11 tips for making your garage sale great.



Consider this: the average household has 300,000 items  or another way to look at it, there are more things in your home than there are people in Cincinnati. As comedian George Carlin might have said, thats a lot of stuff.

So before the temperature drops and  depending on where you live  the leaves drop too, its the ideal time to have a weekend garage or yard sale and clear out what you dont need or use.

Here are our top 11 suggestions for a successful sale:

  • Double-check with your municipality  some require a permit or specify the time of day youre allowed to have a sale.
  • Give yourself two to four weeks to prepare for the sale  youll need to dig through your stuff, decide what youre selling, and price and organize everything for sale day.
  • If youre planning a yard sale, rather than a garage sale, have a backup plan in case it rains.
  • If you live in an apartment or condominium, speak to your superintendent or condo board about holding a sale with other residents on the front lawn or in the lobby.
  • If you havent used an item in over two years, consider selling it. If you forgot you even had it, definitely sell it.
  • No matter what you think your valuables are worth, everyone else will think theyre worth less. Do research on Google or eBay to see what similar second-hand or vintage items sell for. Tag your items accordingly but be prepared to discount them.
  • Make sure not to use super-sticky tags that might ruin an item when theyre removed.
  • Start early  8 a.m. is a reasonable time to roll up your garage door but remember, no matter what time you advertise, eager neighbors and bargain hunters will show up an hour earlier  or even the evening before. Be prepared and be flexible. The purpose, after all, is to sell your stuff.
  • Drop off flyers to all your neighbors and surrounding streets to let them know about the sale and plant a garage sale for sale sign on your front lawn early in the week. Like good gossip, news of garage sales travels fast in most neighborhoods.
  • Youre not just trying to make money, youre trying to clear out clutter  so offer customers discounts if they take multiple items  for instance, buy 5 items and get an extra 10% off.
  • Have lots of small bills so you can make change easily. If someone insists on giving you 20- or 50-dollar notes, encourage them to buy more items. And dont accept 100s  theyre more likely to be counterfeit.

Youll find more great garage and yard sale ideas here. And why not share your own successful ideas in the Shop Talk Blog community forum!




Did you know?

Building a better garage sale

Best day to hold your sale: Saturday

Best time to start: 7 a.m.

Least-loved items: stuffed animals, TVs and magazines

Best-loved items: Tools, collectibles and sports equipment

Finally, 97% of customers leave within 2 minutes if they dont see anything so get their attention!


43 thoughts on “11 tips for making your garage sale great.

  1. This will be my first yard sale. My question is better to have a yard sale at home in my yard or on a busy Street at an open lot? Thanks for your respons.

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  3. Location! Location! Location! That is the number one thing in a yard sale. I live in the country and even with publishing and putting signs doesn’t help. My son lives in town (small town) on just about the busiest corners in town off the main street. We do not advertise or even but a sign out. Speaking of days we usually have a 3-day sale Thurs., Fri., & Sat. We have been surprised but 80% of the time Thursday is the better day by far.

  4. After we cleaned out our parents home, we had a very successful
    Folks stopped by and visited with us and left with useful items.
    We were relieved not to have to tale them to thrift shops or trash.

    Nothing was left

  5. Hello all. I have a bulk trash business and my properties are located cated mostly in D.C.. I have had a few successful yard sales and not so successful. I have tons of stuff n my garage which my significant other would love back. Ha. I am not good with social media. However I need to get rid of this stuff. I can probably furnish an apartment for someone just starting out. U name it I have it. I have thought about humanity for habitat. I know they build, but I didn’t know if maybe they had some hing where u could donate to furnish the homes.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated


  6. When you put price stickers on your items for a price be ready to go down more than half that price !

  7. Could you send this article on Garage Sales to my sister Lisa Dirkman! ! Thank you in advance for you time!

    1. Strongly recommend that your prospective buyers have access to an electrical outlet so they can plug in any electronic or electrical items to verify that they actually do or don’t work! A power strip or extension cord works great.

  8. Something I do, that has been very successful for my past yard sales – “Fill a bag for a buck”. I’ve noticed most garage sale shoppers like to hit the sales early, before all the “good stuff” is gone. As a result, you don’t get alot of customers after 12pm. I hang signs announcing after 12pm, they can fill a (plastic grocery store) bag with clothes for $1, knick knacks for $2 (or $5 – whatever amount you choose, or designate the sale is for clothes only). The morning crowd sees the signs and will often return for the sale, plus they’ll usually tell their friends. It’s a great way to move the stuff that wasn’t selling. Be sure to have plenty of bags on hand and be creative with “headlines” for the signs to attract attention. (ie: NOON MADNESS!! or BUCK-A-BAG, etc.)

  9. I’d really recommend donating to thrift stores over holding yard or garage sales, so non-profit organizations can do some good with the proceeds. This course of action has the added benefit of not having to be coherent at 7am, a time at which I am normally still asleep…

  10. You put a lot of work into preparing for your yard/ garage sale so you want people to show up and buy your wares right? It’s so important to post your address in the newspaper or Craigslist. So make sure you put your complete address ex: 123 main street Anywhere, State. Most people these days use a GPS and they don’t find….”corner of main and first”…..”Highland Estates”….or “Main street”. Put your house # ,street and Town and they will come.

  11. After the sale Put up a sign that everything is free. Everything disappears and you don’t have to worry about clean up. Warning, do not have anything out there that you don’t want to lose. m I’ve even had just free sales just to get rid of stuff,. Really works

  12. Try to attend a few yard/garage sales and auction/tag sales to get an idea
    for what type of stuff is selling and what’s not, if you go later in the day you’ll see what’s left – that’s what’s NOT selling. You’ll get a feel for local pricing trends as well. Look on Craig’s List and your local newspaper ads online for locations
    near you. Then you’ll be better prepared for hosting your own yard sales.
    Good luck – it’s fun but be careful with hiding your money and be prepared for strangers ill manners as well! Just be pleasant and have a buddy to help you!!

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