top of page

Garage Sale Tips

A garage sale can be a lot of fun. It can also be a lot of work. Take advantage of our years of experience in estate sales in the garage sale tips and yard sale tips that follow. Here are a few garage sale tips to make your event successful.


A garage sale can be a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. It is important to determine at the outset whether you want to do this work yourself. It also may be the wrong way to sell your treasures if you have things of value.

Or you may have a lot of stuff to clear out and very little time or energy to devote to the project. Unexpected Treasures can help you evaluate the best method for clearing out unwanted things and getting the most out of the process. Contact us today for a free consultation. If you are up to doing it yourself, read the yard sale tips below.


Best days for a garage sale are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sundays may be less successful. You can't control the weather, but a nice day will bring more people so keep that in mind as you pick a day. Avoid holiday weekends.

You can save advertising costs and increase traffic by combining with others in your neighborhood, so consider coordinating your timing with neighbors. Make sure you pick a time when you can devote your full energy to the garage sale.

Check on local regulations first - some cities may require a permit, or have a limit on the number of yard sales you can have in one year.


A garage sale is an opportunity to clear out the clutter, so don't hold back. The more, the better. Start collecting things for the sale for the month or so prior. Anything that you aren't using or don't want, put out for sale. You will be surprised at what some people will pay money for.

Think about what may sell best for the season (i.e. water toys in summer, coats and skis in winter). Items that often do well: dolls and accessories, comic books, old books, coins, kitchen items, decor, tools, toys.

Make sure you check with the owner before putting something out to sell that may cause issues later (e.g. your grown son's baseball card collection).


Keep the sale area clean. Think about the flow of foot traffic through your yard - make it easy for people to get around and see all the items. The more they see, the more you are likely to sell.

Put clothing up on a rack or a clothesline if you can to make it easy for shoppers to sift through. Set up tables to display small items and put them in easy reach of buyers (and out of reach of small children, especially for breakables). You can use the space under the tables too for additional room.

For electrical items, it helps to have a power source available for buyers to test them out - a long extension cord makes it easy to bring the power to the item.


Let as many people know as you can through all of the means you can think of: signs, flyers, local newspaper ads, websites, bulletin boards, word of mouth. Be specific (date, hours, place) and be concise.

If you have a lot of one particular category of item (e.g. toys), mention it in your advertising. The information should be readable in a glance - for signs, use dark, bold print and easy-to-see arrows.

Some good sign making ideas at Be aware that most communities have laws regarding the placement of signage. Enforcement may vary, but finding out beforehand may keep you from having your signs taken down just when you need them.

Don't forget to take your signs down after the sale is over.


Here are some sites where you can advertise your garage sale for free:


Mark items clearly with the price - you will save a lot of time answering questions if every item is marked. Garage sale shoppers like bargains and will almost always try to negotiate, so choose a price that's a little higher than what you are willing to sell for. But don't be afraid to give them a bargain; that's what they came for, and it's money in your pocket and clutter out of your home.

A good place to start is 1/4 or 1/3 of what it would sell for if new. If you have joined with other families in putting on your garage sale, use different colored tags, or use a special marking, so you can more easily divide up the profits.

Be sure to have change on hand, both coins and paper, to make the checkout process go smoothly.


If you have advertised your garage sale (and you should!), expect to have some early birds. If that bothers you, consider including "No Early Birds" in your advertising, or posting a notice that prices are double before the start time.

If you don't want to haggle with them, tell them the price may drop later in the day if it hasn't sold.


Guard your money. It's easy for a cash box to walk off unnoticed if you aren't vigilant. Best to carry the money with you in a fanny pack or an apron pocket. Have money for making change accessible, but stow the big wad of bills away somewhere safe.

When making change, keep the bill that was given you visible until you have handed them the change, so there is no question that it was $10 and not a $20. Don't accept checks unless you know the person giving it to you, or are willing to run the risk of it bouncing. Keep a cell phone handy.

on't let customers into your house to try on clothes or use the bathroom - direct them to the nearest public establishment with a restroom.


Have a large number of grocery bags on hand for buyers to carry away their treasures. For clothing, use cheap wire hangers and let them be included in the sale if the buyer wants to take it.

On a hot day, have your child (or a kid from the neighborhood) set up a lemonade stand. Play unobtrusive music. The more pleasant it is to be there, the longer people will stay and the more they will buy.

Last tip: enjoy your garage sale! And don't forget to contact us if you want expert help with estate sales.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
bottom of page