meant to get rid of pieces of furniture, household items, toys, clothing, etc. that you are finished with and no longer want cluttering up your house. Find an appropriate venue for displaying and selling your handcrafted jewelry: art fairs, home jewelry parties, church functions, and so forth. Give your jewelry a place in the sun!

  • brandi says:

    I am trying to sale jewelrly too but do not know where to go to sell

  • kathi says:

    Yvette, I guess the bottom line is to go with your ‘gut’ feeling. You’re work is absolutely beautiful. Are there any craft shows you could display? Though I agree with the suggestion of keeping your work clearly apart from the usual ‘garage sale’ fare. Some years back I had paid to have my jewelry displayed at a craft/garage sale just asking that I not be placed right next to someone with ‘attic finds’. Unfortunately that’s exactly where I wound up & my pricing was out of place….good luck with your marketing! Let us know how you do!

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