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Helpful Hints as You Get Ready for Your Garage Sale

One of the most effective ways to make some extra spending money and clean out those closets is to have a garage sale. It requires some work, but anytime you can do two things at once it’s worth it. Here are some tips for making your sale as successful as possible.

Gathering items to sell

As you get items together to put in the garage sale, keep in mind that selling those items is the end goal. Clean stuff is more attractive than dirty stuff. Dust the cobwebs and layers of un-use off to make items more appealing to potential buyers. Clean items look newer and better cared for.

If you happen to have the instruction manuals for the items, dig them out and place them with the items. This communicates that you’re organized and gives the buyer a resource to reference should they have questions about specifics.

garage sale toolsArrangement

At the grocery store yesterday, I noticed that they had strategically placed donuts and snack cakes directly across the aisle from diapers. This is no accident. Management reasons that people with kids buy diapers and that kids want sweets. Item placement is important.

Just because you’re not selling new products doesn’t mean that the way you arrange the items in your garage sale is not important. Almost every store you walk into displays like products together, often in departments (e.g. housewares, sporting goods, electronics, etc.). Do the same for your sale. This makes pricing easier, makes it easier for visitors to find certain items and looks more organized.

It’s also important to get people who are just “driving past” to stop and come in. They can’t buy anything from their cars, no matter how slowly they cruise by window-shopping. Place the big, most desirable items in the most visible location for drive-bys. Usually furniture, tools and certain sporting good items are the most intriguing.

If you’re selling any electrical items, place them near an outlet or power strip so that potential buyers can plug them in to see if they work. Not many people will take the word of a stranger when it involves their money.

Placing items on tables or shelves up off the ground makes them easier to see and more accessible. Not everybody is willing to squat down to look through your old stuff.


Perhaps the most tedious task of preparing for a garage sale is pricing the items. The prices are up to you, but there are some helpful hints about how to mark the items.

  • Use tape or stickers that can be easily removed without leaving behind a sticky mess of residue.
  • If you’re concerned about people switching price tags, add the name of the item to the price on the sticker to ensure that doesn’t happen.
  • When you can, price multiple items with one tag. For example, if you have a box full of books or a shelf full of mugs, make one sign indicating the price for all like items and place it nearby.

The hardest part is done. Now all you have to do is advertise and sell stuff. Enjoy the day by chatting with neighbors, reading a book between waves of customers and soaking up some sun.

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