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Yard/Garage/Tag Sale

Updated on March 30, 2017
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I was previously a writer on Squidoo 2008- folded. I write about entertainment, crafts, writing, beauty and anything else that inspires me

Sale Season

I'ts now spring and that means that it's any form of Sale season (you have around your house (Garage Sale, Yard, Sidewalk, and for those that rent... Tag sale)

I will cover as much as I can on this page, with maybe some help from a couple of outside sources.

Some of what I will cover here will be:

  • When to have your sale (Ideal days & times)
  • Must have supplies
  • Organizing Tips
  • Pricing your items
  • how to price those handmade items YOU made (even those that others give you to sell)
  • What to sell
  • Presentation
  • set up
  • Marketing
  • item suggestions to help you with your sale!

What to sell at your sale

  1. Clothes -these go pretty fast
  2. Toys
  3. accessories
  4. tools - These People show up early
  5. jewelry
  6. handmade items- don't sell yourself short. Check out the 'equation card' or download the craft calculator from Amazon
  7. books
  8. music- (Vinyl & Tapes are making a comeback
  9. movies- Do you have a hidden gem esp. of VHS casettes?
  10. video games- I'm looking for some PS & PS 2 & Sega Saturn ones oh & Nintendo DS
  11. High end items like vases, candelabras, computer equipment, Furniture, Bikes, electronics,exercise equipment

Rain or shine you will do fine!

Quictent 10' X 20' Party Wedding Tent Gazebo Canopy with 6 Removable Side Walls
Quictent 10' X 20' Party Wedding Tent Gazebo Canopy with 6 Removable Side Walls

If you want to have the sale even if it rains, then a canopy is a good idea.

I know people who have used a canopy instead of making a rain date. They had more foot traffic during the nice weather than open set-ups at the flea market did, and when it rained that day... where do you think everyone went to take cover which turned into shopping?

This one is a great price for how long it is (you might be able to have at l;east 3 long tables on each side if not more. .

If you can set it up where the opening is close to your gate... that would be good. Also If the sun is out full blast, remove the sides (or just one) side so passersby can see and you can save yourself from getting burned. If you have a house or even if not, one of these is a really good thing to have on hand. Family picnics, reunions, or just use as a food tent, craft fairs, flea markets it can be used for anything, maybe even a temporary shed. Also I saw the price of some of the smaller ones, some of which cost more!


When should I hold it?

  • The best months to have a 'Garage' sale outdoors is from May - September
  • Best Days Most people Hold them Saturday & Sundays (Some I've seen on Fridays)

You need to give yourself at least 2 hours to set up! (Unless you have a few people helping you)

start Times have your start time as 9 or 10 am (which will give you about 2 hours to set up depending on the amount you have)

Closing Times from 3 to 5 pm is best.

Mine I started at I think 8 am (when our start time was supposed to be 9) and went until 3pm (You need to remember the clean up time.)

be sure to have a rain date or 2, (this could be the next weekend) you could also have alternate plans for rain.

Here's an article I came across that can help

best time to have yard sale

& Don't forget to check out their other Pages

Must have SALE Supplies

Grocery bags for sales of a few items

boxes for bigger items or fragile ones

Packing- for fragile items with so it doesn't move around.

Blank or pre-Priced tags

small tags on string for the jewelry

Pen and marker

pieces of cardboard or card stock

*Balloons (optional)

Save money with this supply kit

Yard Sale Sign Kit with Pricing Stickers and Change Apron (A504Y)
Yard Sale Sign Kit with Pricing Stickers and Change Apron (A504Y)

This is a good quick way to get all that you need at one time, no paying a ton of money in gas prices running around to find the supplies. This even includes a money apron so you don't have to go figuring out what to use, or buying something just for this. Consider what the cost would be of purchasing supplies separately for signs, as well as the time making them plus, price labels, wood to stake the signs in the ground (if you go that route) and should you choose to use some balloons on the day to mark your yard and street. This kit ends up being a bargain.

