7 Tips for Having a Successful Garage Sale

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy
Jars for sale in a garage sale

Organizing a successful garage sale can be a rewarding yet challenging task.

Need Easy Extra $350+/Month For Free?

  • SwagBucks: Watch videos, take surveys, shop and more to earn real money. Earn up to $35 per survey! No hidden fees and completely free. Join Swagbucks Now to Get $5 Free
  • InboxDollars: Has so far paid its members over $40 Million. Watch videos, take surveys, shop and more. Join InboxDollars Now and Get Free $5
  • SurveyJunkie: Make $5-$25 in your spare time from home to take online surveys, participating in a Focus Groups and trying new products. Join SurveyJunkie Now
  • Branded Surveys: Complete online surveys. Collect points. Redeem your points for cash & gift cards. No hidden fees and completely free! Has so far paid its members over $18 Million. Join Branded Surveys Now

It not only declutters your home but can also provide some extra cash.

This blog post will outline 15 insightful tips to help you host a garage sale that draws crowds and maximizes your earnings:

1. Plan Your Garage Sale in Advance

Choose the Right Date and Time

Selecting the optimal date and time for your garage sale can greatly influence its success. Typically, weekends — particularly Saturdays — are the most effective days for garage sales due to increased availability for most people. Start early in the morning, as many seasoned garage sale enthusiasts like to start their bargain hunting at the break of dawn.

Also, consider the time of the month. Many people get paid at the end of the month, so they might have more discretionary income at these times. You may want to check the local calendar for community events that could either help drive more traffic or compete with your sale.

Gather Your Sale Items

Start by sorting through your belongings well in advance of the sale date. This allows you enough time to identify which items you want to sell, and also to clean and repair items if necessary. Remember that what may seem like junk to you may be a treasure to someone else. GoodHousekeeping suggests selling things like gently-used clothing, books, furniture, and kitchenware, as they are often in high demand.

Decide on the Pricing Strategy

Pricing your items appropriately is key to a successful garage sale. While you want to get rid of items and make some money, you also don’t want to deter potential customers with high prices. A good rule of thumb is to price items at about 20-30% of what they would cost new, but you can adjust based on the condition and demand for the item.

Consider using a color-coded sticker system for pricing, it’s a simple and visual way for customers to know how much items cost. Also, be ready to negotiate. Haggling is part and parcel of garage sales and having some flexibility can lead to more sales.

2. Make Your Garage Sale Attractive

Clean and Present Your Items Well

Presentation matters at a garage sale. Cleanliness and good presentation can greatly enhance the appeal of your items and make them more likely to sell. A simple dust-off or polish can make items look much more attractive to potential buyers.

For clothes, consider hanging them up instead of folding them in piles. This makes it easier for buyers to browse and also reduces the chance of the clothes becoming disheveled throughout the day. For small items, use tables instead of laying them on the ground.

Organize Items by Category

Much like a store, a well-organized garage sale makes it easy for buyers to find what they’re looking for and discover items they weren’t initially interested in. Group similar items together, such as kitchen items, tools, books, and clothing.

You might want to place high-demand or eye-catching items close to the road to draw in customers. Similarly, consider putting kids’ items at their eye level — if you attract the children, the parents are more likely to stop and look around.

Make Your Sale Location Inviting

The more inviting your sale location, the more likely people are to stop and browse. If possible, set up your sale in a shady area or provide a tent or umbrella to protect shoppers from the sun.

Playing some background music can also enhance the shopping experience. Consider providing refreshments, especially if it’s a hot day. Not only does this make for a more enjoyable shopping experience, but it can also add to your profits if you decide to sell the refreshments.

3. Spread the Word About Your Garage Sale

Advertise Widely

Garage sale enthusiasts can’t flock to your sale if they don’t know it’s happening. Thankfully, there are numerous avenues for you to advertise your garage sale. Traditional methods, like signs and posters in your local area, still work well. Use bright, bold lettering, and make sure the date, time, and address are clearly visible.

In today’s digital age, there are also plenty of online options for advertising. Websites like GarageSaleFinder, Yard Sale Search, and Craigslist allow you to reach a larger audience. You can also promote your sale on local community groups on Facebook.

Need Easy Extra Cash?

Pinecone Research, a leading name in online survey panel honesty, absolutely guarantees $3 cash for every survey you complete!
Take advantage of their time limited New Membership drive and register NOW. Join today: 100% free!

Join Pinecone Research Now

Leverage Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for spreading the word about your garage sale. Post about your upcoming sale on your personal profile, or take advantage of local community groups or marketplace platforms on Facebook. Instagram Stories can also be a fun way to give followers a sneak peek of what’s on offer.

To reach a wider audience, consider using relevant hashtags, such as #GarageSale, #YardSale, or #[YourCity]GarageSale. Be sure to include all the important details in your posts and encourage your friends and followers to share.

Create an Attractive and Informative Sign

Your garage sale sign is often the first impression potential buyers will have of your sale, so make it count. An attractive and informative sign can grab people’s attention and draw them to your sale.

Use large, bold letters that can be read from a distance and make sure to include essential details like the date, time, and location of your sale. You might also want to highlight certain types of items you’re selling, especially if they’re in high demand. Sites like Canva offer free and easy-to-use design tools that can help you create eye-catching signs.

