6 Garage Sale Tips

We will be having our first Garage Sale ever on Saturday!

When our city announced that there would be a Coquitlam wide garage sale for whoever wanted to participate, we decided to join in. It’s a great way to de-clutter, find a home for outgrown clothes and toys, and get rid of things that you’re just not using anymore. Plus, it helps you get a little more cash into that savings jar.

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Photo Source: Pritz.org

That is all well and good, but we’ve never held a garage sale before and I wanted to make sure we do it right. So I scoured the internet for tips and tricks. In this post I’m sharing 6 Garage Sale Tips that I found very helpful in case you decide you want to have one as well. 

1. Find Your Inventory
Walk through each room in your house. Whether it’s toys, clothes, shoes, books, appliances, furniture, if you haven’t used it in a while, it doesn’t fit or it’s just taking up space in your home, it is a good candidate for the garage sale. 

2. Advertise
It’s great to have a garage sale, but if no ones knows about it then it won’t be very successful. Place signs around your neighbourhood, at main streets and intersections, with your address and direction arrows to make it easy for people to find the sale. Use neon posterboard and thick black markers. Make sure the directions are written in BIG LETTERS, because if you can’t see your signs from a block away, neither can anyone else.

3. Prepare Your Items
Check all your items to ensure they are clean and presentable. For toys, wipe them down and check for any cracks. Wash any clothes that you will be selling and put them on hangers for sale day. Clean and shine any dishes and small appliances. Ziplock bags are great for kids games, puzzles, jewelry and hardware. Items that are clean and displayed nicely will get a better price. 

4. Pricing
It’s up to you to decided if you want to pre-price all your items or just go with the flow on sale day. Yes, haggling is a big part of garage sales, but it might make it a little less stressful if you are able to price everything ahead of time so people who come by have a general idea. And of course they can still always bargain. You can use masking tape or buy special stickers from the a supply store or even the dollar store to make pricing a simple task.

5. Set-Up For Your Sale
Most often garage sales are held in your driveway or front lawn so they can be easily seen. Make sure to take away any big items that are usually there or cover them up with a big sheet so there is no confusion about whether it’s for sale or not. Set up your things on tables, benches, easy access boxes and sheets. For clothing, hang them on a clothing rack or clothes line. Put any big items near the front to attract more people.

6. Don’t Forget The Change. 
And finally, make sure to have lots of change on hand in the way of small bills as well as coins. Some people will have the right change but many will only have a $20 to pay for a $2 item. So be prepared and go to the bank and keep a good float on hand to last for the whole garage sale. 

Decide ahead of time, what you are going to do with items that don’t sell because it’ll make clean up much easier. Don’t forget to take down all your signs. Count all your proceeds then put them in the saving jar for that upcoming vacation and treat the family to a nice dinner out. You all deserve it!

If you’ve held garage sales in the past, what are some tips that you think are important or useful?

Good luck with your next sale!

9 thoughts on “6 Garage Sale Tips

  1. As a frequent shopper, I can say if you don’t price your items I won’t stick around long. I don’t want to have to ask about everything I’m interested in.

  2. Good list! It is a LOT of work. I did it once and since then just pack them all in the van and head to the nearest Salvation Army stop. Garage and thrifting is not for all sadly 🙁

    Word on the earlier commenter’s pricing comment. I have a friend who is amazing with this and that;s what she says too!

  3. I second Scott on one of his comments – in my garage sale days (going to them – I only had two for our own stuff) I would not stay long if items were not priced. I also appreciated sales where the children’s clothes (a big item for me, along with toys) were sorted by size – at least before shoppers got to them. I found the key was to sell as much as possible in the first hour. Have a strategy to either welcome or discourage earlybirds. We would have people try to show up the day before! Know in advance what you are willing to bargain for – at least in upstate NY there are many bargain hunters out there.

  4. I have held quite a few garage sales as we have 3 kids and our community holds a sale every fall and I have found the following ideas work great for me:

    – organize everything by purpose (toys together, kitchen stuff together, etc.)
    -put larger items close to the street or front of the garage
    – put “guy stuff” at the front or end if the driveway so they can poke around while their wives take a bit longer
    -check kijiji or Craig’s list for pricing for your larger items
    -if you have kids clothing consider making a pricing chart (I.e. All pj’s $2, all tshirts $2, all jeans $3)
    – try to sort kids clothing by size (I.e. Have one table for under 2yrs, one for 3 and up)

    Good luck at your sale Salma!

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