How to Arrange Your Garage Sale

If you've ever visited a willy-nilly garage sale -- where the Batman action figures are arranged neatly next to the antique desk clock and the magazines with Elvis on the cover -- you know how overwhelming it can be to feel like you'll ever find anything worthwhile.  There is the excitement of a "treasure hunt," but after a few of those sales, you're ready to retire for the day.

Don't do this to your customers!  Set up your sale so that they can easily find what they're looking for -- while protecting your most valuable items and maximizing the sales of any "extras" you might be offering.

Arranging items at a garage saleClearly mark out the categories of your items.  Set aside a table or tarp for clothes, a set of boxes for books, a card table for kitchenware, a partitioned section for electronics, etc.  Make it clear what each category is by placing signs (with price information or not) on the table sections or boxes where the items are.  This lets your clientele make a beeline to what they are interested in, maximizing your chances of a sale.

Give your garage sale a clearly directed path.  Lead your customers around the entirety of your yard by setting up your tables and chairs in such a way that they seem to line out a determined path.  Hopefully, customers will stick to this path, especially if they see others doing it, and will traverse the whole of your garage sale, ensuring that they don't miss looking at any of your items.

Take height into consideration.  Having to bend over to browse through clothes is a turn-off.  On the other hand, putting children's items too high for the little ones to see (and subsequently desire!) is a big mistake.  When organizing your items, think about the general height of the people you want to see and purchase these items and set up your categories accordingly.

Draw attention to your "attractions."  Many garage salers set up stands to sell refreshments of some sort -- the classic, of course, being lemonade.  Whether you're selling your famous brownies or selling 25¢ tickets to a cat trick show, you'll want to draw your customers towards your attraction.  Put it either at the very front, where shoppers will see it first as they walk up, or at the very back, where they will see it as they pay and while their money is already out and available.

Keep your valuable items near you.  It's always a sorry day when someone stoops to pilfering from garage sales, but it does happen.  If you have any particularly valuable items that you're selling, organize your sale so you can keep an eye on your more precious things.  Collectibles, electronics, and quality housewares are examples of merchandise you might want to keep close at hand.

Once you've finished organizing, come list your garage sale at GarageSaleCow.com -- the Web's largest garage sale community site, with members joining every day.




Comments (12) -

Daniel Conrad
Daniel Conrad
2/21/2013 10:33:16 PM #

Organize your garage sale such that it's efficient and attractive at the same time. You want your costumers to have enough room to look around and not bump each other. You want them to be comfortable and just feel like they're at home. You want to promote an environment in which there's a free flowing energy around your garage sale.

Arthur Baird
Arthur Baird
2/21/2013 10:39:28 PM #

Have an organized garage sale with proper labels on the categories of your items. You could separate the clothes in good condition and put them in hangers while those decent ones could just be folded and placed in a large table where your costumers could reach over and explore each shirt. They could check it for the quality if there are some damages and how well it would fit them. You should provide a mirror or dressing room to change and fit their chosen item/s. You should also have someone checking the items they brought in and make sure they don't smuggle some clothes out of the garage sale without even paying.

Jack Clemons
Jack Clemons
2/21/2013 10:46:05 PM #

I couldn't agree more in keeping your valuable items near you. If you have expensive items for sale, you could have a separate display table or cabinet with locks to ensure the safety of your items. You can have a policy where, only one item at a time would only be allowed to be seen and examined by your costumers. You should also be careful because it's a great timing to steal items when there are a lot of people bothering and pretending to buy. Your attention would be divided between entertaining your costumers and keeping watch of your valuable items.

Victor Bright
Victor Bright
2/21/2013 10:58:38 PM #

Make sure that the items your selling are in presentable form your shirts. Don't display clothes which had seen better days and those that stink. Remember to wash all your clothes so your costumers would be enticed to buy them.

Jessie Albert
Jessie Albert
2/22/2013 12:34:52 AM #

Setting the physical set-up of your garage sale is a crucial part for the fate of your sale. It can either make or break the event, either people will love the set-up or they won't buy it at all. You can use your garage and transform it into a new area where costumers would visit to purchase keep and quality goods.

Mitch Rogers
Mitch Rogers
2/23/2013 12:50:11 AM #

Fold your shirts properly when displaying them on a table or a cabinet. Place signs that strongly encourage costumers to return the item on the same table and fold it again. Its a challenging job if you are the one entertaining the costumers at the same time, you're returning each item to its original place. You need to promote discipline on your guests to behave like it's their own home.

Connie Washington
Connie Washington
2/23/2013 1:04:24 AM #

Take height into consideration? When your hosting a garage sale for children, then arranging your items would have considerable changes compared to when your target population are adults. You need to have lower display tables, a safer environment for children to roam around freely and a fun atmosphere to keep the energy high. You want the children to see and handle things personally without them having to stand on a chair just to get an item. That is not safe for children so you need to keep the items within their reach. Your goal should be - the children should handle things safely and easily and enjoy the garage sale.

Shawn Wallace
Shawn Wallace
2/23/2013 1:16:19 AM #

The way you display and arrange the items is just as important as the items itself. It's how you market it to your costumers, if you don't provide a decent set-up, even if how valuable and functioning the item is, it will never be a hit. It will just stay with you until the garage sale is open and you realize you're back to where you started. You can surf the internet and visit blogs like this to pick-up tips that are useful in arranging your garage sale. A good rule is to follow the set-up of department stores and malls where you are very attached to buying because the items are very presentable and look classy. Lastly, ask another person to assess your set-up before starting to have another perspective to better your garage sale.

Patrick Sullivan
Patrick Sullivan
2/23/2013 1:27:43 AM #

Emphasize  the highlight items on your garage sale. Place it such that it's different from the whole garage sale like in a stage or some sorts to have that feel that these items are more valuable. Consider them as your main attraction or if its a boxing match, it's the main event.

Archie Garner
Archie Garner
2/23/2013 10:21:11 PM #

If you can have sections divided for your garage sale then that would be easier for your shoppers. They can directly find items because they know where to look for it and they wouldn't have to ask you "where are your ... located?" every now and then. Just like in department stores, they have big sign where the kids section are, the sports gallery and the shoe boutiques.  

Dennis Weeks
Dennis Weeks
2/23/2013 10:25:06 PM #

Arrange your sale such that the shoppers would flow freely around the area. There should be no choke points or narrow spaces, you need to have a wide area for people to gather around and find items at the same time. If you don't have the luxury of having a large space to work with, then find ways to maximize your available area. Instead of arranging your items crosswise in tables, maybe you can arrange them lengthwise in cabinets or stands.

Harold Giles
Harold Giles
2/23/2013 10:31:32 PM #

Fold shirts in a different manner to catch your shopper's attention, there are a lot of styles on how to fold and organize clothes. One, I saw this youtube video where it teaches you to fold shirts in just three moves. I was really amazed and I'v been trying some of the videos I saw.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An0mFZ3enhM

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