19 Helpful Garage Sale Tips (How to Have Garage Sale Success)
There’s always decluttering & organizing to be done, but don’t throw away your unused items. Organize a garage sale that’s makin’ money with these garage sale tips!
Don’t let the idea of hosting a sale intimidate you. You can make money while getting rid of your unused treasures and find your stuff a new home.
Our garage sale tips are an excellent guide for how to have a successful garage sale: how to organize a garage sale, how to price garage sale items, and everything in between.
Best Garage Sale Tips & Tricks
How to Have a Successful Garage Sale
We can all use extra dollars in our pockets. Our garage sale tips will help your family get the extra cash you need for back-to-school shopping or to add to the vacation savings fund while getting rid of your stuff that’s been collecting dust.
So, get out those signs, organize those piles, and get to pricing.
To save even more money, the Deals, Discount Codes & Money Saving Tips guide is filled with ways to save money in Kansas City.
How to Price Garage Sale Items:
The first step, and arguably the most difficult, is determining how to price garage sale items. Garage sale pricing should get people thinking, “I don’t really need this, but it’s so cheap, I might as well.”
Go into your garage sale with the mindset that you aren’t going to get what you paid for it – be realistic.
Price Individual Items if You Have Time
The best process is to price everything individually before the sale.
Pricing things individually will help answer questions that shoppers have without having to track you down during the garage sale to ask you. However, if you have a lot of stuff to price, you may want to individually price larger items, but group others together.
Group Your Items by Price
If you don’t have the time or patience to individually price all your items, you can probably group 90% of your items by price. Get rid of items faster (and set up faster) by grouping them together, then have 1 general price (i.e., Box of books or kids clothing with a sign, $1 each, $2 table, and $5 table) and/or label the tables with price signs.
For bigger items, I use the price stickers from Walmart. Make it easy for your buyers to find out what the price is, so they don’t have to ask.
Group Similar Items, Small Items and Low Price Items Together
Instead of individual kitchen tools, rubber band 3–4 together and sell them as a set. You can sell two books for $1, or other groups of similar/small items. Have a bunch of gaming accessories? Sell a game/controller combo!
We had a bunch of toy musical instruments, and I put them in one box; as “A Band in a Box.” Some cool mothers loved the fun kids’ activity idea and bought them.
Price Your Items to Sell
The garage sale pricing mindset is important too. You want to have you-don’t-need-this-but-it’s-so-cheap-you-kind-of-do-now prices.
A good rule of thumb is to price your item at 20% of what you paid for it. By using garage sale prices that are easy to add, like $1 for kids clothing and $1 for books, the items are easy to add and reasonable enough that shoppers may not haggle.
Pro tip: Kid clothes can be hard to part with, but if you want to move them, price them at $1 a piece.
Garage Sale Pricing Suggestions
-Adult clothes: $3–5.
-Kitchen or home decor: $1–5.
For all other items, remember that buyers don’t have a connection with your items and the memories you have with them; price them based on what someone would actually pay for them.
Don’t mess with coins. Round everything up (or down) to the nearest dollar. If anything isn’t worth a dollar, throw it in the FREE box. Getting something for free will usually encourage shoppers to find something to buy, too.
Quick tip: Research items you think might be valuable to get the most money out of your stuff. Try eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace to connect with buyers searching for that particular item. Then, sell what you have left during your garage sale.
Other Garage Sale Tips and Tricks:
While pricing items is typically the most tricky and time-consuming, we’ve gathered some other ideas on how to have the most successful garage sale when it comes to preparation.
Learn how to organize your garage sale and how to get the word out. below:
How to Prepare for Your Garage Sale:
Get a Tough Skin
That incredible collection of beanie babies, once worth well over $400, is now reduced to a few pennies. Don’t let this get you very upset. Get some tissues and put the 50-cent sticker on the—…they are moving out! You will be happier when you are using your garage sale items for new family fun!
Keep Your House Locked Up and Safe
Make sure that you, your family and your home are safe. The house should be locked and by no means a stop for the restroom for anyone. Doors, gates, and windows should be locked, and blinds should be closed.
As for yourself, make sure that you have a cell phone or house phone nearby. Larger bills and money should be hidden; if you can bribe a friend or spouse with lunch and have them sit with you, all the better!
Beware of Theft
Garage sales are prone to theft, so be alert and smart. Avoid selling anything small and valuable that you can’t keep an eye on. Keep your sales money on you at all times. Avoid using a purse or cash box that someone can walk away with.
Keep the Kids Occupied
Get a babysitter for the kids or organize a play date. You don’t want to have to keep an eye on them around cars and the busier-than-normal street. There’s also a chance if you put a toy in the sale, they are going to want it back!
