Black Friday: Three Times Our Typical Weekend Sales
Every year, we hold a Rummage Sale on Black Friday weekend. We use it to clear out old inventory before year end and get people into our store. Attendance has been building since we started the sale three years ago, but this year, it was completely off the hook.
From Friday through Sunday, the Rummage Sale created a feeding frenzy at the store, and we ended up doing three times our normal weekend business. My total outlay, including lunch for staff: roughly $600.
Here's how we did it.
Before the sale, I get signs printed by an online vendor for cheap—roughly $2 a piece. We print about 50 signs and hang them around town. We also advertise the Rummage Sale on Craigslist and Facebook. Plus, everyone on our email list gets a $10 gift certificate for the sale. We had more than 120 people redeem these.
We set up a tent in our parking lot the day before the event. We run the sale and display merchandise there. Two temps get brought in to help with security and answer customer questions. Regular staff floats between our showroom and the parking lot. We have bands play throughout the day in exchange for $50 gift cards. Some of the teachers in our lesson program play, as well.
Everything at the Rummage Sale is marked down. People get really excited when that happens. They feel they're getting a deal and often end up buying new merchandise in our showroom, too. That mentality just snowballs. One woman came in to purchase a cleaning rod for her piccolo and walked out with a new midrange flute.
We continue adding new products each day at the Rummage Sale. This keeps customers coming back throughout the weekend to see what's new and different. At this year's sale, we ended up having more merchandise than usual, especially more old horns. I ended up purchasing inventory from a couple of stores that had gone out of business. This gave us more to display than just obsolete inventory.
By the way, this promotion can work well at different times of year. We also host a Rummage Sale in April because people tend to want to spend money at tax time. You could even host a sale right after the holidays. Call it the "you didn't get what you wanted for Christmas" sale. For us, the outcome from this event has been astonishing.
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