Garage Sale Tips & Tricks

Garage Sale Tips & Tricks

We just had a successful garage sale last week even with slightly less people than normal due to safety precautions. Last year, we had our most successful sale ever! There were some basic garage sale tips that we followed to make the most of what we had. We have had a garage sale post before, but we wanted to add to it and restate some rules. These garage sale tips and tricks helped us make our recent garage sale and last year’s garage sale successful.


Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. This just means that we make a little money if you buy something through one of our links. It does not cost you any more to purchase an item through our links. It just helps support this blog so we can continue to bring you more content like this. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.


#1 — Talk to people as they walk up to your sale!

We had people tell us that they had been to five different sales where no one spoke to them or the person having the sale was inside the house.

It is not a good idea to leave your sale unguarded. Besides the fact that people could steal your stuff, how are they supposed to pay if you are inside?

Also, if there is a question, how will it get answered?

I have found that if you talk to people, they are likely to buy something or more items than they would have otherwise.


#2 — Organize Like Items

We had both men’s and women’s clothing, and we kept men’s on one side and women’s on the other. All of our clothing that was on a table was 50¢ each. We made a big sign so people could easily see it. I also put a small piece of tape with the size on pairs of pants. This made it easier for people to know the sizes without having to unfold them (this is especially true for men’s pants that have exact measurements).

If you don’t have a lot of tables, lay boards across boxes or stack stuff on top of totes. People do not like to dig through bins. You won’t sell as much if people have to dig through a bin for an item.

You can stand books up in shallow boxes so that people can flip through them easily. This also works well for CDs and DVDs.


#3 — Make “Readable” Signs

If I am driving, I cannot read tiny writing. Make your signs very visible.

Neon backgrounds with black lettering work well.

I have gone to some sales this year where there weren’t any signs because the person gave an address and figured people would find it.

One thing that people tell us every time we have a garage sale is that they saw our signs and stopped because of them.

Some people look up sales online ahead of time to go to them, but a lot of people just see a sign and decide to stop at one. The better your signs are, the more likely people will come to your sale.


#4 — Adapt to the Weather

Normally, spring and early summer are the best times to have a sale. We had a LOT of rain during both of those periods last year.

The day we had our sale last year was 94°F and very humid. We had fans going in my garage to cool people off. Also, we offered free water from a cooler.  Although it was hot, we had the best sale ever. Because of the weather, other people decided not to have a sale. That made our sale one of the few for people who love garage sales. We were really busy most of the day.


#5 — Try to have a sale with other sales

If you can get a few other people close by to have a garage sale at the same time, it will make it better for your sale.

In our case last year, there were four other sales within a half mile radius. People don’t want to drive all over the place, so multiple sales can help.

This year, our neighbor across the street from us was also having a sale. This was an added bonus since we didn’t plan it that way.


#6 — Take lots of pictures for your ad

We posted our ad on Craigslist and Facebook. People from 90 miles away said that they were coming because they saw items in my pictures that they wanted.

Don’t just take pictures of big ticket items either. We look for a lot of board games and will look at pictures for certain games before going to a sale.

Also, make sure your pictures aren’t blurry. If we can’t tell what items are in your pictures, then the pictures are pointless.


#7 — Give yourself time to set up

We parked our cars outside of our garage for two weeks. We set up the tables right away.

We would spend a certain amount of time each day pricing items and putting them on tables. This gave us plenty of time to organize everything and not have to stay up late the night before to finish.


#8 — Cover up things you don’t want to sell

If there is anything in or around your garage that isn’t for sale, cover it with something.

We had people asking to buy the chairs we were sitting in during the sale.

This year, we had a guy take an oil can out of a cabinet because he wanted to buy it. We didn’t think we needed to cover up the cabinet, but you just never know what people are interested in buying or taking.


#9 — Have some stuff in front of your garage and in the driveway

People will slow down and try to see what you have instead of getting out of the car. If they can’t see in your garage, they will drive off.

We don’t put clothes at the front of the garage either. People will buy clothes, but most don’t go to a garage sale to just buy clothes.

Also, it’s okay to have a few more expensive items in your driveway, but try to also have cheap things as well. If people start looking at only expensive things in your driveway, they might think that everything at your sale is expensive and not want to spend much time looking around in your garage.


#10 — Make a final sweep of your house before the sale

It is good to go around your house to make sure that you haven’t missed anything. Look in closets, all rooms, the basement, and any sheds.


| Tips for decluttering your house!


