How to Have a Garage Sale

How to Have a Garage Sale

When the weather warms up, many people have one thing on their mind — spring cleaning. Maybe you're working on your 2023 New Year's resolutions or want to make some extra money before a busy summer. Whatever your reason, throwing a garage sale is a great way to clean out the old and earn quick cash.

Garage sales are popular with sellers and buyers alike. If you're new to the garage sale game, you want to be sure you make the process easy on yourself and your visitors. This guide goes through all the top garage sale tips to make the most of your garage sale day. Here's how to throw a successful garage sale:

When Is a Good Time to Have a Garage Sale?

The first step in figuring out how to have a successful garage sale is to pick the right time. Setting your gently-used clothing out in your yard in the middle of winter won't produce the best results. To make sure you have plenty of visitors, consider these factors:

  • Time of year: Pick a time when the weather isn't extreme, so buyers will be more likely to stop and browse. Spring and summer are best for a yard sale.
  • Time of month: The best day for garage sale activities is during the weekend, Friday through Sunday. Consider scheduling your garage sale on the first weekend of the month, when many people have more cash to spend from their paychecks.
  • Time of day: Many people hold their garage sales in the morning. Cooler morning temperatures make everyone more comfortable, and many buyers get out early to finish their shopping. Start as early as 7 a.m. and plan to wrap up early in the afternoon.

How Do You Set up a Garage Sale?

• Choose Your Location
• Determine Your Space
• Work on Presentation
• Plan for the Weather
• Stock up on Supplies

How Do You Set up a Garage Sale?

A garage sale can be a lot of work. It's best to plan before you pile everything you want to sell in the garage. Follow these steps for how to set up a garage sale to make sure you have everything you need:

1. Choose Your Location

An essential fact about how to do a garage sale is that location matters. You need a neighborhood with lots of vehicles and foot traffic to attract a crowd. If you live in a rural location, ask a family member or friend if you can set up your garage sale in their neighborhood instead. Remember to check for permits your neighborhood might require for holding a garage sale.

2. Determine Your Space

Draw a map of your garage, driveway and any other spaces you're using for your garage sale. Then visualize where to place large items, racks of clothes and boxes. Be sure to set up a chair and table where you can cash people out.

3. Work on Presentation

To sell your used items, you have to make them look appealing. As you collect things to sell, clean them off and make sure they work. Presentation goes a long way in closing a sale. Put batteries in the items that need them, provide customers with an extension cord to test appliances and set up a mirror near the jewelry.

Here are a few more yard sale tips for presentation:

  • Place larger items front and center: Putting items like cribs, desks and wagons outside your garage draws the attention of drivers passing on the road. It also persuades them to stop by and check out what other treasures you have.
  • Organization is key: No one likes to dig through giant bins of random items they don't want. Make it easier for potential customers by organizing things neatly on tables or in boxes. You can also set up items by similarity or according to room, so objects are easier to find.
  • Keep expensive items back: You don't have to put heirloom teapots or valuable jewelry close to the road. Keep these items back where you can keep an eye on them.

4. Plan for the Weather

The weather can be unpredictable, especially during the springtime. Try to schedule your garage sale when the forecast is clear of rain. Then create a backup plan in case the weather catches you off guard. You can secure tarps over your items, bring them into the garage or place a canopy over the large items outside.

5. Stock up on Supplies

Having the necessary supplies on hand for your garage sale can simplify the whole process for you and your family. Many of these items are also helpful for visitors. Here is a list of supplies you might find beneficial for your yard sale:

  • Signs
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • A radio
  • A calculator
  • Receipt book
  • Price tag stickers
  • A locking cash box
  • Bags and boxes for customers to use
  • A notebook and pen for keeping track of sales




How Do You Set up a Garage Sale?

What Can You Sell at a Garage Sale?

