How to Plan a Garage Sale

Planning a successful garage sale and pulling it off without a hitch can be one of the best feelings in the world. Getting rid of items that you no longer need or selling your handmade items can feel extremely satisfying as well as being a great way to get some extra cash when needed. But how exactly do you plan a garage sale perfectly?

Below you will find a step-by-step guide to help you plan your next garage sale and ensure that you are selling as many items as you can. There a host of different factors that can come into play to determine whether or not your sale is a good event, with things such as the correct date to hold them and how you choose to display your items. We have covered them all below, so read on to see how you can prepare and hold the perfect yard sale!

How to plan for a garage sale

1.Pick a date

One of the best ways to ensure that you make the most out of a garage sale is to host it on a day where you will get the most customers. As most people will be working during the weekdays ideally you want to host your garage sale either on Saturday or Sunday morning. Evenings are an option, but you don’t want your yard sale to be in complete darkness, which makes weekend mornings the best time to hold a yard sale.

A great tip to keep in mind is to try and host your yard sale on the first weekend of every month. As most people will have received their pay-check the previous week – assuming they get paid monthly – they will be more likely to spend more money at your garage sale. Deciding on the best date is an important factor in planning your sale correctly and should always be something you consider.

2.Choose what you want to sell

A highlight of any yard sale is what is available for purchase as that is the main reason people will go to any sale. Deciding on what you want to add to your sale can make or break the day so be sure to put a lot of thought into what you think customers would want to purchase from you.

As tempting as it may be to pad it out with things you don’t expect to sell, it is sometimes a better idea to leave these out and only add stuff that you think people will be interested in. From womens clothing to movie posters, most things will sell as long as they are in good condition, but it’s better to be on the safe side.

Another good idea is to craft handmade products to add to your sales. As they will be unique and have the added layer of being fully crafted by hand, things such as handmade quilts, wood carvings, or even a refurbished kitchen table can stand out in a crowd of great products. Sit down and plan out exactly what you want to sell to make sure your yard sales go without a hitch.

3. Check permit requirements

Before you set up your table and chairs and get your sale underway you want to check whether you need a permit and if you have the right one. In-person auctions are completely different from an on-line auction as they typically require you to own a specific yard sale permit in the United States. Check your state’s laws before starting the sale to ensure that you are allowed to put up items for sale.

4.Promote your garage sale

To bring buyers and customers to your garage sales, you want to put up advertisements and promote your own outdoor thrift store. Things such as posters and local newspaper advertisements can be a great way to get people to come to your yard sale. Again, much like the previous points, before you put up signs and posters be sure to check your state’s laws regarding self-promotion as this can differ from state to state.

5.Gather supplies needed for the day

You want your garage sale to look appealing so this will mean you want to set up certain supplies and furniture to try to bring more people to your front yard. Things such as food or homemade lemonade can add an extra layer to garage sales. You might also want to set up your old dinner table and chairs to offer seating to your guests or to even promote your sales prices in an inventive way. Try to find the best way to attract customers to your garage sale, if you need additional help then be sure to ask your friends as they will usually be willing to help out where needed.

Tips for the best garage sale

Organize items

How you organize your items and place them around your garage sales can help you sell your old products. Things such as football cards can be spread out alongside video games to offer an aesthetic way to display the items you have put on sale. Accompany board games or your leaf collection with coffee table decor to catch customers’ eyes to try to make the most sales.

You always want the price of an item to be clearly visible too as some garage sales can end up accidentally hiding their prices meaning customers will be slightly annoyed. Once you have decided on an items’ price try to put it on a sticky label or a piece of card near your items so it’s clear to see what a specific product’s price is.

Online advertisement

Thanks to modern technology and most people owning electronics that can access the internet, advertising your sale has never been easier. You can set up an events page on Facebook that people in your local area will see or you can message friends and family to get them to come down and check out your yard sales.

There are a host of online sites that will offer you the means to promote your estate sale, sites such as Gumtree or Craigslist will let you promote your sale online, you can even offer an on-line auction if that works for you. Be sure to browse around and check out all your available advertising methods, the more people who know you are having a sale, the more people will be likely to turn up.

