Garage Sale Tips: The Ultimate Guide

Garage Sale Tips

Garage sales are a fantastic way to declutter your home, make some extra cash, and connect with your community. However, hosting a successful garage sale takes more than just setting up a few tables and hoping for the best.

There are a few ways you can maximize your profits and make the process enjoyable. After the sale, there are decisions to be made on what to do with the items that don’t sell.

Here are some helpful garage sale tips and some ideas for what to do with your garage sale leftovers afterward.

How to have a successful garage sale

Check for legal requirements

Find out whether your city or county government requires a permit for a garage sale. If so, you can probably apply online, and fees will be low to free.

Be sure you take this step, or you may face a fine.

Plan ahead

Start planning your garage sale at least a few weeks in advance. Choose a date and time that's convenient for both you and potential shoppers. Weekends are typically the best, and the earlier the start, the cooler the day will be.
Consider coordinating with neighbors for a multifamily sale to attract more visitors.

Gather and sort your items

Begin gathering items you want to sell well in advance. Go through every room in your home, including the attic, basement, and garage. This is a good time to implement some great decluttering strategies.

Sort items into categories (such as clothing, electronics, and home decor) to make it easier for shoppers to browse.

Garage sale pricing tips

Garage Sale Pricing Tips

Pricing is crucial to a successful garage sale. Research similar items online or visit other garage sales in your area to get an idea of how much to charge. Be prepared to haggle but set reasonable starting prices.

Use labels or stickers that are easy to read and consider bundling similar items for a better deal.

One common list of garage sale pricing tips suggests these prices:

  • Adult clothes: $3 to $5
  • Baby clothes: $1 to $3
  • Blu-Rays, CDs and DVDs: $3 to $5
  • Books: $1 to $2 for hardcovers, 25 cents to 50 cents for paperbacks
  • Coats: $5 to 15
  • Furniture: $10 to $30
  • Home décor: $3 to $5
  • Jewelry: 50 cents to $2
  • Shoes: $3 to $7
  • Toys and games: $1 to $2

Advertise your sale

Spread the word about your garage sale using multiple methods.

  • Create eye-catching signs with clear directions to your location.
  • Advertise on local online classifieds such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
  • Promote your sales on social media platforms and neighborhood groups.
  • Mention any unique or valuable items you're selling to attract more visitors.

Clean and present your items

Nobody wants to buy dirty or damaged items. Take the time to clean and polish your merchandise. Set up your sale items neatly on tables or racks and consider using tablecloths or other simple displays to make your setup visually appealing.

Prepare for payments

Make sure you have plenty of change on hand to provide for your customers. Keep your money organized and secure with a cash box, or carry it with you in a fanny pack.

Be ready to accept digital payments, too. Download a free, digital payment app, such as PayPal or Venmo to your phone, or check out services such as Square or Stax to accept credit card payments.

Be organized on sale day

Be organized on sale day

On the day of your garage sale, be ready to start on time. Have a plan for layout, parking, and crowd control. Keep a list of your inventory and sales.

Put bigger and more popular items toward the front and let people browse toward smaller, more common items – mugs, books, t-shirts – in the back. Group items on separate tables.

Consider offering refreshments

Providing free coffee, lemonade, or snacks can create a friendly atmosphere and encourage shoppers to linger longer.

For those warm days, have a cooler full of water bottles, either to hand out or to sell for a small fee.

Be willing to negotiate

Garage sales are known for haggling. Be open to reasonable offers, especially as the day goes on and you want to move more items.

Bundle items

Toward the end of the day, regather things for special deals. Offer four books or DVDs for $2, or let customers fill a bag for a flat rate of $5 or $10. Be sure to have your own bags for this late-day option.

Hosting a successful garage sale requires careful planning, organization, and a bit of marketing savvy. By following these tips, you can declutter your home, make some extra cash, and enjoy a successful garage sale that leaves both you and your customers satisfied.

What to do with the leftovers after the sale

No matter how successful your garage sale is, you’ll have things you couldn’t sell. Maybe nobody wanted that bedframe or slightly broken set of shelves.

There are several responsible and practical options for dealing with these remaining items. For example:

Donate them

Donate your garage items

Consider donating your unsold items to local charities, thrift stores, or shelters. Many organizations are in constant need of clothing, furniture, and household goods. This is a great way to give back to your community and help those in need.

Sell them online

Items that didn't sell at your garage sale might find a buyer online. Post them on online classifieds such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay. Take clear photos and write detailed descriptions to attract potential buyers.

Swap or trade them

If you have friends or neighbors who also had garage sales, consider organizing a swap or trade event. This way, you can exchange items you couldn't sell for something you might need.

Hold a clearance sale

Organize a Clearance Sale

If you have a significant number of leftover items, you could host a follow-up clearance sale at a reduced price. Advertise this sale specifically for the items that remain.

Consider consignment shops

Some consignment shops accept items that are in good condition. Contact local stores to see if they are interested in selling your items on consignment.

Arrange for garbage or bulk pickup

For items that are damaged, broken, or cannot be reused, arrange for bulk pickup or disposal following your local waste disposal guidelines. Be environmentally responsible by recycling what you can and disposing of hazardous materials correctly.

Hire a junk service

If you don’t want to deal with the leftovers anymore, call up a professional to take care of it all for you. At 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, we can arrange a garage sale pickup for all your leftovers. We’ll recycle what we can and dispose of the rest, safely and responsibly. Find out what we can take away from you.

Let 1-800-GOT-JUNK? finish the job for you

1-800-GOT-JUNK? will help you clear out Garage Sale leftovers

Cleaning out with a garage sale can leave you with a fistful of cash. It can also leave you with unsold items that you don’t want to drag back into your house or garage. Book a pickup from your local 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise and get rid of those things for good.

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