What is Le Garage Sale?
Le Garage Sale is a semi-annual 2-day sale event that supports local independent retailers, designers & brands by providing the sale experience that “outlets” or “warehouse sales” do for corporate chain stores. Retailers & designers love it because their surplus inventory is recycled into cash and they have exposure to hundreds of new customers. Shoppers love it because they find unbelievable bargains at many of their favorite Austin stores and discover new retailers/designers/brands.
Who participates in Le Garage Sale as a vendor?
Le Garage Sale is designed specifically for local independent boutiques that are not a part of a national chain. We also love to support local designers/brands and online “boutiques” with a community presence. Our focus is on presenting a diverse compilation of goods…. for all ages, genders and tastes! In our vendor admission process, we take into consideration an appropriate mix of vendors from each category. We are not just trying to fill our hall; we are curating a great selection for our shoppers.
Why should my business participate in Le Garage Boutique Sale?
When is the last time you had thousands of shoppers in your store—over 2 days--just to shop your sale racks? Not only will you clear out your excess inventory, but you will also gain exposure to more new customers than any advertising can bring to you for $350.00. Take a look at our testimonials OR let us put you in touch with other retailers who participate in the event so that you can find out if Le Garage Boutique Sale would be a good fit for you and your business.
What are the requirements to be a Le Garage Sale vendor?
- Vendor should be a local, independent retailer or designer.
- Vendor must have a Texas State Sales Tax Permit & COI/Certificate of Insurance
- New Vendors: previous participants will be given first opportunity to reserve booth space before new vendors will be considered.
How do I register?
1. Complete online application (avail @ www.legaragesale.net, under the “exhibitor” tab).
2. PAYMENT: Booth is NOT reserved without payment in FULL.
If paying by CREDIT CARD, we will send online payment invoice (fees apply). Payment due w/in 7 days of receipt of invoice.
If paying by CHECK*, please mail check w/ copy of app to: Le Garage Sale, PO Box 163961, Austin, TX 78716
Booth is NOT reserved without payment in FULL.
3. If your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation by email, prior to the event.
Once you have been confirmed for an event, there are no refunds. If you have not received a confirmation within two weeks of the event, please contact us.
How much is the booth fee?
We keep our booth fees as low as possible, so the event will be profitable for our participating vendors.
- 1 - 10 x 10 booth = $350 each
Who pays for the venue rental?
We do (Le Garage Boutique Sale).
Who pays for the advertising?
We do (Le Garage Boutique Sale).
What percentage of the sales do the stores keep?
100% We do not take any profits from the stores. Stores pay a flat fee to participate in the event and keep ALL of the profits from their sales.
Why is there an admission fee for the customers?
To pay for venue rental, venue fees, advertising/marketing, security, insurance, website, permits, staff for move in/out, D.J., etc.
Where is the event held?
Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX (www.palmereventscenter.com)
How often does Le Garage Sale occur?
Le Garage Boutique Sale is held 2 times each year, at the end of each selling season: Jan./Feb. and again in Aug./Sept. Specific date is selected based on venue availability.
How does Le Garage Sale publicize the event?
Paid advertising: Austin Monthly (print & online), Tribeza (print & online), Culture Map, Austin Tidbits, Austin Woman, The Scout Guide, When Where What Austin, Do512, 365 Things, etc.
Social Media: thru our website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, online contests, email blasts to our growing email list of 10,000+ shoppers.
Press Release: sent to all local newspapers, magazines, TV/radio stations, bloggers, event listings.
Posters: Event posters will be distributed to participating stores and other local businesses.
In addition, we rely heavily on the vendors to contact their loyal customers. We will provide an emailer and artwork for you to use when marketing to your shoppers prior to the event.
What should vendors do to promote the event?
It is very important that you contact your loyal customers. We will provide an emailer/flier and artwork for you to use when communicating with your shoppers/friends prior to the event. Print the flier and post in your dressing rooms, at your cash wrap, on your door. Your customers/friends appreciate being invited to your “warehouse sale”! You should also include event details on your website, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, in your advertising, newsletters, etc. We can provide addt’l logos/images if needed. Remember, VIRAL MARKETING IS KEY! Over 80% of our shoppers find out about the event from a participating store, our email list or from a friend.
Who works the store’s booth?
Store owner, employees or friends.