OR, if your kids are older…
Get Your Kids Involved
Garage sales are a great excuse for our whole family to be outside, spending time together. Your kids will learn quickly the advantage of clearing out old stuff in exchange for some cash. They each took a table and offered help (probably too much) and assisted in selecting items. If anything sold from their table, they earned a commission.
Have Change Ready.
And change—don’t forget this garage sale necessity that is easily overlooked. Make sure that you have fives, ones, LOTS of quarters, dimes, and nickels. When you’re deciding how to price garage sale items, consider how people will be paying and what change you may need to have available.
Don’t Get Stuck Haggling, Just Get Rid of it.
Successful garage sales are usually easier if you have very little leftover to keep or donate. If someone wants your beloved lamp for $30 instead of $40, just give it to them and be glad it’s getting a new home.
Right around the noon mark, start making deals. This is about when all garage salegoers pack it up. People will buy more when tempted by a good deal. We had one last car pull up while I was just starting to pack up, so I told them everything was half off. I made another $90 off stuff that was just going to be packed up & donated.
Use Pinterest to Give Shoppers Inspiration
Instead of taking up room in the “I will find something on Pinterest to do with this later” file, why not search on Pinterest now for something to do with it? Print out the picture and tape it in the drawer. Now someone could be “Pinspired” & buy your item!
Show What a Great Deal it Is
Similarly, show buyers the benefits of your products & how much they would cost new. Go online and print out the product specs for the same or similar item along with any recalls associated with it shows buyers exactly what they’re getting. It also can show them how and why to use the product if they are unsure.
How to Organize a Garage Sale:
Hide or Clear out the items you are NOT Selling.
Make sure all items you aren’t selling are out of eyesight to potential buyers. If you can’t hide them, it’s best to put a tarp over them so there is no question.
Then, clean out your garage. You’ll need your garage (or driveway) to display the items you are selling. So, having a clean space to organize and prepare will help your garage sale run smoother.
Use Tables to lay the items out
The best route to go if you don’t know how to organize your garage sale is to use tables to display the items clearly. If you didn’t store your belongings on the ground in your home, people aren’t going to want to buy them if you put them on the ground during the sale. The only thing that should be lower than table height are kids’ toys & games.
Make tables out of sawhorses and plywood if you have to. If you have to have things on the ground put something under them, like a sheet, blanket, or tarp.
Pro tip: Tables & tarps will also make it easier for you to drag your things out of the garage each morning. (Hello, extra 15 minutes of sleep!)
Ensure All Items are Clean and Complete
Make sure your items are clean and all parts are on, or near, the item. If parts are missing, make sure they are clearly marked. For clothes; try and hang as many as possible, especially outfits and new clothes that may have the tags still on them.
For anything that is damaged or stained, put this in a free garage sale bin. It could entice buyers and some of those clothes can be used for other things like doll clothes.
Try to Organize by Category
Keep your “shop” organized so buyers can find items easily. You can organize your items like you would see in a department store, keeping like things together (kitchen, bath, etc.). Also organizing one area for men’s items is always great as well.
Pro tip: Make sure there is enough space for buyers to walk around and look without running into tables and other shoppers.
How to Advertise a Garage Sale Tips:
When to Plan Your Garage Sale
The earlier, the better. People can shop before work or before starting their normal Saturday. Make sure it is convenient for you but count on one person there earlier! Once you set the time, people will be at your house bright and early to buy your stuff.
Most people go with a Friday and Saturday morning (sometimes throw in a Thursday or Sunday) and the sweet spot for most community garage sales is 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Garage Sale Signs: Get the word out
Clearly direct cars to your house from the main streets. Pick up signs at The Dollar Store and add bold arrows (we’re talking black Sharpie here, not a pen).
Find out if your neighborhood (or a nearby one) is planning on doing a neighborhood-wide, community garage sale and piggyback on that traffic. You can also post your garage sale for free on CraigsList.org or buy an ad spot in the local newspaper.
Pro-tip: Utilize sidewalk chalk – both to advertise and label areas at the garage sale.
Give it to a Good Cause
Repeat after me: Do NOT bring anything back into the house. Box up anything that didn’t sell and donate it to charity. iFamilyKC is willing to help find organizations that will upcycle your items for a good cause and offer free pickup. Some that come to mind are Ozana, Sherwood Center, or your local Goodwill.
Repeat after me: Do NOT bring anything back into the house. Box up anything that didn’t sell and donate it to charity. These organizations upcycle your items for a good cause and offer free pickup:
Cornerstones of Care, or drop off your items at a Goodwill location near you. Don’t forget to get a receipt so you can claim fair-market value tax deductions for your donation on your next tax return.
If you are looking for garage sales near you, you can use Garage Sale Finder.
We hope that these garage sale tips will get you motivated to get out there & start makin’ the moolah! 🙂
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From our family to yours, iFamilyKC.