Selling Lessons Learned from a Garage Sale

garagesale2Can rummage sales methods teach us anything about professional selling? Do buyers act differently when purchasing old and used items that may just as easily be thrown away?

One primary motivation of a purchase decision is an emotional feeling of satisfaction. The knowledge that the seller has already valued the product as no longer desirable gives the buyer a better price negotiating position thus allowing him to achieve his feeling of satisfaction by playing the offer/counter offer game.

The seller will probably be able to maximize his revenue by posting the price of his items higher to allow for dickering. The nature of the sale is now all about the game and the item is secondary. The sale is closed when a perceived value is reached in the buyer’s mind AND he has received a price reduction from the seller.

Of course, the seller can build value through well-constructed conversation and story telling, but cannot escape the initial perceived value of “this is a disposal sale, not a retail store with new inventory”.

One idea to establishing a greater perceived value is to place larger priced items among the cheap give-aways rather than grouping them together. It becomes more of a unique discovery then. Another (my favorite) is to bundle a high value item with some give-aways that will help raise the value for the seller.

I have observed three types of garage sale buyers. The seller needs to identify which type they are dealing with to obtain maximum revenue.

  • The curious browser
  • The coy collector
  • The cash-short consumer

Just like professional selling, it is appropriate to develop a rapport upon greeting and learn as quickly as you can through observation and questioning which type of buyer you are dealing with. Do not negotiate price until you feel you know what type of buyer you are dealing with.

Study and learn a little for a more profitable garage or yard sale. It will pay you back in increased revenue. Even in a garage sale, it is important to know what you are doing. Otherwise, just take it to the recyclers or throw it away to be ahead in the game.

By Howard Howell

Howard is an Internet Sales Consultant. He speaks professionally about Web Marketing and Sensible Selling from an experienced entrepreneur’s viewpoint. He also provides individual coaching, group training, and web marketing consulting services. Contact him now.

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