The Story of a Mom, a Wife a Small-Business-Owner-Hopeful (Happy Baby Designs) and a Craft Lover, trying to be present (not just exist) in my life with my children, my husband and myself. Follow along with me as I chronicle my crafting and business endeavors, my true life and some mommy moments along the way .

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Garage Sale Selling 101

While I was visiting my family in Arizona, I helped my sister have a garage sale in preparation for her move to Texas (yipee!!!).


She was more than ecstatic when I volunteered to help her. To say she was not looking forward to organizing and working this garage sale would be a huge understatement.

So it got me to thinking, maybe some of you are intimidated or scared about having a garage sale of your own. So I thought I’d share my Garage Sale Selling Wisdom with you all. I’ve been a garage sale seller many times and a garage sale buyer hundreds of times. These are some of the things I have learned along the way.

1) Pricing

Price to sell, not to make money. This is a garage sale, after all.


And be prepared that your house will probably be a total wreck while you’re pricing everything before the sale. Here’s what my parent’s living room looked like for days while I priced all of my sister’s stuff.


2) Signs

Location, location, location. If you don’t have good signs (arrows, address) at every major intersection and at every intersection leading them to your house, they won’t be able to find your sale.

Garage Sale{source}

3) Advertising

Did you know that Craigslist has a “Garage Sale” section. FREE advertising, folks! You should also look into advertising with your local paper. You might be surprised at how affordable it is. You also may be able to chose to advertise in either the print or the online section or both.

4) Day of the Week and Time of the Day

I have my garage sales on Saturday only. Sure, you might make more money if you have it Friday, Saturday and Sunday but man, that’s a whip! I prefer not to lose an entire weekend to my garage sale. And I usually start setting up at 7a, but be aware that you might have early birds. You can say “no early birds” in your advertising, but they’ll still come.

5) Display

Think of your garage sale as your storefront. If it’s an appealing display, people are more likely to buy. Don’t just throw it all out there on a table and expect people to dig through your junk (some people will, but not everyone).

IMG_4645 See our book “section” and our game “section”. On the blankets we have our electronic “section” and behind that is our linens “section”. See how easy that would be to shop?

6) Haggling

Please don’t haggle over 50 cents. And cut people a good deal if they’re buying several items. Again, this is a garage sale.

7) Change

Make sure you have some!

8) Donation Pick Up

Call around to some local churches or donation centers to see if they’ll come pick up all of the stuff that you don’t sell. We closed up our sale around 2p, the guy from the church came and loaded up all of our unsold stuff (and gave us a donation receipt), and we had our feet up, counting our money by 4p.

9) Sunscreen

Don’t forget it, or you’ll be sorry…trust me!


Do you have any tips to add to the list? Is there anything that drives you crazy as a buyer? My biggest pet peeves is poor signs! What’s yours?

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  1. hi Rebecca!
    These are great tips - especially @ pricing. I have been to so many yard sales recently where everything is wayyyyy overpriced and they try to explain/justify the pricing. Hello - it's a GARAGE SALE!!! This is the first summer in quite some time that we're not having a yard sale and my daughter is devastated - she loves it!

  2. I don't like having garage sales and I don't like going to them. I have tried to "like" them and it just doesn't work for me, lol.

    But I do sincerely appreciate everything that my ex mother-in-law bought for my daughter. She was the garage sale queen! She bought enough toys, books and clothes for my daughter, that we didn't need anything until she was in Kindergarten.

  3. I love having garage sales and shopping at them too. One thing we did was let the kids have a lemonade stand at the sale. People loved it! My mom even had a cookie & iced tea cart set up with bulk buy wal mart cookies and home brewed tea free for our shoppers. She's a little nutty, but it was definitely a welcoming touch.
    The penny save has free advertising too, and they give you garage sale signs that you can post around. Yay for garage sales!!

  4. love to both buy and sell at garage sales

  5. Wow...great tips for a yard sale. We used to have a 3-family one each year. Lots of work!

    I'm a new follower from Home is Where My Story Begins.

    Have a joy-filled day!

  6. These tips are great!!! This comes at a great time because we're moving out of state in a couple months so I'm planning on having a garage sale before we go. Now I know how to do it- thanks!

  7. These are wonderful tips! I think I'd do a yard sale, if I had a friend who wanted to do one with me. I live on a busy little street...the pool and an elementary school are down the block. Best of both worlds--low speed limit and good traffic. ;)

    I Featured your post today! Thanks for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party (and for linking back-I appreciate that!). Stop by Serenity Now soon. :)

  8. Great tips. I haven't went to a garage sale for so long now. Around my neighborhood I see a lot in these last days that school is over,
    Visiting from Amanda's party!

  9. Great tips, I'm having a sale in a couple of weeks and these will come in handy! Please stop by and link up to my Share the Wealth Wednesday Link Party! I'm your newest follower!

  10. Very nice, thanks for the information.

    sell your house fast


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