This kit not only is a money saver but also I believe has a sheet of tips and tricks (but when I bought mine a few years ago, the tips didn't come with it or the apron)

There are enough of signs to put up around the neighborhood, especially if you follow my suggestions of where to put them (if you have these places close by to you)

There's also a kit with signs for Garage sale as well as one with Tag Sale


Advertise: Making a sign

Not sure of the cost but You could always get a quote for how much a few reusable signs would be and make an investment for a few uses (instead of having to find cardboard, or spending money on paper and ink or copies.) these can be for the main road that leads to your street especially if its one of those community areas that;s hard to find. If not:

  • Make signs at least the size of standard printer paper (when you write out the information be sure that you have it length wise. You can space and fit more information this way. Include 'TAG SALE' in big letters at the top. Your address, The date(s) and times and if there's room maybe some of what you are selling. Or the clothing sizes

Sign must be CLEARLY LEGIBLE from 7 Yards away!

  • Another idea would be including a list of the prices (Instead of separate price stickers) this way your customers can't pull it off. For example this time I'm going to try for $3 pants with NEW being $5 If you want You could even try to make fliers for when customers arrive or include the price list on a business card. Make a few of them and place them on your tables (include one for the table or area you are sitting at)
  • set up something nice on a print or paint shop program and Print them out yourself or print one and make copies at staples or from Vista print, Moo or one of those sort of sites. (check on prices) If you cannot hang signs on poles ask restaurants and stores if you can on their door or even make business cards or post cards to hand out!
  • Cardboard Be sure to use a new Permanent marker (maybe one red and one black)

Where to hang the signs

Hang Signs at busy walk ways near churches, Community centers, bus stops, restaurants/stores, corner telephone poles (if it's aloud). Sometimes Restaurants or stores MIGHT let you put your sign in their window, ask someone especially if you have frequented their business for years! (Like my pharmacist, has known me since I was a baby.

You can invest in a few BRIGHT colored signs at a Dollar store. (I've found some of these at a dollar tree) These are best for directions (especially as it has a line and you just have to put the arrow pointing the right way. You can even reuse them for the next time. So far I have 2 but I was planning on a 3rd... 1 for the main street to show where to go, one for the fork at the road, and the last for the house. (though I just thought one or 2 more might be good for the top of the hill and one other area.

Other ad Opportunities

Post an ad for your sale on your Facebook page as well as twitter, and any physical local community boards as well as your town's community social boards

See if there are any facebook 'tag sale' groups in your area, these are normally sold on but you could always announce that you are having a real one, and include your ad there.

Maybe you can include an ad in the neighborhood church and school's paper, as well as in your local paper, and I remember my cable provider had a station they included these on for free. If you have to pay for the ad ( One paid ad might be good though but as I said no more than $5)

Neighborhood/Block & Multi-family sales

these increase traffic.

Maybe you can organize a block sale, if people see that more than one house, especially in an out of the way area is having a sale then you will get more foot traffic.

If this is an idea you'd like to do, once you know the definite day(s) you will have your sale, why not write up a few notes for your neighbors those you know and maybe even those you don't (maybe you've just ran into them a time or two) but announce that You are letting them know you are planning a tag sale on whatever date, so that if they have anything to get rid of they can join in. (or if only have a few items... You would be willing to do so for them)

You can also send a note that you are planning to have a tag sale and would like to know if they would be interested and what days would be best for them. Sort of like a save the date but you are trying to find out what date to have it.

If you do something like this... be sure to let them know maybe a month or 2 ahead of the date. Say you plan on a July date (say the 7th) then then you would make this announcement no later than the 2nd week of may. This will give them time to see if they can participate as well as get some items together.

If you are able to get others on your street/neighborhood to participate ask them to let you know so that when you make the signs you can include Neighborhood tag SALE (or something of that sort) on the sign as well as any other form of advertisements you do (like facebook, facebook sale groups), twitter, and so on.

Presentation counts...How to set up

#1 Be sure all items are clean and dust free.(and no musty smell)

#2 It is best to set up your sale like a store. Easy to find items, means more sales


Larger items should be outside near sidewalk/street to bring in customers. Clothes and tools, Bikes and furniture even a few art samples are best.

