Sell your Junk – Host a Garage Sale


1)  Hunt & Gather

  • Walk around you house, check in all your closets, garage, and cabinets for the “treasures” you want to sell.  Shoes, tools, books, clothes, appliances, toy’s, etc.
  • Be sure to wash clothes so that they smell fresh and atleast dust or wipe off other junk.
  • Sort items into common groups so they will be easy to set out.
  • Get change ready – $20 in fives, $30 in ones, and $20 in quarters , depending on how large the sale is.
  • Borrow extra tables if you can from family or friends(Better yet, invite them to join in the sale.  A larger sale will certainly attract more people).  The extra tables will allow you to spread you junk out so that it looks like a large sale.
  • If you can, have canopies set up over your items.  People don’t like shopping when their hot.
  • Speaking of shopping while you are hot, have some cool soda’s or other treats available for 50 cents.  (You could let your kids monetize this opportunity).  You could also have a free gift to give away for each sale:  lollipop, leftover candy cane, halloween candy, etc.

2)  Time

  • Weather is a big concern, not many people visit garage sales in the rain.  If you are planning a large scale multifamily sale, you may want to have it in the dry season when you won’t expect any rain.  Otherwise you may lose quite a bit of money on advertising.
  • Friday and Saturday are the most popular days to host a sale.
  • You’ll want to start early around 7 in the morning and end some time in the afternoon, 2 or 3 pm.
  • Ask around town to see if you need to have a permit to host a sale.

3) Pricing

  • Price high, but allow the item to go for less.  You never know who might pay the reasonable “high” price, but you might also make someone feel like they got a bargain and perhaps buy more.
  • Put a price tag on everything, don’t go less than twenty-five cent denominations.
  • If you took the time to group your items, you may want to put some items in a bin and label them all as $0.25 OR 5 for $1.00 OR you could sell items by the bag for a certain price(i.e. a bag of clothes for $2.00).


1)  Signage –  Pickup a bright neon colored posterboard and cut it into signs( <$1.00)

  • Start on a main highway with enough notice for the car to slow down and turn.
  • Mark EVERY turn after that with the same colored sign. USE ARROWS
  • If there is a long straight distance be sure to mark it so that people dont think they missed a turn.
  • Consider using a waterproof pen if you have one, such as an acrylic paint type pen.
  • Get creative with a theme, have a drawing of santa on each sign and then have your blow up Santa on in your yard so people know they found you.  You can do any kind of theme really.

2)  Advertisements

  • Include Location, time, and days.  If you have additional space, list the type of items or the best items you have to lure people who may be looking for something specific.

Garage Sale!
123 Xyz St, Fort Wayne
Fri 8/27 & Sat 8/28 7a -3p
Tools, clothes, toys, and much more
  •  List your sale on,
  •  See if your local paper has a deal for running a garage sale ad in the classifieds.  For less than $10 it might be worth it depending on our location.
  • Post your sale on Facebook, Google+ and other social networking sites.  Ask your friends to tell their friends.
  • Post your sale in community locations that will allow posting of flyers.  Be sure to ask for permission if necessary.

The Garage Sale

1)  Set-up – 

  • You will want to put your better items near the end of your driveway to tempt people into stopping.
  • Have your sodas or snacks ready to sell nearby in a cooler.
  • Run an extension cord out so that you can test electric items for people
  • Play some music

2)  Watch out for theives!  These aren’t necessarily your friendly neighbors.  Particularly in this recession, someone may pocket you stuff to resell.  Also it is important to keep your cash box in a safe place that is off limits to garage sale attendees

3)  Cash only- no checks or other forms of money.  Use a counterfit pen if you are worried (maybe you can borrow one?).

4)  Tell the early birds NO, especially if they came before your sale started.  Many like to get in early and haggle you prices down on your best stuff.  They probably are going to turn around and sell the item at their own garage sale for what you asked for it.  Stick to your prices until the afternoon atleast.

5)  If someone is buying lots of stuff, consider allowing them to haggle down a nicer item.


1) Pick-up all of your signs that you put out.  You may be fined if you do not depending on where you live.

2) Consider donating the junk you did not sell.

3) Be sure to thank anyone that helped you out along the way.

4) Enjoy your extra cash!  Put it in a a high yield money market account, or better if you’re savvy.


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