This past weekend, I had a garage sale with some friends of mine from church. As we are going on vacation soon, I thought it would be a good way to make a little bit of money and clean out my house at the same time.
I really wanted to clean out my house. At least a fraction of it.
When my children got word of the garage sale, they of course, wanted to sell items too. They enlisted their friends to help. Cade and his friend decided to make lemonade to sell and Cora and her friend were selling cookies and cards. I mean really, who could resist this?
They sold a lot of lemonade (and drank a lot!) but in the end, made over $12. Not bad at $.25 a cup. I put together 9 tips for selling food at a garage sale. There are some do’s and don’ts as well as some downright wrongs.
:: Set your price. Look, they aren’t going to pay for college with this lemonade. I have been to garage sales and the kids were asking over $1.00 a cup. Really? I just walked on by without buying any. Ask yourself if you would be more willing to buy a cup of lemonade for $.25 or for $1.00.
It is the experience and the fun of the sale, not really the dollar amount. Chances are, when people see the two cute kids pouring the lemonade, they are going to get a tip or a “keep the change” anyway.
:: Look the part. As I mentioned, my daughter sold cookies at the garage sale. The day of the sale, she walked out of her room in a shirt that had stains on it and looked as old as it was. Yes, I made her change. Call me picky, but if I went into a restaurant and the room was dirty or the waitress looks like she hasn’t showered in a while, I would leave. Same thought here. You want your child to look clean and put together. Think appearances.
:: Keep them cool and covered. Think of the temperature outside when you plan your cookie selling day. Having a plate of cookies being swarmed by bugs, melting in the hot sun doesn’t sound appealing. When we sold our cookies, we put them in plastic party bags and kept them in a cooler. We then had one of each kind on the table for display. Having the cookies in the cooler kept them cool and safe from bugs while the buyers could see what they were buying.
:: Don’t forget the change. Always start off with a little bit of change for your child to make change with. Also, if your child doesn’t know how to make change, make sure someone is near to help out. Ask me why I think this is a good tip. Ahem. Thankfully, my daughter caught the fact another child paid for a $.25 lemonade with a 10 dollar bill. Neither our children, nor the child who gave it understood what change was. Whoops.
:: Lemonade, cups and straws, oh my. Make sure you remember all the items you need for the lemonade stand. You will need a table, sign, lemonade, pitcher, cups, napkins and a change jar.
:: Make offers. Something that works well for us is to offer a sale such as buy lemonade at $.50 and get the cookies for free.
:: “Hey! Want some lemonade?” Yes, they did. They got so excited; our two little entrepreneurs started asking people if they wanted lemonade while the potential customers were still halfway down the driveway. Did I say asking? I should have said encouraging loudly. We needed to remind the boys it is okay to ask, but not okay to yell or insist someone buys something. (Oops. Parent fail. Should have discussed that beforehand!)
:: No is no. Some people will say no and it is okay. Make sure your children know if someone doesn’t buy cookies or lemonade to encourage them to say thank you anyway and move on.
:: What is the money for? Decide ahead of time what they will spend the money on. It will give your child a sense of purpose and desire to work hard at the sale. In our case, all the money we made at the sale is going to our vacation. Both of our children were excited that they may be able to buy the family ice cream while on vacation or help buy our miniature golf game. It is great to work towards a goal.
A successful lemonade stand or cookie stand isn’t just about making money, it is also about friendship, learning math skills, life skills or contributing to a common goal. And drinking a lot of lemonade. 😉