How to Host a Garage Sale… Top 10 Tips!

Top 10 Tips for hosting a garage sale!

Garage Sale Season is upon us! Time to clean out your closets and make a little money.

Here are some garage sale hosting tips:

  • ADVERTISE – now that seems to be quite the no brainer, right? But it is all in HOW you advertise. When I’m scrolling through craigslist, an address, or a city isn’t telling me much. Give me a subdivision name at the very least. Even better – give me the nearest major intersection in the title. THEN in your ad, give the address (with basic directions for those who don’t know how to utilize Google Maps!) You will also be able to advertise for free here on Fabulessly Frugal. We will have a listing page up each Thursday and you can come and list your sale in the comments!  You can also advertise your sale or stuff on Facebook Yard sale groups in your area.
  • KEEP ADVERTISING! Just because you listed your garage sale, doesn’t mean people will find you. GET SIGNS! Simple signs with big fat arrows! You aren’t advertising what you’re selling at this point – you are advertising WHERE your sale is! Keep directing your prospective shoppers with signs! (And PLEASE – take them down after the sale!)
  • MULTI FAMILY – you’ll attract more people and save money on any advertising costs.
  • START EARLY – Just start early for those early birds! They aren’t going to come back later of you tell them you aren’t “open” yet!
  • ORGANIZATION -Have things set out on tables and make sure the prices are easily seen. Have a money box stocked with plenty of change (one’s and quarters).
  • FOOD/BEVERAGES – let your kidos sell some food/drinks… what a fun way for them to make a little extra cash! People love to support kids! OR grill some of those cheap hot dogs you purchased on sale, and serve some soda. Sell it for a $1 or so and you could make an easy profit!
  • EXPECT BARGAINERS – before you turn down that offer, realize that something is better than ending the day with that particular item still in your possession.
  • DON’T MAKE IT PERSONAL – remember people are looking at your used stuff. If it is something so great, you can sell it later on craigslist or ebay. Don’t feel bad if no one wants it!
  • SET A GOAL – want to pay off some debt? Or are you after a new piece of furniture? It’s a lot more fun and easier to watch your stuff leave in exchange for something you’re wanting.

When we had our multi-family sale last year, we tagged the items with different color stickers (or you could write your initials on the tags). When an item sells, put the sticker in your notebook that has a for each seller. At the end, tally up the stickers and divide the money accordingly.


What are your tips for holding a garage sale?
ps – list yours or great ones you know about on our weekly FAB Yard Sale Listings post!

Learn our top 13 Garage Sale Shopping Tips!

Garage Sale Sign Kit with Pricing Labels and Change Apron $16.88

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  • Made in USA
  • 10 Large All Weather Plastic-Coated Signs with Easy Fill in Directional Arrows & Permanent Marker
  • Signs are Fluorescent Neon Colors & Brighter Than They Appear on Screen!
  • 1260 Multi-Color Pricing Labels, Sticks to Any Surface, Even Clothing.
  • 2 Large Pocket Canvas Change Apron. Keep your money with you and safe. No need for a cash box.
  • Tips for an Easy Fun & Profitable Sale. Learn the Best Ways to Prepare & Things Most People Forget. Also includes Sales Record Form & 4 Large Color Latex Balloons

The Hillman Group Garage Sales Tent Sign $8.74

  • 12-Inch by 20-Inch
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  • Tent design is a quick and easy to use sign
  • Red to catch the eye on a white background

SentrySafe Small Cash Box, Black $10.99 (was $15.46)

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  • Convenient fold away handle
  • Removable tray
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  • Exterior dimensions: 3 1/4″H x 9 27/32″W 7 13/32″ D


  • jen

    Alway price your items. I have been to yard sales where nothing is priced. I just leave.

  • Wilsonville

    Yes, definitely price your items. It takes time, but I know many people won’t make offers. I don’t like going to sales where things aren’t priced. Also, when you are pricing, keep in mind that people will probably ask it you will accept less. Don’t price so high that people aren’t willing to even try to negotiate with you.

    Make sure you have plenty of bags for people to use. Have lots of change. As frustrating as it is to have your first person of the day show up with a $20 wanting to buy something for $1 (yes, you feel like you are their personal bank instead of them going and getting their own change), but again, you want the item gone. With money, also make sure you have your money box in a safe location. Either have a fanny pack of some sort so it is right with you or know that someone is watching your box it at all times. Also plan on taking money into your house thorughout the day so you don’t keep all your money out at the sale in case someone shows up with bad intentions.

    Organize the best you can. People really do appreciate when you put some time and effort into setting your sale up nicely. I had a friend who helped me in the past and we would receive many compliments. I think people appreciate when you have tables and things up off the ground so they don’t have to be on the ground. Also, if you have clothing, if you can at least try to sort into sizes so again, people don’t have to rummage through (also, it helps to keep things a little more organized as people look through).

