Tips for Holding a Successful Garage Sale

Tips for Holding a Successful Garage Sale

Summer is in full swing which in my neck of the woods means two things: road construction on just about every street, road and highway throughout the region and an abundance of garage sales. I love a good garage sale - almost as much as I dislike trying to wind my way around those impossibly placed orange cones. If you're gearing up to hold your own sale this summer, here are a few tips to boost your selling power.

Get the Word Out

There's never been an easier time to spread the word of a garage sale than now. Use social media to tell everybody and their brother about your sale. You can also post your impending sale as far in advance as you want on Craig's List - for free! Post a notice the weekend before you intend to have the sale, then a couple of days before, and on the days of and surrounding the sale.
Also, for a more traditional way to advertise your sale, check with your local newspapers. While some may charge a pretty penny for this service, some smaller publications will let you advertise for free. It's been my experience, though, that posting the sale on the web plus good signs has brought in a decent amount of potential buyers.


Believe it or not, I wasn't referring to the Mel Gibson flick about crop circles. Signs, though, are an important component of a successful garage sale. People need to know where to go, and they need your signs to get to you. Keeping that in mind, here are a few tips to create those signs:

  • LARGE lettering: size does matter. If your customers can't read the few seconds it takes them to stop at the intersection, they're less likely to seek you out.
  • Include your address and an arrow pointing in in the right direction.
  • Include the date(s) you're holding the sale.
  • Consider a bright, eye-catching color for your sign.
  • Add a few balloons to the top to draw more attention to your sign.
  • Put out A LOT of signs. If you think you're on overkill, then you're probably at just about the right amount.

At the Sale

Okay, I know putting on a garage sale is a lot of work in and of itself, but taking a bit longer and going the extra step to group like items can result in moving more of those items. You don't have to go crazy and color coordinate or anything like that. Consider, though, having table dedicated to kids' items, or a space on your lawn specifically for kitchenware. A few other tips:

  • If you have multiple items to sell (books, DVDs, etc.), consider a "two for" kind of pricing. For example, you could price paperbacks at a fifty cents each or three for a dollar. This encourages people to find more of an item to reach that solid price point.
  • Have a freebie box. This is great for junk you think just won't sell or stuff you really want to get rid of but don't want to see go into the trash. Trust me, people love a freebie box.

What are some of the tricks you've used to make your garage sale successful?