Garage Sale

Host a garage sale with the proceeds going towards your Federated Health campaign. You could do this as a team and gather at someone’s house, or own your own, or maybe you have enough traffic in the building you work at, and you could do it in the lobby or front lawn. Garage sales have huge fundraising potential!

Step One – Location and Date

Determine where you are going to hold your garage sale; will you have it at your house, a friend’s house, or maybe there are a bunch of your colleagues that want to participate, and you will host it in the parking lot or lobby of your office. Explore all options!

Once you have decided on a location, you need to pick a date. Make sure to give yourself enough time to plan and gather your items. Also, be sure your date does not coincide with a holiday weekend to maximize foot traffic. If you are holding it in the lobby of your office, consider whether there are days that have more people working in-person.

Step Two – Gather Items

Put out a call to coworkers, friends and family members for any items they are looking to part with. Keep an eye for items you have not used in a year or more. Check the attic, garage, basement, and boxes you haven’t opened in a while. Furniture, sporting equipment, and power tools can be big ticket items. Children’s books and toys can also make great items.

Step Three – Up the Ante

Coming up with other activities to make your sale more appealing. Sell lemonade or popsicles – both are great options for additional revenue. Another great option is having some baked goods for sale, who doesn’t want to snack on a cookie while they shop? If it is hosted at the workplace, have the Federated Health Lottery QR code
handy for the attendees too!

Step Four – Create a Buzz

You can advertise on your Ministry/Agency intranet site, with flyers in high traffic areas in your office or the main lobby of your building, and through email/newsletters. If you are running your garage sale outside of the OPS to
community members, friends, and family, you can advertise in the newspaper, but be sure to place the ad the week before your sale. Check for deadlines with your local publication to ensure your ad will make it in at the right time. Advertising online is also a great idea: try Facebook, Twitter, Kijiji, and community pages. Let Federated Health know, and we can possibly relay the details to other ministries and agencies that are close to you.

Be sure to include all the need-to-know details, such as date, time, and address. Highlight specific items you have for sale to draw people in. Make sure to let everyone know the proceeds from your sale are supporting 21 health related charities.

Step Five – Make Sure the Price is Right

All garage sale items should have a clearly marked price or set up tables by price point. The bigger the item the bigger the price tag should be.

Expect people will want to barter, so mark your prices 20 percent higher than your rock bottom price but make sure to be objective.

Generally, the price should be 1/3 of what the item cost new. Keep in mind all items you plan to sell should be clean and in good condition.

Step Six – It’s all in the Details

Here’s a list of things you will need to make your day that much easier:

  • Enough tables to display your merchandise; don’t cram everything together as it will make your items harder to see.
  • An extension cord and batteries if you are selling electronics. Prospective buyers will want to test the items to make sure they work.
  • Lots of change and small bills.
  • Price tags, markers, and colourful bristle board.
  • A calculator to add up big purchases.
  • An apron with pockets or a fanny pack to put your money in. A cash box will also work you just want to make sure you always have someone sitting with it.
  • Grocery bags for people who purchase multiple items, as well as newspaper to wrap up delicate items.
  • A donation jar for anyway who just wanted to donate to the cause but doesn’t find an item at your sale.

Step Seven – Setting Up

The night before your sale, post signs around your location and in high traffic areas. Be sure you use large signs with clear print and bold colours. Don’t forget directional arrows!

Be clear on the purpose of your sale. Make a sign to indicate your sale benefits Federated Health (21 health related charities).

Make sure all your sale items and your yard or area is clean. Display items by spacing them out and organizing them on tables.

Background music can enhance the vibe of your sale and make the experience more enjoyable for your customers.

Take some pictures with you and colleagues having some fun at your event and send them to Federated Health Charities to share your successful event with others

Step Eight – Be the Host with the Most

If you are running the garage sale at your office or in your office lobby, make sure you keep a watchful eye so no items go missing. If you are running your garage sale from your home take appropriate measures to ensure your security and safety. Lock the doors to your home and move money to a secure location as it accumulates.

Then, just have fun with it! Smile and be approachable, but don’t hover.

Step Nine – Keep it Clean

Once your sale is over, remove your signs from the office/neighbourhood. Determine if there are any items you would like to keep or sell at a different time. Neatly organize and pack up the items.

Remove price tags and box up the remainder. If you live in a busy office building/neighbourhood, leave a “FREE” box at the curb. Otherwise drop them off to your local second-hand store.

Step Ten – Add it Up!

Take out the float you started with and then add it all up and see how you did. There is a budget template included. Bring your money into work and hand it in to your Treasurer to be recorded and deposited.

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Federated Health Charities White Logo
Federated Health Charities White Logo

For general questions:

Sarah Wood
Executive Director


315 Front St. West, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 0B8

Federated Health Charities White Logo

For general questions:

Sarah Wood
Executive Director


315 Front St. West, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 0B8

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