Tuesday, March 2, 2010


With spring right around the corner, it might be time to start thinking about clearing out some of the clutter that has collected over the winter. Having a garage sale can be a lot of work but it can also be a great way to get ride of stuff and make a little extra cash. There are however, some important and fairly quick and easy do’s and don’ts you should pay close attention to when it comes to your garage sale. Even seemingly insignificant factors can make the difference between a successful and profitable garage sale and a complete waste of time and effort.

DO: Price as many items as you can
The more items you have priced, the less time you will have to spend coming up with prices when people ask. It will take more prep time before your garage sale to do this, but it can save you time during the garage sale and increase your profits.

DON’T: Expect people to ask for prices
Many people who come to a garage sale are turned off when nothing is priced, and if you are busy with another customer don’t expect people to wait around for you to put a price on your junk. Other people are embarrassed or afraid to ask the price, which can limit your sales.

DO: Advertise
Signs, posters, balloons, and flags directing people to your sale can really boost the number of attendees. A small add in the local newspaper can also increase awareness of your garage sale.

DON’T: Over advertise
Spending more money on ads and aids to get people to your garage sale than you make in profits is just bad business. Watch out for extra word costs when advertising in the newspaper that can eat into your garage sale profits.

DO: Sell things don’t want
Selling stuff you want to get rid of is the whole point to a garage sale.

DON’T: Sell everything you don’t want
People aren’t going to want to buy your old underwear, opened tubes of toothpaste, and dirty sweat socks (at least I hope not). Putting super nasty or broken items out for your garage sale can send a bad message and turn people off from buying other items.

DO: Be friendly
Part of selling is being friendly and helpful. Assisting people with questions and trying to up-sell them along the way can really boost your sales and help you get rid of your junk.

DON’T: Talk people’s ears off
Talking incessantly to people who are trying to hunt for bargains at your garage sale can distract and annoy them, causing them to leave before purchasing something.

DO: Let people dicker
Bargain hunting is part of the fun of going to garage sales. Giving people a deal on something, even if it’s just a dollar or two, can really make their day, and might even get them to buy something else with their savings.

DON’T: Always take the first offer
Even though you are having a garage sale to get rid of your old stuff, you don’t always want to take someone’s first offer, especially on higher ticket items. If it’s early in the day and you have a feeling the item will go for a higher price, it might be worth telling them you’ll think about it or you want to wait for offers until later in the day.

DO: Let them test something out
If someone is interested in purchasing an appliance or electronic item at your sale, they probably want to make sure it works. Plugging it into a garage or outside outlet to show them it does is acceptable.

DON’T: Let them inside to test something out
It is not advisable to let someone into your home to test out an item, use the restroom, wash their hands, etc. unless you know them and are comfortable with them doing so.

DO: Try to make a profit
Of course you’re hoping to make a profit by selling your old stuff. Besides cleaning out some space, that’s the whole reason you’re out having a garage sale.

DON’T: Expect a huge profit
While you might think your old junk is a gold mine waiting to be discovered, have no illusions, most other people won’t agree. Unless you are selling big furniture, appliances, collectibles or antiques, chances are you won’t be buying a new car with your garage sale profits.

DO: Invite other families to participate
Having friends, family, or neighbors participate in your garage sale can increase the draw of attendees as well as your profits.

DON’T: Try to sell their stuff for them
Make sure that other people are at your garage sale to sell their stuff. If they can’t attend, ask them to mark all their items with prices, and don’t make deals or take lower offers on their stuff unless they say it is okay.


  1. Planning ours for mid-April. Hope the snow's gone by then!


  2. Awesome! Good luck. Hope you sell plenty of stuff, Jen.