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How To Have A Successful Garage Sale

Garage sales can be an effective way to get rid of unwanted stuff quickly, while also making some extra cash. However not all garage sales are a success, whether it be due to hardly anyone showing up or selling next to nothing, leaving you with a pile of stuff you still don’t need. The last thing you want is a garage sale flop, so follow these tips towards a successful garage sale.

Tips For A Successful Garage Sale


Knowing the main purpose of your garage sale is an essential starting point. Think about your goals for having the garage sale, and whether you aim is to get rid of excess stuff so you can downsize, or are you in need of some fast cash, with your main goal being to make money? Generally our goal is a bit of a combo of both of these things, but working out which is more important will help you set your prices accordingly. Remember low prices get the sales.


If no one knows about your garage sale, how can you expect them to turn up? A lot of people fail in this area, not optimising their advertising options for a successful garage sale. After all, more people means hopefully more sales. Explore your options – neighbourhood signs, local paper listings, online trading post or selling site listings, and local selling groups such as Facebook selling groups are all great places to list  your garage sale. And be sure to add some incentives by making your sale sound fabulous – MASSIVE GARAGE SALE, EVERYTHING MUST GO and an expansive list of items available. Enthusiasm is a must although keep the embellishment relatively realistic.


As mentioned before, low prices are more likely to get you sales. And let’s face it – this is stuff you no longer want and some of it you may even think of as junk. What are you planning to do with it after the garage sale? If donating is a likely option, that’s an even bigger incentive to keep your prices cheap. People are there for a bargain so make sure you have plenty of items that cost only small change. However there is no harm in putting a higher price on more valuable items that are not destined for a charity bin.


A lot of people will want an even bigger bargain than what you’ve priced your items so be prepared for a little negotiation. Often you can go back and forth a little to get a closer selling price to your original price if their first offer is a bit too extreme.


No one likes to have to keep asking for prices when shopping for bargains so make sure you have clear labels and signs on your items to keep it simple for potential buyers.


Lots of variety in products is a great way to get more sales. Some people come looking for specific items, but most just come to see what unique and interesting things they can find. Having a garage sale full of variety will appeal to a wider audience, such as men and women, rather than a garage sale that is all clothes, or all tools.


Present your items in a clear manner, making sure your high price items are highlighted but there is also clear access to your bargain boxes. Consider hanging clothing up on a rack, displaying DVD, books, CDs and games in a box so their titles are visible on the spine and having tables set up to show case trinkets and home wears.


Having at least one garage sale helper makes a big difference. It can be exhausting business sitting there all day and sometimes you need a quick break to duck to the bathroom or get something to eat. Helpers also give you someone to talk to when the customers start to dry up.


This should be a given but you would be surprised how many grumpy people sit there frowning at potential customers at garage sales. It’s a real put off from a buying perspective so be sure to greet everyone in a friendly manner. It will improve your chances of selling.

Garage sales can be a lot of hard work and we all want a successful garage sale for our efforts. Putting these tips into place will help you to maximise your garage sale selling potential so you that you can be lighter on clutter and fatter in the wallet in no time. It sure does beat listing each individual item on eBay or local selling pages. But if you do find yourself with quality items left over, at least there are other methods for selling that will hopefully work in your favour.

Do you have any successful garage sale tips to share?

Lisa @ Fun Money Mom

Monday 25th of May 2015

These are great tips! We are moving into a new house and will be participating in the community garage sale in the fall (we have way too much "stuff"!). This was very helpful!

Thanks so much for linking up with #ShareTheWealthSunday!

xoxo Lisa


Monday 25th of May 2015

So glad to hear you found it useful. A community sale would certainly help maximise your selling hopefully. Good luck!