25 Tips for Hosting a Successful Garage Sale

25 Tips for Hosting a Successful Garage Sale

It’s topping 100 degrees in Princeton this weekend. While some people like to stay indoors in morning, there are plenty of Treasure Hunters out there looking for a local Garage Sale. If you are having a Garage Sale or intend to in the future, we hope these 25 tips help you be more successful.

1. Be creative when wording your ad. Use interesting terms like “Everything Must go!” “First Sale Ever!”, “Multi-Family”, “Collectible Furniture”, etc. These draw interest.

2. Make a sign and make sure it is legible. To test this, go across the street and make sure you can read it. Hello Sharpie! Make sure your address is clear for sure.


3. Price everything before your sale or you will go crazy. Haggling is fun but you want to be comfortable with a starting point. Haggle and be prepared for people to haggle for anything as low as 25 cents. Have fun with it.

4. Stickers are not necessary but if you want to avoid talking to people, get some stickers and place them on the items.

5. Let your neighbors know about the sale. This is polite and will avoid them freaking out from all the random people coming to your street. They might end up bringing stuff over for you to sell for them. Just do it. (For a cut? That’s up to you).

6. Have Change. Start with at least $80 in small bills and have some coins. Most people that arrive early will have $20’s.

7. Place your merchandise in an inviting way. Make everything easily accessible. This is useful for those that don’t like to dig or haggle.

8. Keep organizing things as you sell. Make it look fresh. No one wants to go to a sale that has already been picked through. Clearing up the space as you sell will help.

9. Keep Electronics together on a table or section of your driveway. Same for tools. Keeping them together will help those who seek that out. Have an extension cord hooked up to power. This will help someone test out an electronic.

10. Buyers will most likely show up early. You can expect to see some people come up to an hour before you intended on starting. Sometimes, you just need to give in to the Earlybirds and start selling your things before they are all out of their box.

11. Keep big things visible from the road. You’ll see a lot of people doing drive-bys to catch a peek and avoid getting out of their car. (I find this kind of funny.) If you have big items visible they will be able to decide on whether to stop in more easily.

12. Selling Clothes? Some people like to dig in a box, but for the most part that just stinks. Especially on a hot day. Try using a laundry line or put clothes on a hanger on a rack to make it easier to browse and it will look much more appealing. If you are using a rack, put like-items together (colors, styles, etc).

13. Keep same priced items in a box. Unlike clothes, items that are priced the same should go in the same box. Have a .25 box, and a box for things that are all $1. Having a FREE box is a great idea. People like free. (Put this on your curb later).

14. People will buy just about anything if it is cheap. Make sure you are prepared to explain what is wrong with anything broken. Also, plan on giving these things away. Remember – you are probably just trying to get rid of it anyway so don’t over-think it. You’ll be happy later that it is not going to the dump or back into your basement. Don’t forget to massage the ego of your would-be-buyer and mention how easy it would be to fix for someone other than you.

15. Bulk purchases should get a deal. If you are selling books for 25 cents, sell 5 for a dollar, etc.

16. Find a friend. It is helpful to have someone else also handle the cash if possible. If you keep your cash in a cashbox, keep your change separate. You don’t want to lose the money you started with and it will make it easier to see how much you are making. A friend also makes the sale more fun and allows you to take a break.

17. If you are making a lot of money, keep taking it into the house. (Your locked house)

18. Don’t let anyone in your house. It is just a bad idea. You are going to be busy outside. Locking the doors to your house is a good idea. You are going to have random people around you so it’s best to keep them out of where they don’t belong.

19. Plan to pack up those things that don’t sell and give it to Goodwill or you local Veterans. Having a bin or box ready for the end of the sale will make this easier on your tired self later.

20. In the summer, selling ice-cold water is a great idea. You might even make more money on the water than the goods. (Sam’s Club!) This is a great thing for kids to do to keep them busy and interested in the sale.

21. If someone wants you to hold a large ticket item, it is OK to ask for a deposit. This can be a small deposit. Just ask. 50% of those that ask you to hold something probably won’t come back. You don’t want to lose out on a sale because you were too shy to ask for a deposit.

22. If you are working with someone, make sure you both know if you gave someone a promised price.

23. If you want $3 for something, be prepared to sell it for one dollar. People want to buy things cheap and you will probably end up selling it more easily.

24. Slash prices by noon. Your traffic will dwindle around noon and you’ll be able to sell more if they are slashed. This is a good time to make a sign- HALF OFF, SLASHED PRICES! MAKE AN OFFER!

25. Take down your sign after the sale. Don’t worry about taking down your Ad on PrincetonAds. We’ll do that for you. Also, you can always edit your ad if you decide on moving the sale to another date to sell more at a later date. You can do this from your Dashboard by clicking on the pencil icon.

Have fun and be prepared to meet some interesting people!