A Simpler Garage Sale


garaage sale

This weekend was lovely with a cool breeze and lots of sunshine. I was at a friend’s house as we hosted a garage sale and caught up with our lives. The only reason I do garage sales is to spend time with friends. Otherwise I think they are more work than the money you make. I am always looking for ways to make garage sales simpler. Here are a few tips from our last garage sale:

  • Don’t label everything. Use boxes or tables where everything is $1, $2, 25 cents. Trust the people will give you the right area they found the item. Saving $1 is not worth the time it takes to label every single thing. Besides the point is to get rid of your clutter.
  • Lay books and DVDs so you can read all the titles. We used stackable wooden crates.
  • Keep bottled water with you.
  • Have each family track their own items and money. We used a piece of paper and a clip board with the names of each person in our family. Then wrote down the money received.
  • Make it a family affair. Have the kids help set up and take the money. You may be surprised by how wonderful they are at selling or displaying or greeting. My kids keep the money for what they declutter. This year they got rid of a few bags of things from their younger years.
  • Playing music helps everyone relax.
  • Keep the money and change on you in a little pack or purse. Otherwise you may be stuck sitting at the table. I like to walk around, talk with the customers or neighbors, and re-arrange things.
  • Have plastic grocery bags available for people to carry items in. (Another great thing to declutter, too.)
  • Have a free box to bring people in and get rid of more clutter.
  • Print out signs and tags from Family Fun
  • Advertise on Facebook, Craigslist and other free spots. Use simple signs with Big Bold Lettering. Make sure you can see the sign going both ways.
  • Make sure you have an outlet and extension cord to test electronics. We charged up the batteries on the remote control cars because they didn’t sell the first day. And we got rid of most of them the second day.

Do you have any tips to make garage sales simpler?


Photo Credit: Mac Inate


  • Laura says:

    My favorite Garage Sale tip is to do a “Name your own price” garage sale. Don’t bother to price anything. Let your customers tell you what they’ll give you for an item. As long is the price is somewhere close to reasonable in your opinion, go for it. Often people will pay you MORE for an item than they would if it was labeled anyway.

    Another idea I like (especially for clothing) is to set out brown paper sacks, and say $10 or $15 for everything you can put in a sack.

  • pidgeon92 says:

    Not simpler, but more lucrative:

    For the past two years, and again next month, we do a Street Sale. We block off the street, everybody on the block puts out a table (or a bunch of tables), and we have a ton of people who come through.

    Last year we did it on the same day as another local event, so we put up a sign nearby, and got a lot of foot traffic from people who went there.

  • Beth says:

    Thanks for these great tips!

  • Nicole says:

    My one thing that I did at my garage sale that I had just on Saturday is I organized and labeled the clothes according to size. I know it takes a bit more time, but I actually sold more clothes quicker simply bc people didn’t have to dig through all of the stacks to look for that one size they need. It does take a bit longer to throw a sticker with the size on the top, but I just put the numbers on the stickers and had my 4 year old put them on the clothes. He loved it because it gave him a chance to help and it also was great to work with him on his numbers that way too!

    We also did the stuff a bag of clothes in the afternoon. We gave everyone a plastic grocery bag and sold them all the clothes they could fit in it for $2.

  • Beth says:

    That is a good idea, Nicole. And I doesn’t take that much longer to make sure you get the clothes into the right size pile.

  • Beth says:

    Love these ideas!

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