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Making Money in Your Driveway: How to Guide for a Garage Sale

Updated on July 26, 2011

Having a Profitable Garage Sale

How many times have you wished you could get rid of the excess stuff you've accumulated but aren't sure how to do a garage sale? Or maybe you've held a garage sale and didn't sell much. Not all garage sales are alike and it's important to know the tricks to make yours stand out.

How to Stand Out in the Crowd

Today neighborhood and town wide garage sales are popular. It's not a bad idea to participate in these if you have enough eye-catching stuff to sell. Just don't forget you're competing with more sales than on average days. That means you'll have to give people a reason to stop at your sale instead of the one next door. Most people only visit less than half of the sales in a neighborhood wide sale so you want to make sure yours is one of them.

1. Get eye-catching banners and signs. Make a large colorful sign to put at the end of your driveway. You can add balloons to make people notice from the end of the street. This is especially helpful if you don't have many sales on your street. You want to make sure people know you're there from a distance. If you have something special that you're selling, you might even want to make a large banner advertising it. You could put something like "52 inch tv" on a banner on your garage door to attract attention.

2. Make sure you have a wide variety of items in your sale. While you can't predict what will be popular with people, they will be more likely to stop if you have different groups of items. For example, books and DVDs, along with some clothes and furniture and even some decorative knick-knacks would make a good variety. Baby items are always popular so put them were they are the most visible if you have some to sell.

3. Make interesting displays. Most people lump stuff together but if you turn your items into a display, they will catch people's interest. Think of a furniture store and how they make their areas look like separate rooms. Something on a smaller scale would turn your items from looking like castoffs to usable pieces.

4. Have enough for a good-sized yard sale. People go to the bigger ones because there's a better chance that there will be something they want. If you don't have that much to sell, recruit friends to add to it.

5. Greet people when they stop by. Everyone likes to buy from a friendly person and they will be more likely to negotiate if the price is too high for them rather than just walk away.

6. Speaking of prices, know what it's worth. You may want to do some research ahead of time if you're not sure about pricing. Visit other yard sales to see what others are asking. You want to ask enough so that you have room to negotiate or offer less later in the sale but not too much that people won't even ask.

7. Make sure everything is in the best condition. Dust furniture that's been sitting around. Iron and fold clothes. Clean up old toys. Make your stuff look as much like new as possible. You can ask a better price.

8. Offer refreshments. At a neighborhood sale, people may walk around for hours. They will definitely stop for a drink and then might take the time to browse. A case of bottled water doesn't cost much and can be made up in the extra sales. Often, people will buy from someone who goes the extra mile. Some people even bake cookies to sell which is a good idea if you have the time and know how to bake.

If you plan ahead and follow these tips, you can have one of the most successful garage sales in your neighborhood.


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    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      What a creative title :) Go, go, go!

      Congrats on your Hubnuggets nomination! For voting and other details, head this way:

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      These are positively fabulous tips. Thanks so much for putting the guide together!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Rated Up and awesome.

    • jm72writes profile image

      jm72writes 6 years ago from Missouri

      After I wrote this, someone also mentioned that they used to make simple crafts to sell with their garage sale items and they had good luck with that. I think I may try that next time and see how it goes.

    • Jo Frank profile image

      Jo Frank 6 years ago

      Thanks for some good ideas. I'm having a yard sale this coming Saturday so they will come in handy. I liked the idea of the balloons and having some bottled water for the thirsty. Voted up and useful.

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      I'm guilty of that. The last sale I had was still successful. People came too early and I ended up cleaning out my entire garage that day. I set everything out on the driveway. When dusk came, I packed the left overs in a pick-up and donated it. Now if I could do the same with my teenager's room....

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      All excellent tips for a successful garage sale. I find points #3 and #7 are the ones that most people do not do - stuff is jumbled together and not particularly clean or clear of dust. Take just a bit of extra time to wipe things down and sort them and it should make a world of difference in terms of sales.