How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

When you decide that your family is complete, the time will come that you realize that you have accumulated quite a stash of baby clothes and items. You will likely decide that you want to reclaim that space in your house, but the items have a lot of life left in them. You can make some of your money back by selling at a garage sale. Here are my top tips for hosting a successful garage sale, from a mama who loves to shop garage sales and held my first one last summer!

successful garage sale

Plan ahead

Set your dates ahead of time, and plan and work for those dates. You may want to see if your neighborhood or city has a set weekend for sales, as you’ll likely get more traffic holding your sale during this time. And for those of you wondering if I’ve lost it by writing about garage sales in January… Hear me out: now is a great time to start preparing! Start gathering and pricing your items now, while you are cooped up for the winter. This will save you a lot of stress as you get closer to the date of your sale.

Begin preparing well in advance. Set a date months ahead and work toward that date. Take stock of how many items you have and make sure you have enough tables to place items on, borrowing from family and friends or renting if needed. Begin setting up the weekend before your sale… Don’t put pressure on yourself to do it all the day before!

If you have your sale set up before the actual start date, consider offering pre-shopping by appointment. This is a great way to make some extra money. People will be more likely to purchase items if they are afraid they will be sold quickly at the actual sale. I sold almost 20% of my total sales at pre sale appointments prior to the actual sale start date!

Be organized

Plan your layout ahead, and consider making sure to leave “aisles” that are wide enough for mamas who have a stroller. Sales with kid/toddler items will attract lots of expecting moms and moms with small babies. I tested out my layout with our double Bob to ensure it would work.

Make sure to place like size and use items together and organize in a way that makes sense. Make signs to indicate where certain sizes are. Your customers will be more likely to purchase if they can easily find what they’re looking for.

Ensure that your asking prices are clear. Whether you price each item individually, or set a price for each item type, make it clear what you’re asking. Some people love to bargain, but most people will feel more comfortable knowing your asking price.

Offer Venmo, and make your Venmo code easy to access

Ok, who really carries cash around these days? Not many people! It’s easy and convenient to offer Venmo. You can print your Venmo code and post it at your “check out” table so that guests can easily scan to pay you. Plus, that also makes it easier to keep track of your sales. Offering Venmo will also enable you to attract customers who may stumble on your sale as they are out on a walk, and may not have their wallet, but likely have their phone on them!

Be Mindful of How You Price Items

Remember that people who shop garage sales are usually looking for a bargain. You don’t want to price items too high so that you go through all the work to prepare but do not sell much. This can be hard, especially as you go through items that may have sentimental value, making you want to sell them for more. To see what prices are reasonable, visit garage sales in your neighborhood/area before you begin to price your items, so that you know what is normal for your area.

Market Your Sale Well

You’ve put in all this work… Now you need to get the word out! The easiest way to do this is through Facebook Marketplace. Draft a detailed post that includes lots of photos and a list of what items and sizes you are offering. You want to make sure that you attract customers who want to buy what you’re selling. Through Facebook Marketplace, you can also cross post on local buy-sell-trade groups. This is a fast way to get the work out. Post to your personal page and ask your family and friends to share! Make sure to have bright signs at the end of your street to attract people who are driving by.

With inflation and the rising cost of living, every dollar counts. Selling items you no longer use is a great way to make a little extra money and declutter as well! Have you had a garage sale? What is the best garage sale tip that you have? Please share in the comments!

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