Tips for a Successful Garage Sale


Garage Sales are a great way to get rid of your old stuff, recycle, and make a little extra cash. But to have a successful garage sale, you will need to do some planning and preparation. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

In the weeks before the garage sale:

  • Get a garage sale permit. After you’ve settled on a weekend to hold the garage sale, visit your town hall and get a permit. They generally cost just a few dollars. You wouldn’t want to get shut down after all your preparation, would you?
  • Organize. Start setting aside all the items you want to ditch. As you go through the house, ask yourself, “When was the last time I used this?” If it was more than a year ago, sell it!  Group like items together by room or function (i.e., kitchen, bedding, clothing, electronics and entertainment, etc.) Rent a self storage unit to use as a staging area for all the garage sale merchandise.
  • Coordinate. Consider getting friends, family and neighbors involved by pooling together everyone’s merchandise and having a collective garage sale. Again, have them store their stuff in your self storage unit and share the rental fee.
  • Advertise. There are plenty of ways to promote your garage sale for free. Place some signs around the neighborhood. Post an ad on craigslist. Use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. Post flyers on the grocery store bulletin.

On the day of the garage sale:

  • Get your supplies together. Price tags, markers, masking tape, shopping bags, a cash box, etc. Be sure to have plenty of small bills on hand for change.
  • Setup the garage sale merchandise. Since you’ve already organized everything, this should go pretty smoothly. Be sure to arrange everything so that it allows for an nice flow of traffic through the “store”.
  • Open for business. Start early for those dedicated garage sale addicts. It’s going to be a long couple days, so have fun with it. Play some fun music, and offer your customers some bottled water or lemonade. Not only is a garage sale a great way to get rid of your stuff, it’s also a great way to meet some of the neighbors.
  • Have a sale. When it gets close to closing time, run a clearance promotion to unload even more merchandise. For example, in the last hour or two of the day, customers can get anything they can fit into a paper grocery bag for $5 or $10.
  • Close up shop. Hopefully you’ve sold your whole inventory, but chances are there are some items leftover. Either donate them or save them for later. Put the items in your self storage unit until next year’s garage sale, or until Salvation Army can come and pick everything up.

By following these tips and putting in some effort ahead of time, you’ll increase your chances of having a more successful garage sale – and more money in your pocket!

Have any other garage sale tips? Share them here…


  1. Organizing a garage sale of your own will grow old on you very fast. And even if you are into dragging yourself out of bed on a weekend and arranging all your stuff on the front lawn, what do you do after it is all over and you are still stuck with some items? Do you still like doing in on Sunday after spending a long Saturday in the sun, haggling with strangers?

    This is where online garage sales come in handy. Ebay works for some but it is just not the optimal place for selling second hand, low price, garage-sale-type of things. This is what online garage sale sites were created for. One of my favorites is was created for normal people, not businesses or internet merchants. It’s easy and free. All you have to do is type in a description, enter your ZIP code and upload a few pictures if you wish. It’s totally free and you don’t even have to disclose your email (or address) to strangers. A great way to list all your leftover stuff for sale.


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