Will tables/chairs be available for the booths?
Tables (8’=$16) and chairs ($3) can be reserved on your application form. You may also bring your own tables, chairs, etc.
Does Le Garage provide rolling racks?
No, vendors provide their own rolling racks, if needed.
How will the booths be separated?
Prior to move in, booth spaces will be taped off on the floor. Vendors use tables/rolling racks around the perimeter of their space to create a “booth”. We do not use a pipe/drape system.
Is there a central cash wrap or does each store handle it’s own sales?
Each booth handles it’s own sales, cash, etc.
Is internet service available in the event hall?
Yes, the building has free wireless internet, but the service is not “guaranteed”. (We have not had any problems with the internet service in the past.)
Do customers pay with cash or credit cards?
We advertise that some vendors may be “cash only”, but most opt to accept credit cards. Many vendors use credit card “readers” (ie: Square or Paypal) --with an Ipad or smart phone.
If you choose to accept credit cards, you may want to post a sign in your booth stating “Credit Cards Accepted”. Also note, an ATM (w/ bank fees) will be available inside/outside the event hall.
What discount amount is expected?
Your discount plan is entirely up to you, but shoppers are expecting bargains! Vendors use a variety of discount systems. Some use a blanket discount percentage (ie: all items 50% off orig. tkt price) or price by group (all s/s tops $10). Others use the “dot system” (red dot= 25 % off, green dot=40% off, etc.).
What about Sales Tax?
Texas State Sales Tax must be collected by all vendors and reported to the Comptroller’s office.
How much $ should exhibitors expect to make?
We do not know how well each vendor does as they do their own accounting---and simply pay Le Garage to provide the space and the people. Your return will be dependent on your inventory, your pricing, how shop-able your space is, etc.
What is the set up procedure?
Move in/Set up is the day prior to the sale (Friday). Vendors will be allowed to drive in to the building to unload at pre-determined times (30-45 min. intervals). Your specific time will be based on your booth location within the hall. You will be notified of your drive in time the week before the sale, after the Fire Marshall has approved our final floor plan. After you unload your merchandise/fixtures into your space, please remove your car from the building ASAP, so the next group of vendors can be allowed into the building to unload their mdse. After you move/park your vehicle, you can return to your booth to complete the set up. General/hand cart set up is available 3-5 p.m. Most stores take about 2-3 hours to complete set-up (if they come prepared, with merchandise marked and organized). The hall will be closed for the day at 5 p.m.
How about the move out?
Move out will be at the end of the sale on Sun. (after 5 p.m.)—and this goes very quickly! Most vendors choose to roll out/hand carry rather than drive in the building to load up. Vehicles will be allowed in the building when there is a clear path. Note: as per your contract, vendors MUST remain set up and open for business for the entire duration of the event---no packing/loading before 5 p.m./Sunday.
Is there a dressing room?
No central dressing room is available to avoid the removal of unpaid mdse. from your booth. Some vendors may opt to bring a “pop up dressing room” (avail. online in a variety of styles, prices $35 and up). Others “invent” a small changing area within their booth (using folding screens, drapes, shower curtains, plastic pipe/drape, etc). If you plan to have a dressing room, make sure you order enough booth space to accommodate.
How many 10 x 10 booth spaces will I need?
A good rule of thumb is 3 rolling racks (or 2-3 tables) fill one 10 x10 booth space. Most vendors find that they need at least two booth spaces for the best presence & visibility.
Remember, 2 booths is 10 x 20, not 20 x 20 (that is 4 booths).
Can I share my space with another vendor?
If you would like to share a booth, both parties must be listed as vendors on the app/contract and both must sign the app/contract. No “subletting” is allowed.
Can I decorate my booth?
ABSOLUTELY-- we encourage it! You will be provided just the space and any other items you may have rented (tables/chairs), so it is up to you to give your booth flavor. Remember that this is a warehouse sale--so your space does not have to look perfect. Just make it “shop-able” & inviting.... with good traffic circulation, room on the racks for people to flip thru, organized by size/style, quick & friendly check out help. Peruse our “event photos” for ideas.
Can I bring signage?
YES, you will definitely want to bring signage to identify your booth. Palmer will not allow us to hang anything on the walls, so you will need to plan your signage accordingly. Retractable stand-up banners are a good option----great visibility and easy to use. You can also hang a horizontal banner along the front of a table---or sign w/ easel works too.