After deciding where to host your garage sale, it's time to collect your items. How do you know what to sell and what to trash or donate? The following items are great for selling at a garage sale:

1. Furniture

Some of the largest ticket items at your garage sale might be furniture. If these items are low-quality, you might price them around $10 to $40. Even furniture in good condition should still be considerably lower than the original price. Sell furniture like:

  • Sofas
  • Dressers
  • Cribs and beds
  • Dining room tables and chairs

2. Collectibles

Smaller items and collectibles might bring you less profit than a dining room table in good condition. However, you're likely to find more potential buyers for smaller, cheaper items. If you want to get rid of things, pricing these items even lower can encourage people to buy.

Organize small collectible items by type. Place items on tables and in bins to ensure customers can easily search through them. Some smaller things you could sell include:

  • Toys
  • Coffee mugs
  • DVDs, CDs and records
  • Video games and board games

3. Clothing

Your closet is the best place to start when gathering items for your yard sale. Have everyone in your family pick out the clothes that don't fit anymore or they haven't worn in a while. Display clothing items visibly. Hang clothes on a rack or clothesline and sort your accessories. Include clothing items like:

  • Shoes
  • Baby clothes
  • Pants and shirts
  • Scarves and jewelry

How to Price Garage Sale Items

Pricing your items right is a crucial aspect of how to have a successful yard sale. Everyone loves a good bargain, and a garage sale is not the place to sell items at full price. Pricing used items is a balancing act. Use these guidelines when pricing your garage sale items:

1. Price Fairly

Your grandparents' dinnerware set holds special value to you — but other people won't see it the same. Avoid overpricing your items because of sentimental reasons. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes to estimate what you would pay for a similar item. Friends and family are good sources of objective opinions when you need one. If you wouldn't pay a dime for something, consider donating it instead of selling it.

2. Check Online

Before making a final decision on pricing, it's helpful to do a quick search online to see what people are paying for similar items. Websites like eBay and Facebook garage sale groups can help you get a better idea. You can also check out local garage sales to see how people in your area price their items.

3. Fix Prices Ahead of Time

Be prepared to negotiate with potential buyers, especially on big-ticket items. However, if you know your price is fair, it's all right to say no to negotiations. Determine the lowest price you're willing to accept ahead of time. This makes negotiations easier under pressure. You can always bring your price down during the final days of your sale to encourage buyers.

Make a pricing sheet for similar items like clothes, serving dishes and DVDs. You can post the pricing sheet on the wall and color-code your price stickers for easy reference.

1. Advertise Strategically
2. Prepare the Night Before
3. Consider Enlisting More Families
4. Bundle Similar Items
5. Plan to Make Change

6. Get out There and Work the Crowd
7. Consider Cashless Payment Options
8. Sell Homemade Treats
9. Think Carefully About Holding Items
10. Plan for Leftovers

The Best Garage Sale Tips

The Best Garage Sale Tips

Planning a successful garage sale takes careful preparation. This list takes you through everything you need to know to have a successful garage or yard sale. Follow these final tips on how to have a garage sale that's well-planned, effective and fun:

1. Advertise Strategically

Garage sale advertising should be strategic. After all, if people aren't aware of your yard sale, they can't come. Advertisements should be easily visible, so as many people as possible know about your big sale. Include essential information like your address and the garage sale's dates and times. If you have specialty items or accept payment methods other than cash, add this information.

Put up advertisements in these locations:

  • The entrance to the neighborhood: Old-fashioned flyers and signs will usually do the trick. Grab some bright neon signs and balloons from the dollar store and make signs for the front of your neighborhood. Draw a simple map or include easy directions so people can find you.
  • The front of your driveway: You should also clearly mark the entrance to your driveway so everyone is sure to find it. Use the same type of sign that you did for the neighborhood sign.
  • The local Facebook group: Spread the word in your neighborhood Facebook group or other social media pages. Call your garage sale something catchy and memorable.

2. Prepare the Night Before

Depending on how well you advertise, people might be standing outside your door before you open. Spend the night before going over your checklist:

  • Gather your necessary supplies.
  • Set up tables and display items.
  • Place signs outside your house.
  • Fill your cash box with change.

One thing you shouldn't leave until the night before is pricing your items. Waiting too late to set your prices means you'll likely be tired and overwhelmed with everything else you have to do. Price your items as you collect them to make this step easier.

