How To: Host a Garage Sale

I live in a small Midwest town where garage sales are still a pretty big staple of summer. My mom used to host them, I’ve hosted them, and street corners are decorated with neon SALE signs in every part of town all summer long. Is that typical across the country? (I’m honestly not sure…)

Anyway, tomorrow and Saturday I’m having a garage sale in conjunction with the neighborhood garage sale. (Our new house is in a development and I’m so excited to participate in the neighborhood sale!)

I won’t lie… I really like garage sales. I enjoy pricing things, arranging things, and selling things to others (a.k.a. checking them off my list). I’ve even been known to tell people to “just take it.” I’m 100% committed to getting rid of stuff. Since I’ve done this a few times, I figured I’d offer some friendly and totally unsolicited advice to anyone thinking about hosting their own yard/garage sale!

  1. Certain items draw people in. People like furniture, gently used kids’ toys and clothes, and jewelry. Once they’re in your driveway they browse through the adult clothes, kitchenware, and other miscellaneous things you have. People like winter coats, too!
  2. Keep your prices low. I might be guilty of under-pricing things, but they sell so I don’t care. And don’t be afraid to drop prices mid-sale.
  3. Friday is typically a better sale days than Saturday. Drop your prices overnight. Don’t be afraid to haggle on Friday (but maybe take someone’s best offer on Saturday). In my experience, Fridays are great and profitable while Saturdays are more of a freebie.
  4. Have refreshments! I’m not necessarily talking about a kid-run, bee-swarmed lemonade stand. Some cold $1 bottles of water will draw people your direction.
  5. Pay attention to when other around you are having sales. If you can get in on a neighborhood on that’s even better! People flock to multiple sales. Also, if people show up early and want to buy stuff before you’re 100% ready, let them πŸ˜‰
  6. Advertise in the newspaper/on Facebook/in the classified. Mention the *good* stuff you’re selling (see advice #1).
  7. Don’t burn yourself out. Only go from 8am to 2 or 3pm. After that it’s not worth it. Also, if you have friends or family who want in on the sale you can take shifts!
  8. Speaking of which, share your garage with friends/family. I don’t have kids but my bff does and she’s bringing their old toys to our sale this weekend to draw people in. My mom is also contributing items. You can use different colored stickers to keep track of how much money each person makes, then divide it all at the end.

Honestly, there are no solid rules to garage sale-ing, but these tips have worked for me. I don’t like cluttered tables or mismatched items so I tend to stage and categorize. I think it’s proven successful in most cases. I usually mark the sizes on clothing, too. That way people aren’t tearing through my piles πŸ˜‰

Just a reminder:

  • obtain a garage sale permit (even if your neighborhood is having a sale)
  • check with people before you stick a sign in their yard (advertising your sale)
  • have change ready for people paying with large bills

I know some people find garage sales to be stressful and way too much work. I am not that person. Haha. Have you ever had a garage sale? Do you enjoy them?

 

14 thoughts on “How To: Host a Garage Sale

  1. Rebecca Jo June 28, 2018 / 9:33 am

    We/ve said we’re going to have a garage sale since we moved in…. 17 years ago πŸ™‚ haha.
    It’s harder for us living on country roads. People still come out but its not like a neighborhood. And its just hard to get people in & out of long drive ways without tearing up the yard. Sigh. I end up just giving everything to Goodwill.

    Like

    • Audrey July 3, 2018 / 2:14 pm

      Hahaha- I always cave to having a sale once my pile of STUFF get too big and unmanageable πŸ˜‰ Or I send it to Goodwill, too. Lol
      It’s hard having a garage sale in the country. All my past sales were at my grandparents’ house in another development in town.

      Like

  2. Kristen from Pugs & Pearls June 28, 2018 / 9:45 am

    LOL you are my exact opposite when it comes to garage sales! I hate them!!!
    I love the idea of them. Getting rid of stuff and making money off of it should be the dream. I think I dislike the idea of random (and sometimes gross) people coming up in my yard and insulting my stuff (even if I don’t want said stuff.) I’ve had people smoke while they browse, and I can’t stand that.
    But! I totally agree with your tips here. Every time I’ve followed these guidelines, I’ve had a good sale. The tips about having small bills and pricing to sell are dead on!

    Like

    • Audrey July 3, 2018 / 2:15 pm

      Hahahaha- I think most people hate them πŸ™‚
      I had some pretty terrible buyers this time around. Just rude, rude people trying to save a dollar or less. I really can’t stand that. Sigh. I need to put some time between this sale and my next one; my tolerance for rude people is GONE.

      Like

  3. StephTheBookworm June 28, 2018 / 10:05 am

    I’ve never held one, but I love going to them. I do like selling stuff sometimes on Facebook, Mercari, and eBay though!

    Like

    • Audrey July 3, 2018 / 2:22 pm

      I’m the opposite! I don’t like going to garage sales but I love hosting them πŸ™‚ I’ve never sold anything online but I have some leftover stuff I kind of want to try it with… LOL

      Like

  4. Lauren Becker June 28, 2018 / 3:55 pm

    I see signs all the time, so it’s a big thing around me too. Granted, I’m not that far from you, so I can’t say much about the rest of the country. I’ve never had my own, though I’ve always thought it would be kind of fun! One day!!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Like

    • Audrey July 3, 2018 / 2:23 pm

      I think it’s fun πŸ™‚ You have to have a high tolerance for thrifty and sometimes rude people, though. That’s my least favorite part!

      Like

  5. Ashley June 28, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    These are such great tips! My garage sales always kind of fall flat. Will have to try some of your tips!

    Ashley @ A Cute Angle // acuteangleblog.blogspot.com

    Like

    • Audrey July 3, 2018 / 2:32 pm

      Oh no! It can be so infuriating to dump all that work and energy into a garage sale and have it fall flat or have it rain or something like that. Bummer! I hope these tips make your next one a success!!

      Like

  6. Laura June 28, 2018 / 9:42 pm

    Garage sales are still a thing in Pennsylvania! I’ve never hosted one, but Matt and I love to get a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning and go yard sale-ing! My in-laws are HUGE yard sale shoppers. They go all spring and summer and then re-sell a lot of what they buy on e-bay, and then they use their “ebay money” to go on a fancy island vacation every winter! It’s just a fun hobby for them but it really pays off!

    Like

    • Audrey July 3, 2018 / 2:35 pm

      I don’t know the last time I went to a garage sale as a buyer! I’m so impressed by your in-laws’ dedication! That’s awesome! What a fun thing to do!! I highly doubt that I could get K to see the fun side of yard sale-ing…. haha!!

      Like

  7. Nadine June 29, 2018 / 3:55 pm

    Garage sales are a lot of work. Having to get everything together, price it and put it out in a organized fashion is always so daunting. lol. I try to get in when I know several neighbors are also doing one. Though, my neighbors are such flakes that if 10 people say they are going to do one, only three actually do it. RUDE!

    Like

    • Audrey July 3, 2018 / 2:37 pm

      You’re not kidding. They’re SO much work. I don’t mind the work as long as I make a little money, though. Friday was great, Saturday was a total bust. Sigh. Win some, lose some.
      Boo on your neighbors! My street only had 4 houses with yard sales but we’re a newer development so fingers crossed for the future!!

      Like

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