If you include a list of items in your ad or on your signs, those should be placed farthest from entry so they have to pass the other items. (need to bait them, You can include a sampling of a few of the mentioned items in sight of the street to show you have them)

  • Clothes are best on Racks as well as a table depending on the type.

On the Rack - Formal wear,Dresses, skirts, Blouses, Suits, Dress Pants, any easily wrinkled fabrics, Blazers, jackets/coats and sweaters but they are a bit of a toss up. If they are the button down I would say definitely on the rack, but if it's a pull over then its a toss up..if there's room on the rack, put them there, if they will fold and stay easily then on the table (or you can split them)

Table Tops- casual clothes (T's Tanks, shorts & jeans) on a table (Go fastest) Jeans are a toss up as they can be easily hung up as well....

tape outfits/sets of clothes together (masking tape is fine for this) or hang them

If you have more than one rack to use, I would advise including ALL new clothes on a 2nd one with a "NEW" sign taped easily to see from the street.

  • Tables- Any high end items art, vases etc. set up where they are easily seen from the street, but close (or even a book case with this sort on it)
  • Boxes & Bins- Toys in a box, boards games on a table. Be sure Board games have ALL pieces and if not it needs to be noted (maybe you can sell the parts a person needs?)
  • Book cases & Shelves- Books, & DVD/Blu-rays, CD's knick knacks as well.

a Book case is best. use a shelf for each If any form of shelving is not available then set them up in boxes/bins with the spine pointing up to easily read the title. They can even be easily placed in Shoe boxes on a table~ but be sure to put all CD's in one all DVDs in another Blu-rays etc.

Books on layer in a box or bin with spine up to see title.

although it's for a Craft show, this page might help as well

Must be nice to have a big yard and long drive way!

YES... There's an App for that Too!!!!

Garage Sale Checkout
Garage Sale Checkout

I was looking for an app or something to make tag sales easier especially when it's a multi-family sale or you are selling for other people.

The Garage sale check out is a great way to organize the money. If you have more than one person just assign one person (for the whole sale, and maybe a sub for bathroom breaks) The Garage Sale calculator will keep track of how much the overall sale made as well as each person. Not to mention streamlines any confusion that may happen when holding a multi person sale, nor people telling you they paid the other person. Those that are not working as the cashier, can haggle with the customers as well as bag Items..

Just input the names of each person and then click their name and whatever the price of the item is.

If the customer has a few items from different sellers, you click seller name and the price etc. click the next sellers name and price and so on.

If however the customer has only found items from one of you, and you can quickly calculate the price yourself then just input the total amount so it will be counted in their end of day report.

(This may also be good for Consignment shops or at least those just starting out.)"


Assign 'jobs'

Sort out Jobs for yourselves.

  • I suggest assigning one person (if there are more than one) to be the 'cashier'. (Not only did my sale have a few people say they paid someone else, but the person in the video below had the same problem.
  • Download the 'Garage Sale Checkout' app on your Smartphone or tablet (I know its available for Kindle) With this app you can include up to 10 names and at the end of the day you see how much the sale made overall, as well as how much each person made from their items so you can give the proper amount of cash to all.
  • Show one person how to use the app for when you need a bathroom break. This way in case you are a little longer than you expect, you won't lose the sale and it will be recorded.
  • Watch the video below on how to use said app

If there will be others beside yourself to help, those that are NOT the 'cashier' can help pack fragile items in newspaper or whatever packaging you have for that, and bag items of course besides to haggle with customers of their items. This leaves you free to negotiate with your customers as well as focus on taking care of the money.

How to use the Garage Sale Check out app

Organize your Set Up

Organizing & what items to put on there

There's is nothing worse than a tag sale that has no organization, it looks like a junk yard especially when you don't use shelving, bookcases etc. And usually turns people off, especially those that just glance instead of actually looking (my dad is like this)

1. Put a couple Draw in items (those that pull customers in) within site of the street but where you can see as well. These are things like Bikes, Power Tools, formal dresses, workout gear and others. As well as High End items (that you may be selling for more like antiques, art. You can even put maybe a sample of each to show and then have them further in or in the middle area to lure the customers in to see other items.

