How to Have a Garage Sale

When you have a garage sale, your objective is to make money while getting rid of stuff in your house. The spring is the best time to have a garage sale. After a long winter people are ready to get out and find some good deals. Here are some tips to make the most of your garage sale:

  1. Have as many signs as possible.Put one on every major corner, on the corner to house and any needed in between. If it is more than 1/2 mile from the corner to your house put some signs in between. You really can’t make enough signs.
      • Make your signs large!! At least 12 inches but 18-24 is much better.
      • Use contrasting colors. Black and white are best but other colors such as light colored paper with black ink will work well. A black permanent marker works best.


    • Be sure to put your address AND an arrow pointing the direction to your house.
    • Make all your signs out of the same material. For example, make all of them out of cardboard with white painting. That way people will know it’s your garage sale and know which signs to follow.
    • Check with your city or town and find out if they have any particular rules for garage sales. Our city requires a permit that costs $1.50 per day. When we purchase the permit, they give us a list of rules telling us things like not to nail signs on telephone poles.
  2. Check to see if any of your local papers or thrifty papers have free garage sale ads. Put one in if they do.
  3. Clean out everythingyou can so you can have as large as sale as possible.
    • If you don’t have enough stuff to make big enough sale then ask friends, family or neighbors to have one with you.
    • Give all of your neighbors a flyer telling them when you are having a sale and ask if they would like to have one also. The more sales that there are in one area, the more people will come to your sale.
  4. Price you stuff LOW.There is nothing more frustrating than going to a garage sale and finding items for prices equal to or higher than the same items brand new on clearance, even if it is “Baby Gap”. Name brands can let you get by with a little higher prices.


    I recommend pricing really nice kids clothes no higher than $1 each and clothes that have stains or are not name brand at .50 or less. Socks and underwear shouldn’t be higher than .10 each.

    You may think that these prices are too low but please remember than you are getting rid of stuff!! You don’t want to bring it back into the house and store it for a few more years. If you are not selling to get rid of things, you will keep most of what you put out. You will also get a lot more sales if your prices are reasonable which means more in the long run. If you sell 15 $1 items or you sell 200 at .25 each ($50 total) you will make much more if you sell the less expensive items. A good rule of thumb is to price items a maximum of 10% retail price.

    By the way, people who go to yard sales really don’t care if it’s brand new in the box and you paid $80 for it so you “must” get $50 for it. It has been sitting in your house for who knows how long so you aren’t getting your money’s worth anyway. Price it for $5 and get rid of it!

  5. Expect people to ask you to come down on the price. If you feel your prices are very reasonable then don’t come down, but remember you are trying to get rid of stuff so don’t put too high a value on it. If someone asks you to come down on a price and you aren’t ready to come down at that point ask for their name and number and tell them you will call them later if it hasn’t sold and you are ready to sell it to them at that price.

      Tawra and Jill

If you want to find out how to look for great buys at garage sales, read “Ten Garage Sale Shortcuts”.


Rate This