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Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Updated on February 6, 2013

Tips For Making Your Garage Sale A Success

A garage sale is a fun way to make extra cash and get rid of your unwanted goods at the same time. The success of your garage sale will depend on how organized you are. This lens will provide you with plenty of information to assure that your garage sale is a success. The garage sale tips listed here include pricing, atmosphere, collecting money, signs, drink stands and more.

Garage Sale 101

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Organize Your Garage Sale

Organize your event. Get other neighbors involved if you can. A "block" or "muli-family" garage sale will bring more customers than a single family garage sale.


The night before the garage sale, post signs on near by major streets and intersections. Be creative with your signs, like the one in the photo. These types of signs are likely to draw more attention, which could result in more customers. Don't post small signs. Post large signs that the average motorist can see. Make sure your letters are at least 6-8 inches tall.


Price all your items clearly. If possible, label everything so that people know what they cost. Some people will be too shy to ask how much things cost so it's better to accomodate these types of customers rather than losing a sale. If you dont have your items labeled then be sure to tell people that the items are priced to sell.

Collecting Money

Use a cash box for your money. When collecting money, try to put it all in one place as soon as you take it in rather than letting it accumulate in various people's pockets where it can easily be lost or forgotten. Using a cash box, such as the ones below, is always a good idea. A cash box that locks is better than one that doesn't lock.


Greet people friendly. Don't hover over people when they shop but be near by and ready to answer any questions they might have. Department stores play music for a reason...and so should you, expecially if you are trying to sell a radio. If you have radios for sale, plug them in and turn them on so that customers know that they are in working condition. Be sure to place a price tag on it too.

Displaying Items

Display your items neatly. Books that are organized are easier to browse than books all thrown in a box. Shoes that are neatly displayed are more likely to sell than shoes mixed all together in a box. Clothes that are hung on hangers are more likely to sell than clothes bunched together in a box...and so on.

It's always a good idea to set up a small drink stand, especially on hot days. This will generate extra income. You can sell sodas or lemonade. This is a fun thing for the kids to do too.

1. Display your items as close to the street as possible.

2. Have change available. Start your garage sale with about $40 of cash on hand (a ten dollar bill, couple of 5's, plenty of ones, and some change)

3. Use Craigslist to place a free ad.

4. If you are having a big sale, schedule it for 2 days instead of 1.

5. Keep an eye on your small items, especially jewelry, by placing it near your checkout stand.

6. Keep plenty of plastic and/or paper bags on hand.

7. Use a calculator for adding up items in multiple purchases.

8. If you prefer cash only then it's a good idea to hang a "Cash only - no checks!" sign.

9. On a hot day, set up a shade tent, or wear a hat and sunscreen.

10. Arrange electronic items near an outlet or have an extension cord on hand.

After the Garage Sale

If you don't plan to have another garage sale, contact the Goodwill or Salvation Army to arrange for them to pick up your items. You won't make any money doing this but you will be able to get rid of all your stuff and help out a charity at the same time.

Fake Garage Sale Prank

Garage Sale Tees and Bag from Zazzle

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Click on any bag to purchase from Zazzle.

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    • lucille12 profile image

      lucille12 2 years ago

      Every good idea needs a plan and for your garage organization system you need good garage organization ideas.

    • rootadesigns lm profile image

      rootadesigns lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for the tips!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I like the garage sale t-shirts so people know who to ask questions of and who to pay.

    • carlajo73 profile image

      carlajo73 6 years ago

      One of our favorite past times!! My husband and I love to go to garage sales!! Great lens!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great lens and tips on having a successful garage sale. LOL, that prank video was crazy! :)

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Really timely lens for us. We are cleaning out and getting prepared for a garage sale. These tips are much appreciated.

    • profile image

      bebops 7 years ago

      @littlewingdesign: This is such a thoroughly researched and well designed lens. It really should be published in a national magazine.

    • profile image

      littlewingdesign 7 years ago

      Great lens! You've given me all kinds of ideas- never even thought about designing yard sale bags.