Make most or all of what you have within sight of the street so passers by can see that you don't have junk.

2.Use tables! First off, no one really wants to bend over to look through something. Someone had a box of purses, bags and in which had a load of reusable shopping bags from all the same place. I did find one thing and that was only because of its colors.

your 'show' items should be on here this way they are in the line of sight,(if you feel better having some on a table in front to be your draw-in then fine. But as said this has to be at least a nice painting, some antiques, clocks, electronics etc. Just one or 2 of each type of item.

The following are 'show tables' Electronics, Clothes, Tool (sort them through out your sale. have one (say electronics or clothes in the front have another midway and the other farthest in.

If you do not have a big enough rack to hang all the clothes (or enough hangers) use a table for your folded T-shirts & Pants. The Clothes table should be set closest to the street, organize them by who's they are and by size (say men's clothes the girls and baby) then set them up by size. No tag included... it's important to try and note it in someway. Another good idea especially with baby or children's clothes.. bundle it together with all the same size/sex and include your price. say 5 outfits for $10 or all shirts (5? say) for $5. If all you have is clothes... set the tables by 'age/sex then 'size'

a table for infant/baby/toddler 0-12 months child/teen men's and women's

Jewelry- preferably in a jewelry box of some sort so you can see the items easier, There's also those jewelry hangers as well!! You can also use a table with small jewelry boxes, Ziploc bags, or those little draw string sachets. (Frankly if you do not have a jewelry box or the hanger... a nicer presentation is those sachets or the jewelry boxes.

handmade items-Include a business card of yours (or whoever made it) be sure your etsy store or website is on it.

Books, Movies, Music, & Video games - (preferably with the cases & for the games at least the instruction booklet for playing, same goes for board games)

Shoe Box- Post cards, collector cards, small toys

Racks- Clothes (it's easiest to go through any type of clothes this way. If you don't have a big enough rack to fit everything on (so that it's NOT stuffed and have to fight to look at the items) then just put the longer clothing items, dressier/formal stuff blouses suits and dress pants on it.

(as I mentioned if there's not enough room on the rack) put your casual shirts (like pull over blouses, t-shirts Tanks etc) on a table as well as Jeans.

A book case is great for of course Books, as well as movies & CDs, Also any nice 'show case items like snow globes, vases etc just be sure to situate it so that it doesn't wiggle.If you have a series of books (try and sell it as such instead of individual), keep them all in one box to present it & therefore and easier way for you and your customer to carry them to the car.

Shelves - These are great to keep the clutter off the yard. You can use that big metal shelving used in storage rooms. My Aunt had this for ours & I was able to show off more items this way. I even had one with books, dvds etc on it (& had some of them in smaller boxes to clean up easier after it was over!)

If you do not have shelving or a book case to use please try to use some sort of box (on top of a table) and be sure to make a nice organized clean 'pile' of the books, a separate pile of Movies. Separate the DVDs from the Blu-rays same for video games.

Better yet...put them in separate box/bins with the spine up so they can be looked through easier. You can mark the boxes or bins 'Video Games' (and set them up with their spin up )

If you do not have enough of CDs, Movies or games on Disk (esp in their cases) make an array of them on the table fanned out.But be sure any form of disk if without the plastic case and/or without the liner notes is in a paper sleeves clearly marked what the title is.

Bins & boxes - If you don't have enough of table space or a book case use this to lump Books together in one (or a few) same with Movies & Music. Be sure the spine is up facing you so they can be skimmed through easily. Bins are great for Toys, Purses & Bags as well and please be sure they are clean before selling

environment line the fence if you have one for presenting the items, like Purses & Bags even clothing on hangers (can be hung on Shelving if it's that sort)

the Ground - Footwear (if you no longer have the boxes)

3..Lump like items together as well. Ie; Anything 'Entertainment' Like Books, Movies, CDs etc in the vicinity of each other. Clothes, accessories, & Footwear.

Tools all in one area, Maybe You might want to include all NEW items on one table instead of putting them with the used stuff.

