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3 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Updated on March 24, 2013

Spring Cleaning

It is garage sale season! Spring cleaning time is a perfect time to clean out your basement and have a garage sale. Before you toss out all of your old items, remember the old saying, one man's junk is another man's treasure. It is definitely true. So what is the best way to get rid of your extra "junk" and turn it into some cash? A garage sale!

Tips for A Great Sale

Garage sales are easy. You just have to put your stuff out and people will come to you asking if they can buy it. All you have to do is sit back and rack in the cash. Well, it can be this simple, but there are a few basic tips that you need to remember in order to make that happen.

1. Advertising

This is probably the most important thing you can do. Nobody will come to your garage sale if they don't know you are having one. You can list an advertisement on Craigslist for free. Here you can add photos and a nice description of the types of items you have available. People who are go to garage sales regularly will definitely check out all of the ads before heading out "garage saling"

You can also advertise for your garage sale in your local Pennysaver newspaper (they have one in most communities, and they generally come in the mail) or in your local town's newspaper. These advertisements will cost you, but they are worth it if you have a lot of items to sell.

The most important way to advertise your garage sale (and the one people mess up on the most) is signage. You need to place a lot of large, colorful, eye-catching signs up on the day of your sale. Your signs should include the street name and a large arrow pointing in the right direction. They should be placed in highly visible areas, at about eye level. You should place a large colorful sign on the nearest busy street with an arrow pointing towards your street. Make sure that your sign is secure enough that the wind won't make the arrow point in the wrong direction (nothing is more frustrating than not knowing which direction the arrow is pointing). The final thing about signs is to make sure that there are enough on the side streets to ensure that the person looking for your sale won't get lost in your residential neighborhood. If there are a lot of turns, make sure that are arrows pointing the way. Lots of colorful signs will ensure that people who are just passing by will see them and stop by just to look. Getting people to your sale is the first step.

2. Volume and Variety

Another important aspect of having a great garage sale is having a lot of stuff to sell. This also means having a diverse selection. Everybody hates going to a garage sale where there is just a bunch of clothes. I don't even get out of the car when I see a garage sale with just one little table. If you only have a few items to sell, you can ask your friends, family, and neighbors to help you out and have a joint sale. This also helps with advertising, as people who love going to garage sales can never pass up the ads which say "large multi-family sale!"

3. Pricing

This is a tricky subject. I know people have spent a lot of money on their items, and some are unwilling to accept that they lost value. However, garage sales aren't retail stores. You can't expect to get retail prices out of your garage sale items. If you have items that you think are extremely valuable, try selling them on craigslist or Ebay. Garage sale prices are supposed to be the lowest of the low. I went to a garage sale the other day, and a lady was selling a video game for $10. This is the price that GameStop is charging for the same game. I would never buy a video game at a garage sale that I could get at GameStop for the same price. Never. Be realistic in your pricing.


A garage sale can be a lot of fun. Follow these simple tips, and yours will be a great success. Good luck!


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