Being a good garage sale host doesn't just mean you smile at every customer, offer plastic bags for carrying items away, and keeping your driveway clean. It means following good host etiquette, both the do's and the do not's. Host etiquette isn't written down somewhere as a lawbook -- it's pretty much common sense. But if you're worried you might cross a boundary somewhere, here are some very clear no-nos when it comes to host etiquette.
Too much touching can be misconstrued in any situation, and as a host, you have a big obligation to be very aware of how much you're touching people and where. A friendly handshake offer doesn't cross the line by any stretch of the imagination, but putting your hand on someone's shoulder from behind or touching their arm while you converse with them can be seen as offensive and aggressive. This is especially true if you are dealing with someone of the opposite sex; whether or not you are interested in them, your actions can be seen as flirting and can be taken wrong one way or the other -- whether they like it and pursue it, to your chagrin, or dislike it and accuse you of harassment!
Too much sharing of personal information, including stories, feelings, and current goings-on, can be very off-putting even in a social situation. Garage saling is certainly a type of social situation, but it doesn't call for sharing the type of information you'd spill to a close friend over coffee! Keep your personal life to yourself, and make mild small-talk about easy, surface topics if you must. Don't start going off about your last trip to the doctor's, your oldest sibling's drug addictions, or your dog's latest issues with her sensitive stomach. Unless someone has taken the step to become your friend, that is information best left unsaid.
Swearing and using offensive language in general is a huge no-no. Granted, it is your property, and you can do what you want; but there are lots of people in the world who are very sensitive about swearing or unsavory topics, and who will leave if it starts becoming rampant in any situation. If you have a garage sale with items that will draw parents and children, you may want to be especially careful with what you say around them.
Sneezing or coughing without properly covering your mouth is both offensive and risky to your customers. If you are suffering from a contagious ailment during garage sale weekend, you'll want to be especially careful to turn away and keep your hands clean if you do cough into them.
More garage sale tips await you at GarageSaleCow.com! Keep an eye out for our awesome new design, and as always, enjoy free advertising and locating of sales in your area.