When it comes to Garage Sale Tips, I consider myself an expert. I’ve been going to yard sales since before I could walk. In fact, my mother often says that if it weren’t for yard sales when my sisters and I were little, that we would have been naked! We shopped nearly every weekend and I have many happy memories from those treasure hunts!
Yard sales can not only be a great way to find awesome deals, but also an excellent way to make some money from stuff you don’t want anyway. I have done yard sales annually, special moving sale yard sales, and I’ve even organized yard sales for charity. Every single one of these yard sales brought me in hundreds of dollars. I don’t live in a big town, and didn’t have a ton of stuff to sell, and didn’t over-price things either. Keep reading to get all my best Garage Sale Tips!
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General Garage Sale Tips
What sells at a garage sale?
You would be surprised at what all you can sell at a garage sale! Clothes, shoes, furniture, baby equipment, home decor, movies, books, puzzles and games, toys, electronics, tools, leftover home remodeling supplies, housewares, craft supplies, holiday items and decor, and more! Price it right and you could make some good money!
How much money do yard sales make?
It all depends on how much you have to sell. I feel like I am an average person with an average amount of junk to get rid of and make an average of $300-$500 per sale, depending on how much I have to sell. Follow the Yard Sale Tips below to make the most money.
How much petty cash should be on hand for a yard sale?
I try to get about $80 in cash. I split it up between $5, $1 and quarters. Make sure to get all you need before your sale starts, as most banks close early on Saturdays.
How do you have a successful yard sale?
That’s easy! Follow the Garage Sale Tips below to have a successful yard sale that will make your sunburn and hard work worth it!
More Garage Sale Tips
1. Price your items clearly.
If people have to ask how much things are, or they aren’t sure what prices are etc, they most likely won’t ask and will just set the item back down. Use stickers or clearly written signs to make it easy for people to shop. I just buy this pack on Amazon that comes with yard sale signs and stickers in one big bundle HERE.
2. Keep prices low.
It’s a yard sale. People expect to pay low prices, so keep that in mind. The lower your prices, the more you will sell.
3. Have a Quarter Sale.
I know it seems like if you price 90% of things at just a quarter that you won’t make anything, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’ve done this many times, where I have signs that everything is a quarter unless otherwise marked (and VERY clearly marked) and my stuff sold like crazy. This is a great idea if you have a lot of clothing or smaller items you just want gone.
4. Keep it organized.
If your stuff is piled so high that no one can sort through anything, no one is going to want to look. Keep things folded, as much as possible, and even sort by size and type if you can.
5. Have a multi-family sale.
Even if you have a lot of stuff to sell, the more you can have at a yard sale, the more people will stop and look. Yard sales that can advertise as a multi-family yard sale get better traffic than those that don’t.
6. Post it online.
Take pictures of your yard sale and post it online on Craigslist and Facebook yard sale groups in your local community. If you don’t want to mess with people asking about sizes and prices, make sure to clearly list that in the post.
7. Be ready for rain.
Weather in the spring and summer can be unpredictable. Be ready to move you items inside or have tarps etc ready for if the weather gets wet.
8. Put out lots of signs.
While the internet is great, age old traditions of yard sale signs are still very effective. Put them out the night before to keep people from coming a day early. Keep the signs simple, don’t add a lot of wording. Snag this pack on Amazon that has a ton of signs and pricing stickers in one affordable bundle – it’s what I do.
9. Participate in City Wide Yard Sales.
This has always been very effective for me. Find out if and when your community has their city wide yard sale and do your yard sale then. A LOT of people will be out with the express purpose of looking for yard sales.
10. Do them in the yard and not in the garage.
While it’s easier to prepare for weather with your items in the garage and not in the yard or driveway, it doesn’t show off your things from the road very well. You will get a lot of your traffic from people driving by and deciding to stop, so the more “curb appeal” your yard sale has, the better.
11. Use your kids.
If you have kids, or a little cousin or niece or nephew you can steal for the day, do it. Let them sell lemonade or iced tea, and people will stop just for that reason.
12. Color code your tags.
If you’re having a garage sale where more than one person is selling, pick a color of tag for each person to use to keep separating income simple at checkout.
13. Have plenty of change.
Nothing is worse than having people pay with 20 dollar bills and running out of change by 9 a.m. Keep plenty of change on hand.
14. Be ready to haggle.
People LOVE to feel like they’re getting an even better deal by bundling several items for a slightly lower price, or bartering with you on the price of an item. Don’t be offended when this happens, just play the game.
15. Be nice!
This should go without saying, but if you’re friendly, people will stay longer. If they stay longer, they’ll buy more.
16. Start early, and stay late.
It sucks, but for one weekend make yourself be outside as soon as it’s daylight and stay out until late afternoon. You’ll catch everyone this way.
17. Have one sale a year.
Don’t try and have 3 or 4 yard sales a year and expect to make hundreds. Save all your stuff year round, and have one big yard sale a year.
18. Sell the leftovers.
A lot of people have yard sales as a way to make income, or as a way to raise money for charity. Sell the leftovers for really cheap and post it online for someone to come pick it all up when you’re finished. This will keep you from having to pack everything away, and you’ll make a little money in the process.
19. Have a bag sale.
Once you get to the second or third day of your sale (typically Saturday after noon is when I do this) have a bag sale. Tell people they can fill a Walmart bag for $1 or $2, and you’ll sell a lot this way.
20. Make sure your items are clean.
If all your stuff is super dirty from the garage, or dusty, or smells like it’s been in storage etc people won’t be as inclined to buy. It’s much more cost effective to throw a load of clothes in the washing machine than to try and sell them smelling like smoke or mildew.
21. Have a helper.
Especially if you’re a mom, get someone to come help you with the sale. Kids are needy and want to eat more than once a day, so you’ll constantly be going in the house with them etc. Find a friend or family member to come hang out with you for the weekend so you can feel okay going in to use the restroom, or doing a fast food run if need be.
22. Sell bottled water or canned soda.
This sounds silly, but I know when I yard sale that it MAKES MY DAY when people are selling a can of ice cold Coca-Cola from their cooler for $0.75. I get one for me and one each for the kids. Usually it’s very hot outside, and the drink is a moment of cool refreshment that I’m all too happy to buy.
23. Try to keep prices under $1.00.
I know it seems low, but for most clothing, shoes, knick knacks, toys and books you’re going to want to keep prices under $1.00 to get the most sales. People talk, and will spread the word that your prices are high if you go over this amount.
So there you have it! 23 Garage Sale Tips to make sure you sell all your crap and make a load of cash in a single weekend. If you have any other Garage Sale Tips that have worked for you, feel free to add them in the comments below! Happy buying and selling, friends!