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How to Hold a Successful Garage Sale

A garage sale is a great way to purge old items and make cash to pay off bills, buy replacement pieces or even take a vacation. Doing it right will make the difference in how much cash you count at the end of the day.



A truly great sale takes time and planning. Spend time wiping off dusty items, making sure they work and organizing them into categories, just like you’d see at a retail store. Having a hard time parting with something? Remember the rule: If you haven’t used it within a year and don’t plan to use it, let it go.



Let’s have a moment of honesty here: No one expects to pay top dollar at a garage sale. Often, we see higher prices on some items because they have emotional value, or because someone paid top dollar years ago when the item was purchased. Do your research, be flexible and always expect to be asked how low you’ll go for an object. It’s just part of the garage sale game. Stand your ground on what matters, but also remember your purpose — decluttering and making money.



To truly attract attention to your sale, place your larger-ticket items closest to the street. Show your sale has goods for everyone.



Facebook has several local garage sale groups, and those seem to get the most bang for no bucks. You can also advertise in the local paper or put an ad on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Lots of easy-to-read signage leading buyers to your event will also make an impact. Make sure to use language that brings the right shoppers. For example, mom-to-mom sale, moving sale or furniture sale. List popular items like bicycles, gaming devices, tools and furniture.


Clean Up

Make piles to organize how you’ll part with items: consign, donate, keep or trash. Having a plan will help you muster the energy when the sale is over to just finish the job.


Here’s a helpful checklist for what you’ll need on-site for your sale

  • Bottled water/snacks
  • Cash for change
  • Cashbox/fanny pack
  • Extension cord/power strip for electronic testing
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Notebook/pen
  • Phone charger
  • Price stickers/markers
  • Plastic bags, paper bags, newspaper and boxes
  • Radio
  • Signs
  • Tables and clothing racks
  • Trash can