When it comes to selling secondhand, vintage or handmade, you’re going to need a plan of action. One of the first things you should think about is who your ideal “audience” will be. Who do you think would want to buy what you’re selling? Run through the basic demographics: age, gender, location but keep in mind that selling locally is really about timing, place and language. Check out these five ways to identify your audience.
Where to Sell
Start by figuring out where you want your items to be seen. Do you want your things to be available at yard sales? At flea markets? A pop-up shop? Online? Your options are unlimited as the secondhand selling trend is still in full swing and only increasing in popularity. Do a little footwork, check out the market to see what buyers attend or swing by other yard sales in your neighborhood. Each of these outlets require different levels of commitment.
After you figure out where you’d like to sell your items—you’ll have to find the specific platform. The selling platform that you choose will have an effect on the type of buyer you will attract. There are many types of buyers such as people who go to yard sales on the weekend just for fun, people who go to flea markets looking for special finds, people that buy vintage furniture online when they find the perfect piece etc.
Figure out what type of buyer category your goods fit into. From there you can figure out more specific logistics. If you’re going to sell in your front yard, are you going to get neighbors involved? Make it a block long event? What time of day are you going to sell your stuff? Are you going to make signs and hang them around your neighborhood? When you come to a conclusion about all of these factors you’ll be able to start attracting the target audience you want.
If you’re planning to sell at a flea market or crafts fair, you’ll need to do some research in advance on the costs of having a stand. You’ll also need to reserve a spot in advance. Will you want to sell at a “trendy” location or at a more traditional space? Think about matching people to product. You can participate in a range of markets—from traditional New England to small town charm. You’ll want to figure out what type of place will yield the shoppers that translate into sales.
If you’re selling online, there are great platforms like Krrb that focus on specific categories. If you realized the types of things you’re selling would target one specific type of person, let’s say for example if you’re selling vintage designer bags. That might be sold on a fashion forward site. Find a website that caters to what you’re specifically selling.
Timing is Key
Timing is also a key factor when targeting your audience. The spring and summer seasons are naturally good times to sell your unwanted goods. After spring cleaning, it’s very easy to shed some things you no longer need or want. Foot traffic for yard sales and flea markets will be at their peaks during the warm seasons and it’s definitely the correct time to try to bring in some buyers!
If your selling season runs yearlong, that’s where classifieds and websites come perfectly into play! They allow you to easily sell items all throughout the year—even when the Polar Vortex is creeping up at your windows. The ease of classifieds comes into play with non-weather related events too. It’s a good way to sell when you don’t have time to get outside and host a yard sale.
There are other things you should take into consideration while planning your selling spectacular! Be aware of calendar events: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, holiday season and be prepared to market yourselves for these things! Simply be creative and you’ll find yourself getting the hang of it in no time.
Type of Buyer
Another thing you should take into consideration is whether the targeted buyer you’re looking for is a “serious buyer” or a “casual buyer”. People generally don’t buy a large piece of furniture unless they are in the market for a new piece. I would categorize this type of person as a serious buyer, someone who has done research prior to going and knows what they’re looking for. Is this the type of person you want shopping your stock of items? If so, you’ll want to position yourself in a way that attracts these buyers by having an online presence and letting people know your inventory so they don’t trek over to you for no reason. Not only does this make your time selling more efficient, it also allows people to plan in advance for transporting the piece to its new home.
A casual buyer is be someone just out for the day and stops along the way when they see fairs, markets, yard sales etc. If you want to sell to these people then you’ll need to stand out enough to make them want to stop by! Having small, easy to carry items for sale will encourage those impulse purchases.
Check Your Language
When feeding news of your shop around town via flyers, social media and ads in the local newspaper—talk to your target buyer. Play with the language in order to appeal to one specific group of people. If you’re a young professional that’s moving and needs to get rid of their trendy pieces, make sure your advertisements promote yourself in that way. You don’t want people to show up looking for antique china, if you’re selling Jonathan Adler sofas!