I am a big fan of garage sales. Growing up, my mother and grandmother would wake me up early Saturday morning to start hitting garage sales. It's so funny how they were always able to find the best garage sale buys. We would come home with a car load of stuff and they'd each manage to spend less than $20. I used to hate it back then but now I love going to garage sales.

This past Saturday, I decided to hold my own garage sale. There were
alot of things I no longer used taking up valuable space in my closets and in my garage. I was able to clear out about 90% of the items I'd listed for sale and the rest of the items went to Goodwill. Not only was I able to clear out a bit of clutter from my home, I also managed to bring in around $400 in extra cash. If you are planning to hold a garage sale, here are a few tips to help you pocket a nice chunk of change.

Advertising. For my sale, I posted an ad up on Craigslist in the garage sale section. I also purchased a few "Garage Sale" signs (with directional arrows) from Home Depot for less than $3 each. I posted signs at several key points to lead customers directly to my garage sale. My subdivision is located off of a busy main road so I put a sign there to attract customers into the subdivision. At the first stop sign in the subdivision, I posted another sign with the street address and which direction they needed to go. I then posted another sign right in front of my house to let them know that they have arrived.

. You can pick up the little sticky price tags from Wal-Mart to price your items. Be realistic when your price your items. Remember, you are selling used items that may not be as valuable as you think they are to someone else. If you want to get rid of an items, price it to sell. Make sure everything has a price! I hate going to garage sale and there are items without a price. Some people won't like having to ask for a price and may not purchase your item. If possible, stick to whole numbers and you don't have to deal with alot of coins if at all possible. For example, instead of pricing an item for $1.50, make it $1 or $2 instead. This will make it easier if you are totalling the purchase without a calculator and help speed up the transaction. Above all, if you want to get rid of your things, don't be afraid to negotiate.

. Don't forget to get change prior to your garage sale. This is one of the things I forgot to do. Luckily, I had a family member there helping me out and they were able to run to the store and get change for me. I would recommend starting with at least $75 in change. I would probably start with $40 in ones, $20 in fives, a roll of quarters, and the remaining $5 divided equally between nickels and dimes.

Clean and Organized. It is important to have related items near each other and neatly placed. You want to have related items in the same area and away from unrelated items. This will help those customers that are looking for a certain item or items. Sometimes, customers will not put your items back neatly so be sure to walk around and keep your items neat. If I go to a garage sale and things are all over the place, I don't waste my time trying to pick through the items to find what I want to purchase. Your things may also sell better if your take a moment to wipe off the dust or clean them up a bit. If you are selling clothing, make sure they are clean and neatly placed. For clothing, it is best to have them hanging and grouped by size. If you are not able to hang up your clothing, neatly folding it on a table with work also.

Be Nice
. I am more inclined to buy something when I go to a garage sale and the people holding the sale are nice and friendly. Taking a few moments to say "Good Morning" could make the difference between making a sale or not. Sometimes, you may not be able to greet everyone who comes to the sale but be courteous and smile.

Having a yard sale is an easy way to clear clutter and make extra money at the same time. Put a little effort into organizing your sale and making it pleasant to browse and easy to shop, you’ll make a lot more money.

Have you recently had a garage sale? Did you do any of the things mentioned above?

Image Credit: Sir Mildred Pierce


  1. Anonymous // September 8, 2008 at 3:49 PM  

    There you go dude, excellent work! I try and go yard AT LEAST every other Saturday, i absolutely love them. And having your own is even better!

    Although i haven't been able to have one in years because i've been pretty good at selling things on CL or eBay, and thus my place is pretty scarce with junk/stuff i don't like.

    $400 is no joke - congrats.

  2. Anonymous // September 10, 2008 at 3:25 PM  

    I love garage sales - I used to do the same with my mother. We'd plan out a route the night before and get breakfast super early in the morning. I always enjoyed it.

    Since I live in an apartment with minimal belongings, I can't imagine having enough stuff to have my own garage sale, but a building garage sale might be a interesting idea. Get a bunch of tenants together and set up shop on the street.

  3. Bonnie sayers // September 10, 2008 at 8:12 PM  

    I plan on having a yard sale soon and will be doing the craigslist ad and penny saver. Was not going to do the garage sale signs, most use cardboard and tack to post. Maybe mine will stand out if I do that though. I am waiting for weather to cool down still so I can sell fall clothes as well and not sweat too much outdoors.