4. Make Your Garage Sale a Pleasant Experience

Be Friendly and Approachable

A friendly and approachable attitude can make a big difference in your garage sale success. Welcome each visitor with a smile and be ready to answer any questions about your items. Engaging with shoppers can also create a pleasant atmosphere that encourages people to stay longer and browse more.

Remember, even if someone doesn’t make a purchase, they might recommend your sale to others if they had a positive experience.

Have Change and Bags Ready

Having plenty of change is crucial for a successful garage sale. Many shoppers will pay with cash, and not having the right change can lead to lost sales. Make sure to have plenty of small bills and coins available.

Additionally, have bags or boxes ready for your customers to carry their purchases. Not only is this a convenience for your shoppers, but it can also encourage them to buy more if they know they have an easy way to carry items home.

Keep Safety in Mind

While you’re hoping for a successful sale, it’s also crucial to keep safety in mind. Keep your money in a safe place, not out in the open. Be aware of traffic and ensure your setup doesn’t obstruct the road or sidewalk. Keep your house locked during the sale to prevent unwanted entry.

Consider having a friend or family member with you for security and assistance. It can be a lot to manage by yourself, and having another person there can help things run smoothly and safely.

5. Pricing Your Items

Do Your Research

Before you slap a price tag on your items, take some time to do a bit of research. Check out online marketplaces like eBay or Craigslist to get an idea of how much similar items are selling for. If you have a particularly valuable item, such as antique furniture or rare collectibles, it may be worth getting it appraised.

However, remember that people come to garage sales looking for a bargain. So while it’s important to know the value of your items, you’ll likely need to price them lower than their market value to attract buyers.

Clearly Price Each Item

Pricing items individually may be time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort. Shoppers appreciate clearly marked prices, as it saves them the awkwardness of having to ask. Additionally, it saves you from having to remember the price you had in mind for each item.

Use price tags or stickers to clearly mark the cost of each item. If you have a lot of similar items, you could use a sign to indicate that all items in a certain area are the same price. For instance, all books could be $1, all DVDs $2, etc.

Be Willing to Negotiate

Garage sales are notorious for haggling, so be prepared for buyers to negotiate. Setting your initial prices a little higher can give you some wiggle room for negotiation without you having to sell your items for less than you’re comfortable with.

6. Making the Sale

Offer Bulk Discounts

Encourage buyers to purchase more by offering bulk discounts. For example, you could offer a discount for buying multiple books, clothes, or similar items. This strategy can help you sell more items and make more money overall.

“Bulk discount” signs can also attract bargain hunters, increasing foot traffic to your sale. Not only will this increase your chances of selling more, but it can also help you get rid of more items.

Be Friendly and Approachable

A friendly and welcoming attitude can make a big difference to your sales. Be available to answer questions, negotiate prices, and assist customers, but avoid being overly pushy. Making small talk with your visitors can make the shopping experience more enjoyable for them, which might encourage them to spend more.

Accept Different Payment Methods

With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to accept various forms of payment, including cards and digital wallets. Services like Square or PayPal allow you to accept credit and debit cards, which can increase your sales, as not everyone carries cash these days.

However, ensure you also have enough change for cash transactions, as some people still prefer to use cash for small purchases.

7. Post-Sale Tips

Donate or Sell Remaining Items

Even with the best planning, it’s likely that you’ll have items left over after your garage sale. Instead of hauling everything back inside, consider your options for leftover items.

Donating to a local charity shop is a great way to get rid of leftover items while also helping a good cause. Many organizations like Goodwill and The Salvation Army will even pick up large quantities of donations from your home, saving you a trip.

If you have items that didn’t sell but still hold significant value, consider selling them online. Platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Poshmark allow you to reach a wider audience than your local community. Plus, you can set your own prices and negotiate with buyers.

Review What Worked and What Didn’t

Take some time after the sale to reflect on what worked well and what could be improved for next time. Did certain items sell better than others? Were there certain times of the day when you had more visitors? Did your advertising efforts pay off? Learning from your experiences can help you have an even more successful garage sale next time.

Celebrate Your Success

Finally, take a moment to celebrate your hard work. Organizing a garage sale is no small feat, and you’ve successfully decluttered your home and made some extra money. Treat yourself to a nice dinner or put some of your earnings towards something you’ve been saving for. You’ve earned it!


A successful garage sale requires planning, organization, and effective advertising.

By following these 15 tips, you can turn your clutter into cash and have fun in the process.

Remember, it’s not just about making money, but also about meeting new people and giving your items a new lease on life.

Related Posts:

Earn Everything… nearly!

Join Opinion Outpost, one of the few faithful and honest survey panels and earn cash and gift cards for your opinion. Stack your points and redeem them: Simple! No hidden fees and completely free!

Join Opinion Outpost Now

Earn Everything… nearly!

Join Ipsos iSay, one of the few Faithful and Honest survey panels and earn prizes, gift cards and donations. Stack your points and redeem them: Simple! No hidden fees and completely free!

Join Ipsos Now


Click here to post a comment...
Post comment