1. Tell your friends, family and acquaintances
Getting potential buyers through the door is the first step. Whilst the village hall committee has done the advertising groundwork, you can help to spread the word. Let your network know when and where the table top sale is being held and that you’ve taken a table. Word of mouth is great, but you could also share it on Facebook, tweet it on Twitter, and whatever you call it on WhatsApp. Good old fashioned email works well too.
2. Use #hashtags and social media
Talking of social media, you can use it to advertise your stock in advance of the sale. Take pictures of the things you want to sell and post them on Twitter, Instagram, or both. You can get a new account on each for free if you don’t already have one, or don’t want to use your existing account. Use the hashtags #QVHsale and #Queniborough so buyers can search for things they need. It can bring in buyers who see in advance exactly what they want!
3. Have the right float
Start collecting change now, or get some from the bank. Depending on the value of your stock, this could include fivers, tens and twenties but you’ll still need plenty of coins. Floats can run short very quickly when every customer offers you a £20 note for a £1 purchase.
Sort out something to hold your float, and your takings, in too. It doesn’t have to be the ubiquitous red metal cash box or a market trader’s money belt. A simple plastic box from the kitchen will do, and will help when you need to pass the money to whoever is helping you on your stall. No more delving into pockets, purses and handbags.
4. Bags for buyers
Five pence each (at least) at the supermarkets now means carrier bags are in short supply in many households. If yours is anything like mine, though, you’ll have more heavyweight bags and ‘bags for life’ than you can shake a stick at. If you’re overstocked with bags, bring them to the sale for buyers. It can even be a negotiating tactic; “Make it £x and I’ll throw in this durable shopping bag for free!”
5. Consider pricing up
There are several schools of thought here. One is to leave things unpriced and ask people to make you an offer. Another is to show a standard price for similar things (e.g. books, CDs, console games) with a discount for multiple items. You can also give each item its own price tag. Buyers like to have an asking price, even if it’s not the one you end up agreeing. More on this later.
6. Display your wares well
It’s a good idea to put similar items together. Larger items can go under or in front of your table if there’s room, or at the back of the table so smaller items can be seen easily at the front. Too much on the table will make it cluttered and difficult for browsers to take in everything you’re offering. If you have more than you can set out, consider having a sign that says, “Ask to see the rest of our ….”
7. Be ready to negotiate
Everything is negotiable, especially when selling pre-owned stuff. The value a buyer puts on a sale item may not be the one you have in mind for it. If you’re looking to declutter, and any money you make is a bonus, be prepared to discount. But if you know you could sell for more elsewhere but have a table here for fun and convenience, you might want to hold out for the right price.
8. Have fun!
Making money is a serious business but a table top sale is an opportunity to have fun and chat to lots of people. There’s bound to be plenty of tea and cake as well. Keep it lighthearted for an enjoyable and potentially lucrative day. Hope to see you there!