Contact Us

* Required fields
Thank you for contacting us!
A team member will be
in touch with you shortly.
Oops!
Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Contact Us

* Required fields
Thank you for contacting us!
A team member will be
in touch with you shortly.
Oops!
Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Request a Demo

* Required fields
Thank you for contacting us!
A team member will be
in touch with you shortly.
Oops!
Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Request a Demo

* Required fields
Thank you for contacting us!
A team member will be
in touch with you shortly.
Oops!
Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Lessons from a failed garage sale

Adi Aloni
,
September 8, 2017

I was tired of seeing the piles of old books and kids toys in my garage. Every day I would go into my garage to and from work and see our old, faded, dusty paraphernalia piled high. It was time for Spring Cleaning, in the late summer. 

As every person’s trash is another person’s treasure, I decided that a garage sale would be the best way to get rid of our old stuff. With great spirits I started planning the event. I sorted everything into neat piles, took pictures, set a date, and started promoting the sale. 

Only I did everything wrong. 

And the garage sale was a complete failure.

I managed to successfully give away whole of three books and one board game. My garage is still a mess.

As a marketer, you would think I would apply my professional knowledge to real life events. But apparently, the transition in state of mind is occasionally too much. So let’s analyze this in marketing terms, but if you’re in a hurry, I’ll give you the bottom line - know your audience and adjust your marketing accordingly.

What went wrong

Place and Time

Who schedules a garage sale on a weekday? You guessed it, me. So what if every other garage sale is on a weekend and people are programmed to look for them on Saturday mornings? I had plans for that weekend and I wasn’t going to let a garage sale stand in my way. Well, reality bites. If you don’t meet people where and when they are, they won’t come to where and when you are.

Promotion, or Lack Thereof

The channel of choice - Facebook. To be more exact - a specific Facebook group intended for giving away used household items. Is this the right channel - absolutely. Is this enough - absolutely not. Let’s do the math:

  • Members in the group - 1,600 (I checked)
  • Group members who saw my posts (all 2 of them) - let’s say 10% → 160
  • Group members who commented and asked to pick up specific items - 5 (0.3% CTR)
  • Group members who came and picked up their items - 1 (0.06% FTR - Follow Thru Rate, I just made this up)
  • Group members who showed up without contacting first - 0
  • Non-group members who showed up - 0 (Um, yeah. I didn’t promote anywhere else.)

Sigh …

Conversion is a numbers game. In email campaigns, in ad campaigns, and in garage sale promotions.

Oh, and people don’t show up, even if they say they will.

Conclusion

Know Thy Audience. It’s not a coincidence that “Audience Marketing” is a real title in the marketing world. With all the segmentation that we’re doing, and personas we’re describing, eventually it all comes down to knowing your audience - their time, place, promotion, price preferences (remember the 4P’s from your marketing 101? Guess what - they’re still relevant.) and adjusting your product and your marketing to those preferences. Whether you’re in B2C, B2B, or in the neighborhood.