How to Have a Garage Sale

We love garage saling but when it comes to having your own sale there’s a lot you need to know to be successful.

  1. Start saving items early. Start collecting items about a year before your actual garage sale (depending on how much you’re wanting to sell or how much storage space you have available). We like to keep our stuff we are saving for the garage sale in our basement or bins in the attic. Anytime I go through our children’s clothes I set the ones worth reselling aside. I also keep toys and books weeded out throughout the year in the same place. When we know our garage sale is approaching my husband and I will go through our own clothing/items. Then we will do any room makeovers or remolding so we can can get rid of as much STUFF as possible at one time. If you’re short on items ask friends or relatives if they have anything they would like to add to your sale. Usually this works better if they have large items such as furniture, big toys, or large baby items. The more the merrier!
  2. Label EVERYTHING. Our first garage sale I did a lot of this table is x price or all clothes x price or this bin x price and we sold some, but this year I marked EVERYTHING even individual children’s clothes and it made a huge difference. People want to see how much something cost without having to ask or read something. Dollar Tree has hundreds of stickers for just a $1. I think we used 6 packs.
  3. The BIGGER the item you’re selling the BIGGER the sign. This worked well selling large toys, luggage, and furniture. Shoppers could see how much an item was from across the street or noticed the larger items even more with big signs. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. We had cardboard and a large dry erase board.
  4. Coordinate with your neighbors and HOA. The more garage sale or yard signs people see the more likely they are to take a detour to go shopping your neighborhood. It allows shoppers to stop once and shop several places within a small area (think outlet mall).
  5. Don’t Forget to Advertise Make sure your viewers can read your address or your arrows are pointing the right way. We have a HOA who puts out signs marketing for one weekend in the summer. We also purchased 3 signs for $1 at the Dollar Tree to advertise along roadways and in front of our house. I also put a post out on and though a local garage sale group online.
  6. Spare Change. I like to use about $200 (which sounds like a lot, but will last you the entire weekend Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) I get 5-20s 4-10s 8-5s 20-1s. I usually also have loose change with majority of the change quarters. Most people pay with 20s, but you can always tell people to have exact change, but you could lose sales.
  7. Have a SALE on a sale. On the last day of your sale have some sort of deal. You can do a ‘fill a bag’ promotion or 50% sale. We did the 50% off sale. Just be mindful of how your mark your items so they are easily divided in half. If there’s anything you want excluded remove it or set it aside clearly marked at the price you are asking for. We were able to sell A LOT of the excessive baby clothes and iffy items with this method. Most of the mothers were very grateful for the discount and it’s always nice to feel like you made a super sale deal.
  8. Lemonade Stand or Bake Sale: If you’re looking to make a little extra cash or want to get your little ones involved you can bake something or just have lemonade. Our kids enjoy the lemonade stand model. They create their own sign and set their price. We also break out a tip jar and toy cash registers. Sometimes they will even throw on an apron. This is a great way to teach manners, working with customers, or making change. Our kids make a few dollars up to about $20 or so a piece depending on the year. They get so spend or save their money however they like. This usually ends in a toy shopping spree of some form.
  9. Be flexible: Don’t be afraid to stand firm on a price or let a customer talk you down. If you are in it for the money hold your ground until your busiest day (typically Saturday morning). I usually just want to get rid of items and let the buyer take it for whatever they want it for.
  10. Always have a Buddy: Depending on where you live you can get some questionable customers very close to you, your home, and your family. You can never be too safe. Always have another adult friend, relative, spouse/partner, or buddy of some sort nearby. They can help out with the sale, watching kids, setting up/tear down, sitting around to talk, or bagging items.


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