19 Tips For A Successful Garage Sale


So you’ve decided to hold a garage sale! That's a great way to get rid of all the clutter you’ve accumulated over the years. There’s a lot more to a garage sale than meets the eye, what with the planning and the pricing and waiting for people to come....


Here are 19 Tips For A Successful Garage Sale (which will hopefully help you out this upcoming season):

  • Check Ebay for prices. Do a quick search on Ebay to see if you have anything worth selling online. Make sure you’re not underselling potentially valuable items!
  • Make sure you have enough boxes and tables. Always overestimate what you need and ask your friends and family to donate some boxes or bring them home from work for you to use. It’s better to have too many than not enough – you can always donate the boxes you aren’t using to someone on Craigslist who is looking to move soon after your sale is over.
  • Have some snacks handy. This really helps when you’re just sitting around and can’t do much. Nuts, granola bars, cheese, crackers… anything small is great. Also keep some drinks and coffee.
  • Put big and popular items up front. Putting the big items right out front like that attracts those passing by and makes them more likely to stop to see what else you have.
  • Keep track of your earnings. Keep a clipboard with paper and a pen, and just write down the dollar amount sold for each transaction.
  • Don’t give in to re-sellers. If you don’t want to sell something for a super-low price, it’s okay to say no!
  • Have a backup plan for weather. There’s no way to tell whether you’ve accidentally scheduled your garage sale for a rainy weekend, so make sure you have a backup plan. Move everything into the garage, or set up a canopy outside to keep the rain off.
  • Keep your children entertained. In any way possible.
  • Price everything 2-3 days beforehand. Don’t wait until the day of, when you suddenly realize you’re in over your head with all the stuff you’re selling. You don’t have to price everything individually; put all books in a box and label the box with one price, or bundle some clothes together and put one price tag on it.
  • Get lots of change. Make sure you have plenty of 1’s, 5’s, and quarters. That’s mostly what you’ll be handing out as change, and be prepared to go back to the bank the next day to get more.
  • Check for community sale dates and (possible) town permit requirements. Some neighborhoods have community-wide garage sales every year, where anyone can have a garage sale that weekend without a permit. More people will be out searching for the sales!
  • Map out how to stage everything beforehand. If you have a good idea of how much stuff you have, try to draw out where you think everything will go. For example, put all kitchen items on one table, CDs and movies on one table, etc. This way, you’ll better know if you have enough tables for your items.
  • Advertise a few days beforehand.. on both Facebook and Craigslist! To get even more people to come in, advertise some of your big-ticket items.
  • Have a multi-family garage sale. If you don’t think you have enough stuff to sell, get your family and neighborhood together and have a massive garage sale. Bigger sales tend to do better and attract more people. To keep things in order and separated at one home, try putting different-colored price tags on everyone’s items so you know who will get paid for what.
  • Keep smaller expensive items in back. Video games, CDs, movies, jewelry… anything that’s worth a bit more money, make sure to keep them on one of the back tables close to where you’re sitting.
  • Save paper and plastic bags. In the few weeks prior to your sale, gather up as many as you can so you have them on hand
  • Neatly organize and label everything. If nothing’s in order, it’s going to be a lot harder for people to see what you have and may just give up. Arrange clothes in piles according to size, along with a sign stating the size and price. Label any boxes with the contents and prices as well. For everything else, use price tag stickers, which can be found at the dollar store.
  • Include photos in advertising. If you advertise online, make sure you add clear pictures, especially for the big-ticket items you’re advertising.
  • Price fairly. It’s a garage sale, so items need to be affordable. There has to be a balance between pricing so high that no one will buy, or pricing so low that you cheat yourself out of money.


Here is a handy list to help you with pricing your items:



Wishing you lots of luck!!