Garage Sale Tips

j0439879This past weekend my oldest daughter and I had a garage sale. It’s the second garage sale we’ve had together, and the third one I’ve had, no make it fourth if you count the one I helped my mom with when she moved from New Mexico to Michigan. Anyway! I’ve had some experience with them and since this last one was really successful, I thought I’d pass along some of the things we did differently this time which not only made it easier as far as set up and tear down, but also how we priced items, which made them more appealing to sell.

Getting your garage sale items ready for re-sale

The first thing we did (we being my hubby and I) was cleaned out our shed. I’ve been toting stuff around for years from when I was single, to his house when we got married and now to this house. I’m over it and decided it was time to declutter and reduce! We made 3 piles: garage sale, eBay and dispose. Oh and keep was one more, so 4 piles. We ended up taking 3 pickup truck loads to the garage sale, having one or two boxes of stuff to put on eBay, and one truck load of stuff to take to the dump.

We hauled the garage sale items to my daughter’s house and as we unloaded we priced the items and cleaned them up if needed. One advantage this time was having 8 or 9 8 ft. tables from my daughter’s church to set most of the stuff out on. We still had some larger items to set out in the yard, which attracted drive-by’s.


We kept the prices fairly low. Who wants to go to a garage sale and spend a fortune? No one, so most of the clothes were priced at 50 cents, household items were $2 or $3, handbags and other bags were 50 cents and we even had some furniture for less than $10. My daughter did have some baby items which were in really good shape that she priced higher yet very reasonable.

With that being said, we got rid of a ton of stuff, but still made a few bucks. Remember how we had 3 truckloads of garage sale items, just from our shed? We also had some stuff from the house, and when it was all said and done, we had less than 1/2 a truckload to donate to Goodwill. I was excited about that!

Other tips

  • Clean up everything, including washing clothes before selling. Especially if they’ve been sitting in a shed, basement, attic or other storage facility for a while. When people pick them up, you want them to smell fresh, not musty.
  • Have as few piles as possible. The less people have to dig, the better individual items will sell. This includes books, cd’s, tapes, DVDs and videos. Lay them out so people can see what’s there.
  • Hang up nicer clothing items like jackets, dresses, suits, etc. Make sure they are wrinkle free and smell good.
  • Baby clothes are a huge seller at garage sales, so make sure they aren’t full of stains. If an item is stained a little, sell it at a lower price or put it in the free box.
  • Display larger items like tables, furniture, baby furniture, desks, TV’s, etc. in a place that driver’s-by can easily see from the road. You never know what specific item someone is looking for and these items make it look like your not just selling a bunch of junk.
  • If all you have are mostly clothes to sell, donate them instead or consign them to a resale shop. Clothes don’t attract customers to garage sales.
  • Household items need to be in working order. Test them before you put them out for sale, then you can place a  “works great” sign on them especially if they are older.
  • If you have something for sale that needs to be fixed, describe how it can be fixed on a sign and sell it for cheap.
  • Place small items like jewelry and hair accessories in individual plastic baggies with the price tag on each bag.
  • Don’t stick price stickers on glass or in areas that will ruin the look of the item or that will be difficult to remove.
  • Greet each and every customer with a smile and a pleasant “hello”. As they leave, even if they didn’t buy anything be sure to say “thank you” or “thanks for stopping.” Next time you have a garage sale, they will be sure to stop again.

Having a garage sale is fun as well as a lot of hard work. But, if done right, it can be a huge success! Remember, your junk is another one’s treasure.

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