How are booths assigned?
Previous participants and those with seniority are given priority with booth requests. If you have booth requests (ie: on a wall, near the snack bar, near another specific vendor), please note this on your application in the space labeled “Booth Requests”. You will be assigned a booth as close to your choice as possible.
What are the event hours?
- Saturday: 10 a.m.* - 6 p.m.
- *VIP Pre-Shop: Sat. 10 a.m.- 11 a.m.
- Sunday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Please be in your booth, ready to go, 15 min. before the doors open each day. Le Garage staff will be at the hall 1 hour before the doors open each day. You may arrive any time in that hour---just make sure you’re in your booth and ready to go when we open the doors to the shoppers (Allow plenty of time for parking. If there are other events at Palmer, the parking can take awhile. ) As per the contract, vendors must remain set up and open for business for the entire duration of the event.
Can I re-stock or finish merchandising the morning of the sale?
Le Garage staff will be on-site one hour prior to allow access by vendors for re-stocking, etc.
Will my merchandise be secure overnight?
All entrances to the hall will be locked at the end of each day and monitored by 24 hour on site security & security cameras. Some vendors also choose to cover racks/tables with sheets, etc. and/or remove higher priced items from their booth. Le Garage Sale is not responsible or liable for the loss of or damage to vendor’s property from theft, mysterious disappearances or damages by fire, water, accident or any other cause.
What do I do with my unwanted merchandise after the event?
We coordinate with various Austin charities to pick up any unwanted mdse. after the event. As you pack up to move out on Sun., set aside any unwanted mdse. We will have a donation collection area near the back of the hall. The charity will provide donation receipts for tax purposes.
Will my staff be required to purchase a ticket to enter the hall, if they will be working my booth?
Employee wristbands will be in the Vendor packet you rec’v when you check in for set up/move in on Friday. You will be given wristbands for the # of employees listed on your application---up to 2 wristbands per day-- for each space reserved.
Where will my staff park during the sale?
There MAY be some free spaces available in the service yard---but these spots are VERY limited---and first come, first serve----availability of service yard parking is NOT guaranteed. When the service yard is full, you/your employees may park in the Palmer Parking garage (Palmer/City of Austin fees apply $8-10) or other free lots/spaces in the surrounding neighborhood. Car pool or ride share (Uber, Lyft) are good options, as well.
Link to Palmer parking info: http://www.palmereventscenter.com/directions/parking_2.htm
Will food/beverages be available in the event hall?
Yes. On sale days (not during move in), Palmer will have a coffee/snack bar that will be open 30 min. before the “doors open” to the shoppers. They offer coffee, salads, sandwiches, snacks. There will also be a full bar. Palmer/City of Austin does not allow outside food/drink.
*Note: concessions will NOT be available on Fri. during move in/set up, so you will want to bring water/food/snacks.
Do you offer refunds if I am unable to participate?
Once you have been confirmed for an event, there are no refunds. Also note, no subletting is allowed.
What do I need to bring? (just suggestions!)
- tons of sale merchandise!
- tables, rolling racks, chairs (or you may reserve tables/chairs on your registration form)
- store sign/banner*/easel (*retractable pop up banners work great)
- masking/duct tape
- markers, pens, clips, scissors
- markdown/discount % signs
- $ drawer, cash register, lockbox
- credit card reader (ie: Square* or Paypal) if you want to accept credit cards
- money pouch/pocket apron (from hardware store) for quick change
- plenty of cash for “change”. (remember most banks will be closed on the weekend)
- receipt books (marked “Final Sale”)
- bags (No need to use your good ones! Grab generic bags at Ofc Depot or Costco)
- hanger racks/bins
- curtain/screen or "pop up" dressing room, if desired (can order online, search “pop up” or “portable dressing room”—$30-$50)
- extension cord/multi plug outlet, phone charger, laptop cord (if you purchase elec.)
- coupon for regular price purchase in store?
- business card/flier with store location info. for new customers?
- sign stating “credit cards accepted”?
- email list sign up sheet?
- giveaway (if you offered something for our email sign up/give away)
- YOUR STORE SHOPPING BAG w/TISSUE FOR DISPLAY AT ENTRANCE TO EVENT