Community sales can begin in a neighborhood, a church, or a co-op -- even schools have been known to hold bargain sales as fundraising opportunities for a sports team or club. If you're considering organizing a community yard sale, take the following step to avoid hard feelings, chaos, and the potential of a botched event.
First off, it's vital that you write everything down. When you start assigning tasks, either take it upon yourself to keep track of who is supposed to do what, or find someone you trust to be your temporary assistant. If possible, have people sign off on their tasks; that way, if someone comes to you complaining that there aren't enough awnings to keep them cool, you can point to your notebook and remind the person in charge of that task. This also prevents you from going crazy with remembering each detail, and also from forgetting to complete an important task.
Make sure that everyone is okay with you taking charge before you go nuts with planning. A simple vote at a community meeting will do, or you can take the time to speak with each participating member individually. If others want to help organize, don't be a tyrant -- let them join in. While you've got the group's attention, decide on a weekend on which the most possible people will be able to participate. This can be decided, again, by group vote.
Unless everyone agrees to pool their items for ease of pricing and organizing, it's best to keep everything separate until the day of the sale. That way, no one's item gets sold at a much lower price than intended. Additionally, nothing can be misplaced, and everyone can formulate their own system of pricing and tagging that will be easily distinguished from the rest. (On that note, you should decide early on if you'll be combining yard sales or just holding them all at the same time.)
You must be absolutely positive that you have enough table space! This is the quickest way to an argument, especially if the space is being shared. Have some extra tables on hand to whip out just in case. If you run out of tables, use tarps.
Signs should be uniform, so it's wise to assign the task to an individual or a small group of people who can work together; otherwise, potential shoppers may become confused and think they're visiting three different yard sales.
Be sure to check local regulations about yard sales. Individual garage sales are easy to overlook, but if an entire community is having a sale, streets will inevitably be blocked and litter will inevitably make its way onto the street. Make sure your local government has no laws against holding a community sale in your neighborhood or area.
Finally, have someone log on to GarageSaleCow.com and post a listing for free. With a large community of like-minded shoppers and sale-hosts, GarageSaleCow.com provides a ton of great resources to help you put on a successful community sale.