Garage Sales Go Glam

Say hello to themed yard sales, upscale items and clever marketing.

Framed letters spelling "sale" at a roadside yard sale or flea market
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Pick a theme. Elizabeth Smith, a founding member of Les Dames d'Escoffier Miami, says focusing on culinary-themed items when promoting her yard sales helps draw crowds of people who are interested in food and beverages. "It's more marketable to curate items with a theme than a regular type of garage sale, that a lot of churches do in their side yard," she explains. The Rock and Roll Yard Sales in the Northeast attract music lovers, while Urban Girl Garage Sales are more fashion-focused.

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If your merchandise doesn't have a theme, consider mentioning unique items like midcentury furniture or vintage cookbooks in your marketing to make your yard sale stand out. Playing up the charity angle can also help if your yard sale benefits a cause.

Style your wares. Instead of tossing clothes in a box or pile, hang them like you would in a stylish boutique to give your event a more upscale vibe. "We hung clothes on the bricks, which created a very urban feel for the pop-up shop," says Zong Her, one of Urban Girl's organizers for Urban Girl. "Each seller did their own visual merchandising."