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How to Do a Successful Garage Sale

Updated on July 6, 2011


If you are planning to have a garage sale, this article is for you. It is one approach that can help maximize sales at your garage sale, get rid of stuff you no longer need, and reclaim living space at the same time.

You'll need these:

  • Stuff you don't need any more
  • Preparation time
  • Place to hold your garage sale (normally in front of your garage)
  • Price tags and labels
  • Canopy, tables, and chairs

Collect, Sort, and Invite

The very first thing you want to do before you do the garage sale is to make sure you have collected all the items you wish to sell, then move them to a common area for sorting.

Next check with your friends to see if they have stuff they want to get rid of as well. They can join you in your garage sale event. This way, you can make it a get together, because you know you'll have times when there are no customers. It will give you time to catch up on things.


Advertise your garage sale event to your local newspaper. There are always groups of bargain hunters everywhere. Your locality is no different. Ask your friends who will join you to share the cost of the advertising.

You can also put up poster boards giving directions to where the garage sale is. In some areas you may need this to make it easier for your customers to find you.

Set Prices

Get labels or tags and pre-label everything with a price. Make sure the price is low enough that people will buy your stuff without even haggling the price down.

Remember, you have stuff you don't want anymore and those things are just taking up space in your house. Why not have someone pay to get it out of your house? Get it? They are paying to get it out of your house; and that is an awesome deal.

Setup a Canopy, Tables, and Chairs

It is best to get a canopy (or two), some tables, and chairs so that you have places to put your items for sale and you have places to sit. And if you have lots of clothes to sell, make sure you have somewhere to hang those clothes. People have an easier time looking through clothes if they are hanging.

Note that the canopy is an good addition. It gives you the ability to handle some degree of bad weather. If there is a light shower, you have cover. If it is hot, you have shade! It keeps things from getting wet or melting, depending on your situation.

Change: Have Some Ready

Make sure you have some change ready. You'll want to have enough change for your customers. To simplify math computations, round your prices so that the cheapest is no lower than $0.25. If you run out of change, you may have to adjust your pricing to fit the bill; just be flexible.

Setup Early

Last but not least, make sure you get your garage sale setup early. Bargain hunters are known to scan garage sales in the neighborhood and scout them out early--as early as one hour before you actually officially open.


In summary, to have a successful garage sale, you need to do the following:

  • Collect, sort, and invite: get stuff ready to sell; invite friends to sell as well.
  • Advertise: put an ad on your local news paper, and maybe put posters up.
  • Set Prices: get tags and labels and set your prices; keep them reasonably low.
  • Setup Canopy, tables, and chairs: setup furniture, especially a canopy to protect you and your for sale items from the elements.
  • Have some change ready: its hard to sell things when you can't even give change.
  • Setup early: catch those early bargain hunters.

Good luck and have fun selling!


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    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 5 years ago from US of A

      Thanks Thelma. I'm glad this article has given you some ideas for your garage sale. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Great advice. Thanks for sharing. I have a lot of things that I don't need anymore, so I'll put up a garage sells with your ideas in mind.

    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 6 years ago from US of A

      Absolutely on the tip regarding the value of what you are trying to sell. Check eBay for comparison. I have a friend who uses weekends to make $500 from things he buys from garage sales then resells them on eBay.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      These are useful tips in organizing and preparing for a garage sale. I'm one of those who come early and look for the treasures that have been hidden away.

      One tip I'll share as a veteran of G-sales, be sure you know the value of your stuff. I've found a multitude of items that were marked way below their actual value.

    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 6 years ago from US of A

      Thanks. In this poor economy, anything helps.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Great ideas for getting the most money from a garage sale!