Six Tips for Making the Most at Your Garage Sale

It’s garage sale time. This is the first step I’m taking in my six month rule for decluttering project.

Every year the town I live in has a city wide garage sale. It seems like the everyone is either holding their own garage sale or out shopping at the other’s sales. This year I’ll be selling the stuff I’ve found that I don’t need.

Product Placement

Place popular items closer to the street – this is important because you will get a lot of “drive-by shoppers”, the ones that get to your house and slowly drive by to see if there is anything they want. Having items easy to see will invite them to stop and look. Popular items can vary depending on where you live, but typically anything name-brand will grab attention because of it’s perceived value. This includes baby items, furniture, clothing and so on.

Clear the clutter

Having all your items piled together on tables in boxes and on the ground makes it hard to find anything. Sometimes you’ll get the hardcore garage sale bargain shoppers that will take the time to dig through looking for treasures. But you’ll also get many people just doing the quick scan through of your stuff. Having this stuff laid out as much as possible will make it easier for shoppers to see each item clearly.

Proper pricing

Everyone knows that there is no set price for garage sales. Just because it’s priced at $5.00 doesn’t mean the seller won’t take $2.50. Over at The Simple Dollar, they give buyers tips on how to negotiate the best price, so knowing how to price it to begin with is important. If a buyer has a rule of “offer 10% of the asking price”, the higher you can reasonably price it to begin with, the better your final sale price will be.

Research for the best price

I’ve found looking through Craigslist or Ebay for similar items helps me find a good starting point. Simply search for the item you’re selling and find an average of similar items on either or these sites. It is always good to know what something sells for new, too. This will help you negotiate a better price on something you’re selling that may be “like new”.

Have plenty of change

Having plenty of change on hand is vital to getting a better price for your stuff. Let’s imagine a shopper finds something they want that you are selling for $4.50. This frugal shopper offers you %50, $2.25. You agree and the seller hands you three dollars. If you don’t have the $.75 in change to give them, you will be forced to sell it for $2.00 (the buyer usually won’t go up in price), losing out on the $.25. This isn’t much on the one sale, but if this happens enough throughout the day, you could lose a lot of income.


With our town’s city wide sale, you are included in the list of garage sales happening that is published in the newspaper. But, it’s always a good idea to add a listing to Craigslist with the main items you are selling. Add your address, what hours you will be open (people will knock on your door at 6AM if you don’t) and a general list of things you have for sale. Put signs out in the neighborhood with your address so it’s easy to find you.

Garage sales are a great way to clear the clutter and make a little extra cash at the same time. Having a plan and knowing how to price things will make your sale simple to operate and more fun!

What are some things you’ve done to improve your success?

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