    One thing we have done in the past, especially if we are having a sale for two days is to just make big signs (or change our ad on Craigslist) to state that everything will be half off the second day. It was amazing how much we sold. We would have probably sold the items for that price the day before, but I guess a lot of people don’t like to offer a lower price and people really seemed happy and felt like they were getting a good deal. That worked out really well for everyone.

  • Laurie

    ok so we have one huge yard sale every year……luckily my family is on the corner of the culdesac so we get the other three houses to join and just block the whole thing off….we have made as much as 3, 000 dollars in a weekend so I love yard sales!! I organize and tag and display things just like a store we make temp tables out of two buckets and ply wood they work great and get things off the ground I also hang all clothing so it can be seen stays nice and no one has to dig for something I use shelves, racks, upside down boxes anything to display items and make them look nice…..also when I have some thing that is new or basicly new( used once etc) I will put a 3×5 card on it that has details like steam cleaner used 1 time all parts included orig $200.00 / $50.00 and circle or highlight the price. I find some people dont know the value of something so they think wow 50 bucks is alot but if its a brand new steamer that was 200 bucks then its a deal:-)

  • Laurie

    oh and you know we all have those items that no matter what they are not comming back in the house…..the ugly desk or shelf you have hated forever, old lawn mower, deck chairs , or things that are broken ( but repairable) etc.. on the last day we put up a huge sign on the main street that says FREE STUFF!!! and then a sign in the yard saying the same you will not believe what people will come and haul away just cause its free! then we just make arrangements for the ARK or Salvation Army to come on monday to take the rest:-)

  • Karissa

    If you have brand name clothes, especially KIDS…put the brand name in the ad… I got a ton of traffic looking for my GAP, GYMBOREE clothes last year and plan to do it again with my sale coming up in a 2 weeks!

  • Carol Everhart

    I don’t know if I’m putting this in the right place, but we are having a yard sale on Sept. 18th, 2010 at 10:00 a. m. until whenever at 10958 W. Poppy St., Boise, ID 83713. Just wanted to let everyone know. Thank you. There will be lots of stuff.

  • Cori Pinney

    FIRST ANUAL “HOARDER SUPPORTER” YARD SALE!!! HUGE… Multi-Family Yard Sale Saturday June 25th 8am to 4 pm. Household items, clothing, Christmas decor, antiques, furniture, and much more! We also have a large selection of salvages items like doors, both interior and exterior. You have to check this one out. Our years of ‘collecting’ will your gain.

    Saturday, June 25th
    8am to 4pm
    800 Diamond Street
    *** South on Orchard, South of the freeway and the canal, West on Diamond Street. Watch for the Diamond Street Recycling Signs and our yard sale signs. Or check us out on the web

  • Karen C

    Presentation, presentation, presentation! Lots of table and hanging space for clothes. Like sizes together. Use tablecloths, even a sheet! A clear palate shows off your stuff to advantage. Once had a moving sale when moving to Oregon. I had lots of gently used infant and toddler clothes. I took the time to wash and sort them all since I had to sort them to see what hand me downs I wanted to keep for my youngest. Then I took the time (while watching tv at night) to iron the best of them. Matched up shirts and bottoms, hats, socks, mittens, shoes, hair ribbons etc. and pinned them together as “outfits”. Same with the hanging clothes like dresses and winter outfits. They literally flew out the door, priced from 2.50 to up to 13.00 per outfit. I was careful to weed out any wear and tear, stains, missing buttons, etc. Picky moms and grandmas (and rightly so) were willing to pay more than garage sale prices for childrens clothes that were presented this way. And if you aren’t impressed with the prices I received, keep in mind this garage sale was 20 years ago!

    Always group your merchandise. For instance if you have a hodge podge of similiar items, like sewing supplies, craft supplies, candle making, small toys, jewelry, school supplies, etc. Fill up ziploc bags and sell it by the bag. It works!

    Never forget themes, especially if the theme is 6 months or less in the future. IE, if you have some 4th of July stuff to sell, put it on it’s own table but also look around and add in everything that is red , white and blue! Grab single dishes, mugs, table linens, garden pots, anything flag related. The same with all the other holidays and you can come up with other themes. Sports equipment, camping, gardening, whatever.

    And consider the unusual, whatever your talent is. In 2010 we had a multi-family 3 day sale. It was a bumper crop year for my herb garden, especially the basil. I added fresh herbs in the ad. I harvested the amount I thought I could possibly sell that day at 6am, and bunched them in quantities that were about 5 times the amount you get in the $2 packages in the store. I priced them at $2 and put them in 5 gal. buckets of ice water under the shade. Everything sold out by 9am and then I was out in the garden cutting more for customers.

    Final tip, don’t let them drive by without stopping. Some people cruise the sales and if they don’t see what they are looking for on the curb they keep going. So if you have something not readily visible, put up a big sign! “Lawn furniture in backyard” “tools in garage” “antique furniture inside”.

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