How We Do It: 5 Tips For Garage Sales


Creative Commons License photo credit: easy mo drew

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I never had a garage sale until last year.  My parents didn’t have them and my mom still hates them.  She doesn’t go to them to shop or have them at her own house.  She only ever takes things to goodwill when she doesn’t want them in her house anymore.

When I did my first one I discovered that I LOVED doing it.  It changed the way I thought of selling stuff and getting it out of the house.  I never realized how much money you could make by just setting some stuff out with prices on them and letting people come and get them from you.  My first garage sale I made $85 on stuff that was sitting by our door that was supposed to be taken to Goodwill.  I had spent about 6-7 hours total on getting the things ready and selling them.  Not a bad days work!

Here are 5 tips I have for having a successful garage sale:

  1. Go through your house top to bottom and clean out everything you don’t need or haven’t used in a year.  Ask yourself if you really NEED the item or could you replace it with something else, or do without it.
  2. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise.  Get signs up on all major roads around your site.  Put an ad on Craigslist at least 3 days before your sale and re-post it every day, including the day of.
  3. Make sure prices are on or close to everything you sell.  This is important because some of the people visiting your garage sale wont be the type of people that like to ask questions.  If they see something they are interested in that has no price, they may just pass it up rather then ask the price of the item.
  4. Have LOTS of small bills and change.  We have run out of money at each garage sale we have had.  you don’t want to be stuck without change when someone has a $20 bill for a $5 purchase.  That would mean no purchase of the item!
  5. Have a “clearance sale” the week after your sale.  Schedule a 2 weekend sale (but don’t advertise it until after the first week).  this way you can clearance out what is left.  you can do this by just lowering the price of each item left or do a bag sale where you sell whatever they can get into a grocery bag for a certain price.  This way you get more money and are able to get rid of more things.
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