7 Steps To A Successful Garage Sale

You have purged your home of things you don’t love, that don’t fit anymore, and that you haven’t used in months.  It’s all sitting in the spare bedroom and the corner of your living room or heaven forbid you have parked it all in a pile in the garage (AKA your hubby’s man cave) and you’re getting “that look” every time he goes out there.  Let’s find all of that stuff a new home.  Let’s get it all ready and have a garage sale!

Garage sale, rummage sale, yard sale…whatever name you prefer to use, it’s a great way to get rid of the  clutter and make some extra cash before that husband of yours rolls it out for trash day or throws it on the burn pile.  You could put the money toward a vacation, pay a bill, buy a new outfit (or 2), or use it to fund a room makeover project like I talk about in my free Ebook How to Makeover a Room on a $100 budget.

Before you jump up and run out and throw open the garage door, there are some things you need to do first to ensure you have a successful sale.  Yes, a garage sale takes a bit of planning.  Lucky for you, I have done lots of these and I am going to share my best tips for a successful garage sale with you.  I am even including a check list at the end that you can print off to make sure you get it all done.

This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure Here.



Expert tips on how to have a successful garage sale and a free checklist.

7 Steps To a Successful Garage Sale

Set the date.  Make sure it is far enough away that you have time to prepare.  Find out if your town or neighborhood is having an area wide garage sale, multiple sales draw more people.  Maybe there is a festival in your area that could coincide with your garage sale.  People will stop and see you first before heading on to the main event.

Advertise.  Back in the day (I may be dating myself here) you called your local newspaper and placed an ad for your garage sale.  IKR?!  How antiquated is that?!  In today’s modern world you post it to Facebook.  Don’t forget to add it to the local Facebook sales groups you are in and make sure to add a couple of pictures of items you will have for sale.  It is still important to hang signs in strategic locations with the address and time and date of your sale on them.  Just make sure you are allowed to hang your signs where you want to put them, you don’t want to have to pay a fine out of the proceeds from the sale later.

Advertising your garage sale is key to getting people there. Put up signs and post on facebook.

Present your items in the best possible condition.  Sadly, your stuff is not new anymore and it has had some wear and tear.  You can still make it desirable to someone by cleaning it up and making small minor repairs if it will bring a better price.  Wash all clothing, bed linens, pillows, etc.  They have probably been living in a closet or drawer for who knows how long and they need a bit of a refresh.  If something is wrinkled, run an iron over it.  Clean up dishes, toys, shoes, purses and anything else you are going to sell.  Some all purpose cleaner and a damp rag will do wonders.  Make sure purses are empty, you never know what might still be in there since you last carried it.

Clean your items to get the best price for them at your garage sale.Make sure everything has a price on it.  Nothing is more irritating than having to ask how much something is, and nothing puts you on the spot worse than having to come up with a price when someone is standing there holding something they want to buy.  Trust me, I have been on both ends of that one.

Price items for your market.  Remember, this is a garage sale.  Your items aren’t new anymore and you aren’t selling them in a retail store.  Typically you can expect to receive 25-30% of what you paid for something originally IF it is in perfect condition.  Repurposed or refinished items sometimes won’t bring what you want them to at a garage sale.  People are looking for things they can makeover themselves, so consider selling those types of items in another venue to get the best price.

Setting up your sale is all about being strategic.  Group like items together.  Don’t make people dig through your stuff to find a gem, make sure everything is easily accessible and visible.  As items sell, make sure to condense what is left so it continues to look full.  Have bags on hand for purchases and paper to wrap up breakables.

Be willing to negotiate price.  I don’t mean give away the farm on the first day.  Let’s be real, if you don’t want to have to take the stuff back in the house you have to be willing to drop the price so it can find a new home

Once your sale is over, bag up what is left and take to your nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army.  DO NOT take it back into the house.  Then count up your money and spend it however you like.  Pay a bill (no fun in that, but sometimes necessary).  Put it toward a vacation.  Go out to eat and to a movie.  It is money you didn’t have so enjoy.

Do you have any tips to share for a successful garage sale?  Please share them in the comments below!

And as promised, your free garage sale checklist.  Just click the image to download and print.

Easy to use checklist to make sure your garage sale goes off without a hitch.


Cheers to a successful sale!









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  1. Great tips! Garage sales are a great way to pay down credit card debt. I keep reading about it on the Dave Ramsey boards.

    1. skstewart1220@hotmail.com says:

      Thanks! And a great way to get rid of clutter 🙂

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