Pricing items

Pricing any items you wish to put up for sale can be a slightly difficult task. Lots of items will have different prices depending on the season, for example, holiday decor will typically be cheaper during the summer than if you were to sell it during winter. You always want to assign prices according to an item’s rarity or condition. Your old baseball cards collection might feature some rare cards, for example, so you may be able to charge more for it.

Items for sale in good condition will tend to sell for more than those that are of poorer quality. This is also the case when it comes to brand new items. If an item is brand new then you can easily set a higher price than if it was second-hand, just make sure your customers are aware that is a new product and not just any old one that is still in good condition. Spend a couple of hours the day before your sale to check the price of any item you are wanting to sell to best help gauge how much you can charge for it.


As your sale will be taking place either on or beside your property, customer safety will be entirely down to you. Anything that goes wrong will be your responsibility which is why ensuring the safety of your yard sale is extremely important. Place your items on a sturdy table as opposed to an old one to help prevent it from falling over during the sale.

Tables, chairs, and other furniture items should always be pushed to the side to allow people to pass through without obstruction. You also want to check that any electronics you are selling are in decent condition and aren’t faulty, as a dodgy electronic can be an extreme hazard. As long as you take your time to check your sales are safe, it should run without a hitch.

Opening times

This links directly to advertising and promoting your estate sale. Customers will need to know what times you will be running your sale so they can plan their day around it. As mentioned in the planning section, the best time to host a sale is during the day, especially in the morning. Hosting your estate sale at night can ward people off as it can be difficult to browse a yard sales’ products in the dark.

When deciding on your preferred promotion method, also make the opening times of your sale clear and visible. Much like your local stores, customers will appreciate knowing how long they have left to browse and what time is best for them to get there. A properly planned sale can be an extraordinary event.

Displaying the items

Have you ever passed a store window and a particular product has caught your eye? If so, you want to replicate this feeling in your yard sale. Highlighting your best items can help you make the largest sales and will make customers more likely to spot the better product you are offering. For example, keep your Hi-Fi in focus using a sturdy kitchen table and watch a host of customers check it out.

Displaying your items correctly may not seem like a massive deal, but it can massively increase your sales, there’s a reason why the largest stores have display windows. Spend some time organizing items based on their category ask your family or neighbors for their opinions to see how best to display your products.


What sells at a garage sale?

There are a variety of common items that tend to sell well at garage sales. Things such as your old stereo system or even hosting a book auction is a great way to make a bit of extra cash during the warmer seasons. Root around your home and loft to see if you have any old goods you no longer need that you think people would be interested in. Video games, Electronics, and old furniture are some of the most popular goods at a yard sale so try to offer a decent selection of them.

Handmade products can also sell extremely well at garage sales around the states if they are crafted with care and skill. Carving your own furniture or painting mandala style patterns onto a record can help your sale stand out and is a great way to boost your sales.

How can I get the most money from my garage sale?

The best way to get the most money from your next sale is to ensure you plan properly and price your products accordingly. As tempting as it may be to charge a higher price for an item that you personally like may not be recommended. Try to remove personal feelings if you are determined on selling particular goods as customers will rarely see that personal side to it. Some people may think that the best way to make the money is to price your goods higher, but this just isn’t the case.

Promoting and advertising your sale is also a great way to get the most money. The more you advertise, the more customers you are likely to get, which means more sales. Planning and preparation are exactly what every good sale has in common so be sure to spend a decent amount of time before you set up your next yard sale.

What shouldn’t you sell at a garage sale?

Although most things will probably sell well at a garage sale, they are particular products just not worth putting up for sale. Things such a family heirloom should always be kept within the family due to their personal value. Old shoes or a discarded twin size mattress are also not worth adding to your sale as people may be put off with purchasing these goods.

Broken goods such as your old mobile phone or a smashed television should also be avoided unless you know someone who wants to collect scrap metal. Typically, however, these products are best taken to your local recycling center or scrap metal service as they will usually buy them off if you no longer want them. Before you choose what to sell think to yourself what you would be willing to purchase at a garage sale and plan around that.

Full-time writer. Blogger. Dedicated wife. Mother of 3 amazing kids. I love learning about everything from the latest tech gadgets, innovative new home designs and can be found regularly reading up on parenting tips. There is always room to grow!

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