Garage Sale Tips


I know there are lots of garage sale experts out there.
I am not one of them, but…I have learned a few things from 4 garage sales in the last 10 years and I am here to share them with you
in hopes of inspiring you to have one.Our family earned $305.00 from a 2 day garage sale this year,
and 2 years ago it was $400.00.
Well worth the time & effort I think.

A garage sale can help others in need as well.
I had one customer tell me she was buying clothes for a family in need on her street.

I offered to give her the clothes for free, but she insisted on paying.
What a gal.

The sale also inspired me to purge things we
no longer need or use.

Here are my best garage sale tips:

Organization-pick a day or 2 to have the sale well in advance and begin collecting items in your home and set them aside.  Remember to give yourself lots of days to prep.  It goes much smoother if you space it out.
No need to rush.

I heard from one of our customers that
Thursday is the best day for garage sales.
We had ours on Friday & Saturday from 8am-2pm.
Friday was very busy, but Saturday was slow.

Make your signs very big and get them out the day before.
Add a balloon or pinwheel.
(don’t forget to take down your signs after it’s over)

Advertise on Craig’s list (free)…this worked wonders.

Clean up your garage and and get the space ready for company.
Plan on having the sale rain or shine (unless you don’t have a garage).

Group all of your items according to theme such as decor, kitchen, children’s clothes, toys, archery, etc.

I used 2 card tables and then put a large piece of card board in between to help make the table longer and covered it with a table cloth.
I also borrowed a few tables from a neighbor.

We used my dog’s long leash to make a line across the garage to hang clothes on.

Although, I did find “labeling boxes with sizes” worked even
better than the line.  Examples of labels that you could use on the boxes:
*Children’s socks
*Women’s 8

You get the idea.  That way it’s more organized.
Clothes were one of my biggest money makers.
Several women spent a lot of time searching through my labeled boxes.
I also added a rug so they made them self comfortable while searching.



Set up a children’s area…mine are older, but they had a BLAST.
This lets the Moms shop, while their little ones are preoccupied.
Worked like charm.

Not only did my girls set out their personal artwork, but they also set up Pokemon cards, magazines, and they sold chips, pop, and water. (they got up @ 7:45 am to do this 2 days in a row and looked forward to it… wow)

 Label every single item w/ a price tag…
they sell little labels at the dollar store or just use masking tape with a marker.
If you have everyone asking you the price,
you will lose your mind.
My oldest daughter (12) enjoyed printing labels (above).

 Use a heating pad while you have someone else label…
my back was hurting pretty bad after gathering all of the items out of the house.
After I had them all organized out in the garage, I sat in that chair you see up on the right with my heating pad and my girls held every item up and I told them what to label it with.  It went so much faster than me doing it myself.
Set up a desk…complete with comfy chairs, cash box, stickers, tape, paper, markers, plastic bags, measuring tool, phone, and make sure you have lots of tea made to keep you going.
We ordered pizza at the end for the entire crew 🙂

 Have helpers available…at all times 🙂


Set things up like you would in your own home
to make them look appealing.
That was the fun part for me.
My little one drew a picture of how to use these chair bows.
She’s so clever.

 Have a secure cash box that has at least $20 change in it to start.
Keep track of what you make.
It helps make it all seem worth it.
Never leave it alone if you have to go inside.
Actually, never leave any part of your sale alone.

Be ready to let go of your things and for less than they are worth to you.
This was one of the hardest lessons for me.
One lady yelled at me years ago for having high prices.  EEK!!!
On your last day…
when you are ready…
let customers know that everything is 50% off.A great way to get rid of your leftovers is to give it away at the end.
I gave away tons of great stuff to a family one year that stopped by at the end.
It was a wonderful feeling to help them.At the same time be aware of scams & thieves.
That brings me to my last tip…and possibly my most important…

From personal experience…protect yourself.
Have your phone, hubby, dog, Dad, “whatever” with you…
don’t have your sale alone and be aware of the people coming to your house.
If they look suspicious then just be on your guard and let them know
you are aware.

Good luck!Picture

mop it up mondays

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9 Responses

  1. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the GREAT tips!! Having a moving sale this weekend! LOVE the idea to ALSO sell bottled drinks:))

  2. Rebecca says:

    Another tip. I love to go to garage sales but hate it when the homeowner is in the way. I will just leave. Some will walk behind you and reorganize. Just let me shop! Also, when you stand right in the middle and jab with 5 neighbors … I can’t look or buy your stuff!

  3. Kimberly Dernberger says:

    Wear a carpenters apron for the money, this allows you to be mobile.

  4. deb c. says:

    I picked up some new tips from you! Thanks! We have huge community sales here, & one thing I always do is set up my desk/cash out area in front of the door that goes from the garage into my home. That way, no one can slip in when you’re not paying attention (I’ve heard of that happening). I have had some thieves steal from me at my sales, but luckily it was only in the garage sale & while I would’ve liked to have been paid for those items, at least I got rid of them!! thanks again for sharing your tips!!

  5. Rubye says:

    Another good tip is to put several things in a small box, cover with plastic wrap and sell the whole box for one price. sometimes a person will buy the whole box just for that one item in it that they want, and you are still unhoarding.

  6. Michele nelson says:

    I wear a fanny pack to keep the money in, that way I never leave the money, a little nerdy but it works, I own it only for garage selling! I have a family member take extra money in the house for safe keeping when I start getting lots of 10’s and 20’s during a slow moment!

  7. Jan says:

    Thanks for the great tips. We downsized 2 years ago and have a garage and crawl space full of things we haven’t used or thought about since the move. Ugh! Time to purge.

  8. carol says:

    Great tips Julie!! I would never have a garage sale By Myself! We live in a very small town but people come from anywhere and everywhere for garage sales. It’s not worth taking a chance; most people are nice and just out looking for unique items or a ‘great deal’ (like you & me). BUT it only takes one bad experience to totally ruin your day. Hope everyone uses your tips, they will make the sale days go smoothly.

  9. Ivory says:

    I know lately it seems like I’ve died, but truefully, life has not been so good these last few months. Leaving me with little to no time to check my emails. I now have over 10,000 emails that I am trying to catchup on. I am so sadden about what’s been going on in my life. I got to find a way to steal some me time, and get back to my favorite things to do. What’s my favorite thing to do? Open my email and see an email from you. Your emails gives me so much excitement and antipatication of opening it up, because I know it, like always, will be amazing. Thank you for this outstanding post, because from time to time, my neighbor and I have a garage sale, and these tips could make things come together so much better. I don’t think I will be having one this year though.

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