Over the past few years, Debra and I have organized several bake sales. Along the way, we’ve discovered a few tips that help boost profit and make the sale run more smoothly. This past Saturday, our local MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) group hosted a community Easter Egg Hunt. Debra and I were asked to coordinate the bake sale. All proceeds went to help defray the cost of childcare. We couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous day!
So, here are our top ten tips for a successful bake sale:
1.) Start by creating a sign-up form for donated baked goods. It’s important to get people starting to think about this sale early. Our local MOPS group meets monthly at our church and circulated a sign-up form about three weeks ago. We also gave other people in the church an opportunity to participate by announcing the upcoming bake sale and community Easter Egg Hunt the two Sundays prior to the event. I made a few follow-up calls in the days leading up to the bake sale just to remind people of the event and go over logistics (how to package, where to drop off, etc).
2.) To draw attention to the booth, we like to use colorful banners. These can either be sewn or made out of paper. The hot pink bunting banner, I made out of my daughter’s old sun dresses. For directions on that project, click here. The “SWEETS” banner is made out of burlap stenciled with black craft paint. We sell lots of these banners in our store although this one was made just for our bake sales.
This paper banner was simply made out of colorful paper and a stencil.
3.) Pre-package and price as much as possible before the sale starts. This is always our ongoing problem whether we’re doing a bake sale or a craft sale. We seem to be running around like crazy trying to get this done right as the sale starts. We’re getting better but still have a way to go in this area. These mini chalkboards work great as we can recycle them from one event to the other.
To simplify and save time, we also use a few clipboards painted with chalkboard paint to write out the prices of several items.
4.) Be prepared with plenty of items for repackaging. Some people will come with their items prepackaged but many will just drop of containers full of cookies or brownies, etc. and that’s great! We always make sure we have plenty of cellophane bags and pretty twine (available through Miss Mustard Seed here) on had to package them up.
5.) Make your display area as pretty as possible. We love to use vintage kitchen items, colorful banners and fresh flowers. We also sold Easter wheat grass centerpieces with whimsical peeps nestled in for color.
6.) Provide beverages and non-sweet items. In addition to baked goods we also always provide water and hot coffee. Iced coffee may be good as well if you’re hosting in the summer.
This particular sale was from 11a.m. to 1p.m. so people were hungry. We offered bagels and cream cheese but sold out right away so next time we’ll make sure we are better stocked in that area.
7.) If hosting the sale outside, make sure you set a rain date. Originally the plan was to have the egg hunt and bake sale the day before Easter but if it ended up raining that day we would have had to cancel the whole event. Better to give yourself a buffer.
8.) Get extra volunteers to help staff your booth. You can always use a few extra hands! We were so busy and I got distracted running around taking pictures of my youngest as she participated in the egg hunt.
9.) Check into matching funds. In the past, our MOPS group has applied for matching funds through Thrivent Financial for Lutherans but there are probably plenty of other organizations that do this as well. If you start early, you can research this option and greatly increase your profit. It’s worth some investigation!
10.) Have fun! If things don’t go that smoothly, that’s okay. The main thing is that people have a good time. For us, it’s a chance to meet up with old and new friends and raise money for a good cause.
We hope these tips help for your next bake sale. And by all means, let us know if you have any tips for running a successful sale. We love feedback! Hope you get a chance to get out there and enjoy Spring!