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Best Garage Sale Tips

Updated on August 29, 2017
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Garage Sale Tips to Make it Worth It!

Having a successful garage or yard sale is possible if you take a few steps to plan and organize beforehand and yes, you can make it worth it with our top tips.

Donating the things you no longer use is great and I recommend that too but, why not first try to make some money from your unused items. If you can make the time for a garage sale as I just did over the weekend, you just might be surprised at the success you can have. After we closed our restaurant, I spent every weekend holding garage sales to get rid of loads of restaurant supplies and equipment and made thousands of dollars that helped us pay our bills until we got new jobs. You probably have lots of things you no longer need or use too!

If you need money, want to get rid of things you no longer need or use, want to remove the clutter from your space or are just ready to downsize, consider these best garage sale tips I've used to make hundreds and even thousands of dollars at a weekend sale! Here you'll find the supplies you need, advertising methods and some of my own garage sale photos for your most successful garage sale!

I've held numerous yard and garage sales over the years, made mistakes along the way, corrected those mistakes using these top six tips for a successful garage sale and I think they will work for you too.

image courtesy of istockphoto.com

"If you need money, want to get rid of things you no longer need or use, want to remove the clutter from your space or are just ready to downsize, consider a garage sale"

What do you think!?

Is a Garage Sale Worth it?

Garage Sale Tip #1 - Get Organized

Turn Clutter into Cash if your storage areas are starting to look messy like this image courtesy of istockphoto.com!

Turn Clutter into Cash if your storage areas are starting to look messy like this image courtesy of istockphoto.com!
Turn Clutter into Cash if your storage areas are starting to look messy like this image courtesy of istockphoto.com!

Garage Sale Organization - The first step to a successful garage sale

Don't try to sell your junk that is dirty, broken or has missing pieces - recycle or try to reuse those type of items instead of selling them - it's a sure way to turn people off and getting a bad reputation for garage selling.

Best Garage Sale Tips: More Folding Tables - Use a couple tables for your garage sale and then repurpose them for banquet dinners or for basement storage items.

  • Take a box with you and go around each room of your house and decide what you want to sell at your garage sale. Find all your owners manuals or instruction guides to include with the items if you have them.
  • Fill the box with like items if possible for easy arranging later. For example, kitchen items, books and knick knacks are placed in three different boxes.
  • Don't forget to search the basement, attic and all drawers and cupboards - these are items you're probably not using and won't miss if you sell them.
  • Keep all your garage sale boxes in one area of your garage or basement ready for your sale.
  • Wash any linens or clothing you want to sell and store in a box neatly folded or on hangers.
  • Involve your family of your idea for the garage sale and either make a pile of items you want them to help you decide on selling or ask them to fill their own boxes of unwanted items. Selling your husband's favorite golf hat that he never wears will only cause grief for you both - I tried it once!
  • Ask your neighbors if they'd be interested in holding a garage sale with you. Sometimes, the more homes involved the better results you'll get. Don't let it stop you if your neighbors aren't interested though. Do it for yourself.

Garage Sale Tip #2 Prepare the Garage

Garage Sale Tip #2 - Preparing the Garage - I do this step a week in advance when I have many items I want to sell at a Garage Sale

  • Scroll down to see my own photos of preparing the garage:
  • Move your vehicle out of the garage and park somewhere else so you can get your garage ready for the sale.
  • Using a box as earlier, go through the items in your garage that you can sell and place in the new box such as tools, garden equipment, car care items, golf supplies or other sports equipment, off season clothing and anything else you've been storing in the garage.
  • Sweep your garage so it's nice and clean for your sale.
  • Use as many tables as possible to create space for all your garage sale items. Make a table from old plywood, milk cartons and a tablecloth if needed.
  • Cover any items not for sale in your garage or move them to the back out of the way.
  • Set your items on your tables so they're easy to see, organized together by usage, type of item, room used and make it as attractive as possible. Try to locate any owners manuals or usage guides for equipment to include with the items.
  • I love using the garage for the sale and extending it out into the driveway and yard. Just in case of rain or chilly weather, your items are more easily protected from the weather and customers will still come to a garage sale if it rains!

Best Garage Sale Tip #3 - Start Advertising

Ways to Advertise your Garage Sale

  • Place a Free ad for your garage sale on Craig's List - I use it all the time, people check it for garage sales and I just list my address and the date without my phone number or email address.
  • Post your garage sale on your facebook and twitter accounts to notify your local friends, ask them to help you spread the word.
  • Make your own fliers that include the date, time, location and any special items like collectibles, furniture, electronics that will draw people to your sale.
  • Post your fliers a week or at least a few days ahead of time on poles around your neighborhood, in laundromats, at your school, college or grocery store if allowed. Take your fliers around to your neighbors and to any groups you belong.
  • Consider placing an ad in your local pennysaver or other free print publication about your upcoming garage sale.
  • I've placed ads in our local newspaper with success and they cost less than $20 for a few lines, which to me is worth it and may be for you too.
  • Tell people about your garage sale during the week of your upcoming sale at your job, the bank, post office, stores, office and wherever you go. Keep some of your fliers handy to pass out if people sound interested or want directions to your home.

Garage Sale Signs help you get the word out

Tell your neighbors, coworkers and friends all about your upcoming yard sale and don't forget to post signs all around the area that you live. You'll be surprised at what a little bit of marketing your event will have on how many people will show up for the sale. All that work gathering your supplies and belongings will be worth it for sure!

HY-KO PROD Garage Sale Sign Kit (KIT-13)
HY-KO PROD Garage Sale Sign Kit (KIT-13)

These garage sale signs can be used over again if you use erasable markers!