#11 — Have a free box for stuff you don’t want to throw away

Our free box had metal coat hangers, puzzles that were missing a piece, books that were really beat up, and an old game that was missing pieces. People took all of these things.

Be sure to write on the puzzles “missing pieces” so that they don’t end up in a thrift store for someone to buy.

Other things that you can put out for free are items that won’t sell well or damaged items including non-working electronics. If we have electronics that we aren’t sure if they work, we will put them out for free.

This year, we took a big piece of cardboard and wrote “FREE Stuff” in big letters and hung in on our fence. Then, we put all of our free stuff in front of it. This got a lot of people’s attention as they drove by, and they stopped because of it.


#12 — Have good customer service

Making sure that your customers have a good experience at your sale will help you get repeat customers should you have a sale later in the summer or next year. Also, customers may also choose to purchase more items if they enjoy being at your sale. There are several things you can easily do to make your customers have a great experience.

If you have a lot of glass items, have some newspaper or something to wrap them in when someone buys glass.  Have bags for people to carry their purchases to their cars as well. People don’t like to carry a bunch of stuff and drop it.

Another thing that we’ve found helpful is to have a table for people to checkout at because they are able to set down their items while you add up the prices.

Also, we typically have multiple people ask if they can set some items down while they continue shopping. This is the best kind of customer you can have because it means they are planning to buy a lot of items. If you allow people to make piles, then it encourages them to keep shopping. Also, you can start adding up their items while they are still shopping. We had a little notebook that we would write totals down on so that we wouldn’t forget.


#13 — Display your items to sell

Besides organizing like items together, it also helps to display nicer items in a way that makes people notice them.

Display nicer clothing or other items in a prominent spot for people to notice. For example, we had a lot of clothing hanging from a wooden rod, but we picked out our nicest pieces and hung them from nails around the garage. This made those pieces of clothing more noticeable. Every time someone purchased one of those items, we would replace the item with another piece of clothing or outfit. We did this multiple times because people tend to buy things that stand out among other items instead of browsing through a whole rack of hanging clothes.

Another way to make items stand out and easy to look through is to use a plastic kiddie pool. A pool is great for displaying stuffed animals, pillows, shoes, etc. We sat a pool out in our driveway and had a bunch of pillows and stuffed animals in it. We sold most things in it, so then we placed shoes in it for the later part of the day to sell more of those.


#14 — Have some more expensive items

Even if you price most things pretty cheaply (which we highly suggest), it’s okay to have a few more expensive items. This is especially true for some nicer items or items that cost you a lot more money. You might not get exactly what you want for them, but you can at least try.

Also, price some of your bigger items like furniture at a price you hope for, but be willing to come down in price if someone asks. For example, we had some light fixtures for sale that were $20 each. A guy came to our sale that was interested in both lights, so we let him have them for $10 each. We might have been able to get more, but we really didn’t want to be stuck with them since they took up a lot of room.


#15 — Make your items accessible for people

When you’re setting up your items, make sure that they are easy to see and easy to access. Because our garage only has one window, we always have our overhead lights on so that people can see all our items clearly.

Also, try to limit the amount of things that you have sitting on the ground because it’s hard for a lot of older people to bend down to look at things.

Even if you have a lot of an item like books or clothes, don’t just leave them in piles or in bins for people to dig through. You may have a few people that will take the time to look through them, but most people will not want to dig through a bunch of items.


#16 — Make your sale stand out

It’s always important to make sure that people know where your sale is. Besides having good signs, there are other ways to make sure people know you’re having a sale.

We live on a corner, and our garage is on the side of our house facing a different street. To make sure people realized we were having a sale, we had multiple signs in front of our house pointing to the side of our house. Also, we put up a pop-up canopy that is bright blue for us to sit under. Because the canopy is a bright color, it made it obvious that we were having the sale.

Other things you can do is to have balloons at the end of your driveway. Depending on where your house is located, you may need to do things to make your sale stand out. If your house is far off the road, located on a busy street, or on a corner, you may need to have more than just a garage sale sign up for people to notice your sale.

One other thing to keep in mind is that if there are other sales nearby, you want to make sure people realize that you’re having a sale too not just your neighbor.


What are your best garage sale tips?

Comment down below some of the things that have worked at your sale in the past or things that you like when you shop at garage sales.


Related posts:

Garage Sale Tips for Beginners

Save Money by Shopping at Garage Sales

10 of My Best Garage Sale Finds

Garage Sale Tips & Tricks
Garage Sale Tips & Tricks
Garage Sale Tips & Tricks
Garage Sale Tips & Tricks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.