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Garage Sale Tip #3

May 7th, 2010 at 08:15 am

There is no completely wrong way or right way to have a garage sale, however certain things just lend to a better sale! These tips are just based on my experience and I'm thrilled that you have been adding your suggestions along with me.

Garage Sale Tip #3: Setting the Stage

First a clean garage is very important. Of course, it is not possible in most cases to empty the garage completely. However, most things can be moved to one side, the back or a corner. I like to then cover those things up, so they can't be seen. I don't want to explain 50 times that my lawn mower is not for sale! I have used a tarp hung from nails to cover our things up. You could use duct tape if you didn't want to put nails in the wall or ceiling. If you don't have a tarp, consider a sheet, blanket, shower curtain, table cloth or painting drop cloth as alternatives.

Sweep your garage floor to eliminate much of the debris that tends to accumlate. If a clothing item is dropped on the ground it will get less dirty. Dirty clothing is hard to sell!

Set up tables. Personally, I avoid garage sales that are primarily boxes lining the driveway because I don't want to dig through boxes. I like to browse tables! Borrow tables from neighbors or relatives. You can make a table from a pieces of plywood and sawhorses. Maybe you don't have sawhorses, but can find something else that would prop up a piece of wood nicely. If you want to get fancy, cover the tables with plastic table clothes. We usually skip this, but it does make a sale a bit upscale.

Group like items with like items. It is easier for the buyer to look at things when they are grouped together. It's hard to find clothes for your child, if they are set up with toys and books. Seperate clothing by type, size, and gender. It is okay to use boxes or plastic bins to help group like things together. If they are small enough they can be put on the tables, otherwise it is okay to put them out on the driveway or under a table.

My neigbor's husband made a clothing rack primarily out of 2x4's and a clothing rod. It's a bit unstable, but it works great to hang the adult clothing. We have hung clothes from the garage door rails. This helps buyers see the really nice items you have. I've noticed that putting the items up sells them better, we just keep restocking those hanging items! You could buy a clothing rack, or use a tension rod somewhere in your garage. I think we have even hung clothes from a tall step ladder! Think outside the box and look for places to hang the clothes.


Remember to set up a table for where you will accept payments. We prefer to have ours near the front of the garage where we are in the shade, but can see everything happening during the sale. You'll need a calculator, notebook, pens, tape, sissors, safety pins, additional price stickers, dust clothes and plenty of grocery bags. Put the items you will use the most on the table in a container, the remainder in a box or basket nearby. A small garbage can is very handy, too.

I like to use the slow times to reorganize the merchandise too. Things get moved around while buyers are looking and contemplating their purchase. They often just lay things back down anywhere. I put like items back together and fold clothing.

Don't forget safety! You want wide aisles for people to browse without tripping. If you don't have room in the garage, you will have to move those things to the driveway or yard.

What other tips do you have regarding setting the garage sale stage?

1 Responses to “Garage Sale Tip #3”

  1. yisave Says:

    I agree with you about hanging the clothes on a rod. A lot of people were looking through the clothes. I also made sure the clothes were cleaned and a little pressed. I came up with an idea of writing the clothes size down on a tape and sticking it to the clothes so that the person could see instantly the size.

    I like your tips.

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