 

Best Garage Sale Tip #4 - Research Pricing Items

Pricing Garage Sale Items

Take some time to learn how to research your items to have a successful garage sale

  • Garage sale pricing has to be better than the local mart stores and other large stores - if you know what the item would sell for new, your price must be much lower than that.
  • Do some research online to find out prices if you're not sure how much new is.
  • Consider what you would want to pay if you were the customer going to a garage sale, it's usually 1/3 at least of new and depends on the condition of your items.
  • Be prepared to negotiate your prices.
  • As you determine the price for your items, mark each one clearly using a sharpie and sticker label.
  • Consider adding one table that is full of 25 cent to $1 items - they're a huge draw for customers and often encourages people to look around more.

Best Garage Sale Tip #5 - Setting up your Garage Sale

Setting up the Garage Sale

  • Set up each table with similar items to make it the easiest for customers to find your stuff - toys and clothing for kids, kitchen accessories and tools, tools for the handyman, crafts and supplies, games, office supplies or back to school, sports equipment, holiday decorations, electronics and so forth.
  • The more items you can have available at your garage sale, the better. Once customers arrive, they often call their friends when they see something that might interest someone they know.
  • Use displays or lifts to showcase collectibles or other worthy items. A box placed under a tablecloth is an easy way to create a place for an item that lifts it up higher for easier visibility.
  • Bring some of your tables and items into your driveway so that people driving by will see that you have a large garage sale happening.
  • Offer one entire table that is 'Everything for 25cents', 50cents or a dollar. Everyone loves a bargain and you'll sell more items that you won't have to reload back into your house at the end of the day. Quarters and dollars add up for success in your pocket!
  • Hang clothing on a rack if you have one or fold them neatly by size or gender.
  • Create an area to collect money that is safe, secure and out of the way but, lets customers know where to pay.
  • Don't forget to offer bags for your customers to keep their items or to fill it up as they shop. Sometimes, it's a nice bonus idea to give each person a bag and offer a special price if they fill it up!

Best Garage Sale Tip #6

Make it Fun, offer Free cookies and lemonade, Play music if you can, Have change in small bills and coins ready, Smile, Be friendly and helpful

My Garage Sale Photos - I load my garage all the way to the end allowing just enough room to close the door as I prepare all that unwanted clutter ready for the

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Organizing garage sale items on tables inside the garageBeginning to set items for the garage sale in the driveway closer to the roadUsing the sides of the driveway allow customers room to walk and see more of what you have for saleInside the garage, I always have an area to work when there are no customers - that's my laptop so I can write or check emailUse tables and displays such as this bakers rack I used for jewelry, beauty items and smaller items
Organizing garage sale items on tables inside the garage
Organizing garage sale items on tables inside the garage
Beginning to set items for the garage sale in the driveway closer to the road
Beginning to set items for the garage sale in the driveway closer to the road
Using the sides of the driveway allow customers room to walk and see more of what you have for sale
Using the sides of the driveway allow customers room to walk and see more of what you have for sale
Inside the garage, I always have an area to work when there are no customers - that's my laptop so I can write or check email
Inside the garage, I always have an area to work when there are no customers - that's my laptop so I can write or check email
Use tables and displays such as this bakers rack I used for jewelry, beauty items and smaller items
Use tables and displays such as this bakers rack I used for jewelry, beauty items and smaller items

Display Your Garage Sale Items into the Driveway!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Use as much space in your driveway as possible to allow the drive-bys to check it out! Rearrange it until you like how it looks. I have two Kitchen Aid mixers so am selling one - don't think people don't want used good working kitchen or other equipmCreate displays and layers to encourage guests to get out of their car and have a look. You must have something they want with all that stuff!Give your big ticket items a place of their own like we did we this commercial cappuccino machine.
Use as much space in your driveway as possible to allow the drive-bys to check it out! Rearrange it until you like how it looks. I have two Kitchen Aid mixers so am selling one - don't think people don't want used good working kitchen or other equipm
Use as much space in your driveway as possible to allow the drive-bys to check it out! Rearrange it until you like how it looks. I have two Kitchen Aid mixers so am selling one - don't think people don't want used good working kitchen or other equipm
Create displays and layers to encourage guests to get out of their car and have a look. You must have something they want with all that stuff!
Create displays and layers to encourage guests to get out of their car and have a look. You must have something they want with all that stuff!
Give your big ticket items a place of their own like we did we this commercial cappuccino machine.
Give your big ticket items a place of their own like we did we this commercial cappuccino machine.

Best Books for Garage Sale Success - These are great reference books to help your garage/yard sales

Garage Sale Tips Summary

These are the best tips for all my garage and yard sales - no matter what you call them - household sale/rummage sale/driveway sale - they can help you to get rid of your old unwanted items for cash and remove the clutter from your home. A garage sale is a good way to make money from unwanted items and almost everyone can do it! In my case, I've been selling commercial restaurant equipment since we've sold our restaurant and added many household items to attract a larger crowd.

I also keep my garage set up to do garage sale weekends and repeat it the next weekend until all the essentials that I want to sell are gone. I do make sure to announce that I'll have new items each day so customers can come back and tell their friends!

Start gathering your items for sale soon, get the whole family involved and I hope you'll try these tips and let us know how they work for you.

Are you ready to have a Successful Garage Sale now? - Thanks for sharing your comments!

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    • profile image

      yardsailr 3 years ago

      Thank you for sharing these tips, We're going to share on our twitter page :)

    • vetochemicals profile image
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      Cindy 3 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      @nonya222: Best wishes for your own successful garage sale this Spring, let us know how it goes! xoxo

    • profile image

      nonya222 3 years ago

      Great ideas. Hope to use them this spring:>)

    • vetochemicals profile image
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      Cindy 5 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      @kristalulabelle: Thanks kristal, so glad you liked it!

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      This is a great resource, fantastic job!