If you have like items like say small New Kids on the block accessories, leave them all in one medium sized storage bin or basket (cheap if you do not already have one) this way they have something they can keep it in (it just might sell faster that way, plus will likely sell as a lot instead of individual. I sold all the small items I had of NKOTB for $20 or $25! I still have stuff, so pissed my mom gave the dolls away to my cousin could have made a fortune on those! If you might still have more stuff, get the person's contact information like phone and email so you can let them know when you come across it.

You can even have a Mailing List have then include an email as well as maybe anything in particular they are looking for.

There's some tips here I didn't think of

Handmade items pricing

there's also the Crafts Calculator  app FREE on Amazon!
there's also the Crafts Calculator app FREE on Amazon!

Prices for Garage sales

Pricing & Labeling


be sure you clearly mark the prices on the items with those round price stickers preferably the bright colors and If it's a multi 'family' sale... I suggest you have each person use a different colored label so you know who's item it is. (If this is the case it helps especially if you download the Garage sale checkout app I suggested, as that will help lots. it's color coded and you will get individual sales for each person as well as overall totals!

Assign one person (everyone trusts) to be the cashier (and a second for bathroom breaks)

  • Include sizes and if it's children's misses junior size etc)
  • Bundle items (Children's shirts or socks etc) in boxes or ziplock bags especially by type and or size.
  • Use bright cards to mark the tables by category or by price.
  • Pricing- mark new items from 75% to half of the original price. (this way when it comes to negotiating etc you may still get the price you really want

Make a Price 'menu' if you decide on making all of one type of item a certain price, This can be on the flyer itself. For an example:

This time I am going to try to do a 1 price for all:

Price Suggestions

CDS $1 each


Blu-rays $2-$3

Box sets for $5.

Video Games $1 and Up (depending on how new system is)


  • paperbacks 50 cents -$1
  • hardcover $1-2
  • Multi-story that have more than one story (like the first 3 stories of a series in it) $3
  • Sets (either whatever you have of the set for $5 or if you have every book in the series then that can be starting at $5 and up


  • T-shirts and tanks $1
  • blouses $2- New $3 (with or without tags)
  • Summer sets $3-$5
  • Shorts $2
  • Jeans and pants $3
  • baseball cap, winter hats $1
  • Nice hats like fedoras $3
  • New clothes (Unworn with or without tags) from $5 -$10

'Knickknacks' & Bric a brak

Vases, Candelabras, etc items $10 & up-

Handmade items (if you made them, you know how much the cost of the materials were charge that, plus labor. & no negotiating. on these.) If they don't want to pay it, They aren't worthy of wearing it! & Here's your reasons why ten-things-you-shouldn't-say-when-pricing-handmade-items/

Lots / bundles- This can be done in a variety of ways. Remember those New Kids on The Block things I sold? That is called a lot or bundle. You can also do lots by putting together say 5 pairs of jeans say all the same size you might be able to sell them as a lot. Or even a couple of shirts, Jeans/skirt and even the accessories that all go together. If someone does buy one pair, let them know if they would be interested that you would be willing to sell them together as a lot. (say if they are $5 each you can see if the person will buy the 5 of them for $20 (or $15 Instead of $25)

Someone was wheeling & dealing with me that a certain new pair of jeans were still too much (they were originally $40-50 jeans, never worn, still with the tags & showing the original price. I was selling them for $10 or $20. If there are other items they'd like, try to figure out a deal for the items as one lump say (what you are charging originally is $20 for all the items in total..) charge $15 after all they are looking for a deal.

Sometimes if You want something for $1 it might be good to make the price a bit more, this way you are sure to get the price you want (like I said you may end up negotiating, or lumping items together for a price.

*I may do the menu version next time have a listing on the Flyer if you can fit it.

negotiating the price.another idea I may do is set up tables as a certain price (like if I go for the 'menu' version of the flyer. I can mark the tables etc with those bright colored starburst 'signs' as to the prices (but always be sure to still include labels esp. ones to jewelry (those tags with the string) (at least for necklaces, Rings, Bracelets & Anklets)

I may also note the next time on the signs/flyers that NEW items (with tags) & Handmade craft prices are NOT negotiable.

What works for your sales,

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