Many people’s first real marketing experiences took place when hanging up “Yard Sale” signs with our parents on Saturday mornings. For small business owners, marketing strategies have definitely evolved past this. Of course, it’s imperative to not forget lessons learned from the past, and there’s a few things that yard sales can teach everyone about marketing.
Storytelling is Essential to the Sale
Although watching shows like Pawn Stars and American Pickers has reminded us that storytelling is essential, we actually already knew that from days at the yard sale. After all, there’s a million turquoise vases in the world, but that one passed down from your grandmother after fleeing Germany during the war? That’s a special one.
Storytelling is just as important for local businesses. Consumers see upwards of 5,000 marketing messages a day. Make yours special by telling how a product helped a local citizen or how your company gave back to the community. Whatever it takes, tell a good story.
Offline Marketing Can Be As Important As Online
In the Age of the Internet, people now announce their yard sales a week in advance via Facebook sales groups and Craigslist ads. But when you get into the neighborhood, trust that you’ll see a few “Garage Sale” signs on street posts as well.
This is because, no matter how important online marketing becomes, offline isn’t going anywhere. Whether it’s showing up to trade shows, sponsoring a local baseball team or putting an attention-grabbing billboard on the interstate, offline marketing still pays off.
Trust Is Paramount
When consumers go to a clothing, electronics or any other store, they usually know that they can get a refund if they’re not satisfied with a product. This isn’t the case at yard sales. When someone buys that cell phone charger, they usually walk away knowing that, if it doesn’t work, they’re out of luck.
Don’t think, though, that having a return policy establishes trust. In fact, trust could go out the window if something has to be returned. Strive to keep a good reputation online through reputation management as well as you do offline through in-store customer service. Trust is essential in any business relationship.
While Craigslist is often the extent of the marketing we do for yard sales, it doesn’t mean other lessons weren’t learned from these events. Remember this when you’re crafting your marketing strategies.