Neighborhood May 26, 2022

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Many of us have gathered a lot of “stuff” over the years, and the quantity likely increased during the Pandemic! So, what to do with that stuff? I suggest trying out a Garage Sale!

The Low Down

With a garage sale, you typically clear out your driveway for merchandising. Tables, clothing racks, and even sheets/quilts are laid out with your items organized on top or hung up (make sure to leave room for walking around your items!). For pricing, you can group by price, or label items individually with a sticker.

Weekends are best for garage sales, with typical hours being somewhere between 8am-5pm. Fridays are also common if you’re looking for a multi-day event. Be prepared for early birds while you’re setting up. There are a lot of serious garage salers out there!

Popular Items: Baby Clothes, Baby Gear, Toys, Clothing, Sporting Goods, Housewares, Board & Video Games, Furniture, Antiques, Tools, Books & Media… anything that is functional, clean, and ready for its next home!

If you haven’t held a garage sale before here are my top tips!

1.) Have good signage & advertise: What good is a sale if no one knows about it? Advertise well in advance with a description of the type of items that will be sold. I recommend using Craigslist, Facebook (local FB groups), NextDoor, and sites like Post signs around your neighborhood with A-boards, or bright poster boards. I usually put the signage out the night before!

2.) Join a neighbor if you don’t have enough items to capture an audience: If it’s not a community-wide sale, ask a neighbor or a friend if they want to join you and bring their stuff over!

3.) Price your items realistically: Overpricing your items is the fastest way to not sell anything. Be fair with your prices, and be ready for people to negotiate with you – that’s part of the garage sale’ing culture!

4.) Make change ahead of time: Garage sale transactions are typically made with cash and coins, so I highly recommend having a little bank started ahead of time! Be on the lookout for fake bills, because that can happen. Pro tip: I recommend wearing your bank in the form of a fanny pack (belt bag), so it’s easier to keep your money secure and accessible.

5.) Prepare for the weather: Though garage sales are usually held during the summer, it might be raining on the day it’s scheduled— I recommend having a space carved out INSIDE your garage if you need to bring things undercover. Or, have a canopy!

6.) Keep your expensive items close to where you’re going to be sitting/standing: If you have anything valuable, make sure it’s somewhere that is visible or where it can’t easily be stolen from. It’s not common, but it definitely happens!

7.) Donate your items that didn’t sell: If you have any big ticket items left over, you can try selling them individually on Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace before donating. For items that aren’t eligible for donation, try marking items for free on local BuyNothing groups, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace! (Remember, if you are meeting anyone, make sure you are being safe. I recommend leaving items on the driveway or meeting someone at a safe location!)

Happy garage sale’ing!