3. Consider Enlisting More Families

Since yard sales take so much effort, consider inviting more families to join you. Larger sales could attract more customers, increasing profits for everyone.

If you have kids, you can get them involved by letting them keep the profits from whatever they decide to sell of theirs. The more help, the merrier! Use different-colored price stickers to keep each family's items separated.

4. Bundle Similar Items

Bundling is a great way to get rid of items at the end of the sale. If you've got a lot of science fiction novels, sell them by the box. Offering five DVDs for a few dollars or pricing furniture as a set encourages sales.

If you're pressed for time, you can offer mystery bags. Gather similar items that someone might want to purchase together, like toddler toys or baby clothing of the same size. Put all of your items in a plastic bag and price them as a unit. When you want to get rid of things even faster, you can let customers fill up a bag for a flat rate of $10.

5. Plan to Make Change

Stop by the bank the day before your sale starts and pick up smaller bills and plenty of coins. It's essential to have plenty of spare cash on hand to make change for your customers. You don't want to lose a sale because you didn't have a couple of $1 bills. If you have some larger-ticket items, stock up on $10 and $20 bills. Then keep all of your change in a cash box to keep everything organized.

6. Get out There and Work the Crowd

Customers will likely have questions about some of your items. Be ready to answer them. Mingle with customers or position your chair where you can greet them as they arrive. A friendly hello makes people feel welcomed and comfortable as they browse. Make sure you or a family member has their eye on the cash box throughout the day.

7. Consider Cashless Payment Options

Most people will pay cash for your items, but you may be able to sell more if you also accept credit cards. You can accept credit or debit cards with a point-of-sale app like Square. You can also download free apps like Venmo that make secure online transfers. Be sure your Wi-Fi is working, or use a trusty hotspot. Accepting cashless payments might be worth it if you have several bigger ticket items, despite small transaction fees.

8. Sell Homemade Treats

Another way to make extra cash during your yard sale is to have homemade treats available for purchase at checkout. Selling baked goods like brownies and cookies is an excellent way to boost your income for the weekend. Your kids can also make a lemonade stand for customers. Even if someone doesn't find what they're looking for among your items, they might want a treat.

9. Think Carefully About Holding Items

Holding an item while someone rushes home to get their money might be more hassle than it's worth. Some people won't return, and you could lose another sale waiting for them. People who really want your item will often buy it immediately when you say you can't do holds.

10. Plan for Leftovers

What will you do with your leftover items at the end of your yard sale weekend? Nothing you decided to sell should go back into your house — that defeats the purpose of your garage sale. But the landfill might not be the best place for many of your items. For instance, electronic waste from appliances and cell phones dumped into landfills significantly harms the environment.

Donating your like-new leftover items is an excellent way to empty your garage. Find out if your local charity or thrift store does pickups. You might need to schedule a pickup in advance, so ask ahead of time. Another solution is e-cycling. Used smartphone recycling and selling is a growing sector and is one way you can help the environment. Making a plan for the leftover items from your garage sale lets you clean out your house and help the environment.

Sell Your Used Phone to ecoATM

With some advanced planning, you can host a successful garage sale that makes money and declutters your home.

Sell Your Used Phone to ecoATM

With some advanced planning, you can host a successful garage sale that makes money and declutters your home. Sometimes, other solutions might be better for getting rid of certain items. If you have used smartphones and want to recycle them responsibly, ecoATM is your answer. ecoATM gives your gently used cell phone the opportunity for a second life and can pay you for it in the process.

The ecoATM process is simple. Once you've prepared your phone for trade-in, you can bring your phone to an ecoATM kiosk and get cash for it in under 10 minutes. When you sell to ecoATM, you also positively impact the environment. At ecoATM, we've kept over 37 million electronic devices out of landfills by reselling or recycling them. That's some significant help for the planet!

With over 5,000 ecoATM kiosks in the United States, it's easy to find a convenient location near you. Visit your closest ecoATM kiosk to get started today!