Setting Up a Garage Sale

garage sale tips square
A few weekends ago, I helped my mom with her garage sale.  We had both forgotten that having a garage sale is a giant pain in the tuckus. It doesn’t help when it’s beastly hot and then it rains in the middle of the sale.  Bleh.
While I don’t really the actual sale part of a garage sale, I kind of like the setting up part.  When we had a big sale before our last state-to-state move, I found a few tips to be helpful.
clothes table by size
If you have a table of clothes:
  • Fold and fan.  There is less chance of a shoppers making a huge mess of the table if they can at least see part of each item of clothing before picking it up.
  • Separate and label.  Group clothes (especially children’s clothes) by size and label the areas accordingly.
  • Make everything the same price.  It is SO much easier, and saves you the time of sticking on all the price stickers, if you make all the clothes the same price.
hanging clothes by gender and size
If you have access to a clothes rack:
  • Keep the genders separate.  Put men’s clothes on one side and women’s on the other.
  • Use the “endcaps.”  Hang nicer or more expensive items on the end of the rack where they are more visible.
  • Give 360 access.  Make sure there is room to walk all the way around the clothes rack.
display like items together
For miscellaneous items:
  • Think like department store.  Have an electronics department, a media department, a toys department, etc.
  • Create vignettes.  Set decorative items out in a pleasing way.  If you make items look like they go together, your buyer might take them BOTH home.
garage sale display
If you have appliances or larger electronics:
  • Cleanliness is next to godliness.  A quick wipe with a sanitizing wipe or a magic eraser can give new life to old appliances (which means money in your pocket).
  • Show that they work.  Either put a bright “I Work!” sticker on the item or have it plugged into an outlet so shoppers can see it’s functional.
  • Packaging.  If you kept the box the appliance came in, make sure the shoppers know.   It might be a selling point.
garage sale labels
A happy, little humidifier wearing “I Work!” and “Original Packaging Available” stickers.

bundle bedding sets by size

If you are selling bedding:
  • Bundle bedding sets.  Either save up those plastic zipper bags or tie beddings sets in cheap ribbon.  It’s neater and easier for shoppers to pick up and carry.
  • Separate by size.  I am useless when it comes to telling full-sized sheets from queen, so make life easier for your shoppers by labeling which bedding sets are what size.
  • Tell them what they get.  If you are selling bedding sets, use a larger label and write down what is included in the set: “Full-sized fitted and top sheets, one pillowcase.”
Yes, these steps take a little more preparation, but they make for a much neater and lower stress garage sale.  I actually had several customers at this sale come up and thank me for all the labeling and organizing I had done. 
Finally, my best garage sale tip?  PLAY MUSIC!  Get out your CD player or iPod and put on some family-friendly music (oldies always work).  The music will put you and your customers in better moods.  Plus, if you have any downtime, you can burn some calories doing the twist.
A few Mad in Crafts facebook fans shared their best garage sale tips:
garage sale tips
Please share your best garage sale tip in the comments!
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  1. says

    Ugh! My neighbors are holding a neighborhood garage sale next weekend. I should do it because they are taking care of everything, right down to the Salvation Army pick-up at the end for whatever doesn't sell. But the thought of getting all the stuff together is so daunting!

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