How To Set Up a Successful Garage Sale

Garage sales or yard sales, no matter what phrase you use, can be hard to make successful. Depending on where you live, you might need to apply for permits to even have a sale on your front lawn in the first place. Once the town or other municipality has approved you, it’s game on to making some money. You might think that garage sales are all the same, a bunch of junk laid out on the driveway or lawn, on sale for a few bucks since no one truly needs any of the things you’re offering up. Well, yours doesn’t have to be like that. Here are some things you can do to put on the best garage sale your town or city has ever seen.

Make it multi-family

Even if you think you have enough junk to fill up your yard, you’re probably overestimating. It may look like a ton of stuff when it’s cluttering your house, but odds are it’s not. Unless you are selling your house and you’re getting rid of everything, having multiple families involved in your yard sale is always better. It’s going to attract more people when there’s a ton of stuff for sale. People will walk through your yard and actually look closely at your stuff rather than drive by quickly and write you off if they don’t see something that catches their eye. The more stuff the better, but keep in mind it’s also a larger cleanup.


Create a catchy flyer

Just like any other sale, you’re going to have to advertise it pretty well. Make a catchy flyer with colors and large print that you can post around town the week leading up to the big event. Remember to make the font big so that people who are driving along the road can read your sign. For the day of the garage sale, you want to make signs with large arrows pointing people in the direction of the sale. Even if they didn’t know about it prior, signs instructing them on where to go might just entice them to stop by.


Organize your sale

Garage sales are often like a scavenger hunt because there’s so much stuff in a little space, usually with no rhyme or reason. While you want people to look everywhere, you should have a little bit of order. Have a table set up for outdoor activities, kitchen supplies, clothes, and collectibles. You might even want to have a unique section like unused gift cards, although you can sell gift cards online. Make sure everything can be clearly seen so that your buyers don’t have to do digging through deep bins of random things.


Make sure you have change  

Because garage sale prices are usually low, anyone paying with a larger bill is going to need change. Start the day off with change in an envelope, that way you don’t lose any customers due to your inability to make the exchange.


Price your items

You’re going to want to price most of your items so that you don’t waste too much time negotiating with customers. If you label the products, that number is going to be the start of the bargaining. If you leave it completely open ended, be ready for some crazy lowballs. There are some items you might want to hold off on pricing because people might offer you good money for larger items that work. If you think you can stand your ground, play the bargaining game and hope that you come out on top.


Garage sales can be very lucrative if you have good items and organize the sale correctly. You’d be surprised how your junk is exactly what someone else is looking for! These sales take a bit of planning, so if you want to have one while there’s nice weather, get going as soon as possible.




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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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