Looking to make additional space in your home, and put some extra cash in your wallet? A garage sale is an excellent way to do it! However, orchestrating a successful garage sale does take time, effort and planning. Many factors come into play when you're hoping to have a successful sale. Throwing a garage sale together may leave you feeling, disappointed and defeated if it goes awry. Follow some of our simple tips for success!

How To Have A Garage Sale

yard sale

When choosing to hold any event, it's essential that you take the necessary steps to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. A garage sale is no exception. The following are some tips to keep in mind when organizing, preparing, and how to get through the big day!

1. Choosing Items To Sell

cardboard boxes

It's true that some items are hotter sellers than others at garage sales. However, don't assume something won't sell based on what you would or wouldn't purchase. That's not saying you should be selling old undergarments, yet some preloved children's clothing would be more appropriate. If you have any of the following items in your home to declutter, they often sell the best:

Children's Items

kid's toy blocks

This includes any gently used clothes fitting newborns to adolescents. All outerwear, footwear, baby gear, and toys. Children generally grow out of several items rather quickly, and it can become quite expensive for families to repurchase brand new products continually. Decluttering your home of things your children have outgrown, is a great way to make some extra cash.


power drill

Do-it-yourselfers are always looking to grow their tool collection, and woodworkers will be looking for tools to help better their craft. These tools don't come cheap, so it's always great to come across a bargain. If you have unused drills, saws, scroll saws, or compressors collecting dust in your shed, it might be a good idea to set them out in your garage sale.

Sporting Equipment

golf clubs

Are the golf clubs collecting more spiders than birdies? Did you meet your weight loss goal, and no longer need the exercise equipment? Or perhaps you're looking to upgrade to a newer model? There are always individuals looking to try out new sports, and those looking to lose extra weight. They may be uncommitted to buying something brand new and want to try secondhand first.


video game and tv

Electronic items that are in good working order that sell the best are usually game consoles, TVs, stereos, cell phones, fitness trackers, newer tablets/computers.

Household Items


The items in this section vary depending on the person and what you own, but kitchenware is always a strong bet for good sales.


wooden chairs

Furniture is a trendy item for garage sales. It sells well because many people usually seek various pieces of furniture to repurpose, refinish, and possibly re-sell themselves. Don't underestimate the cash an old headboard that's been hanging around in the attic can bring in.


books on shelves

Generally, children's books sell the best at garage sales. Parents are always looking to expand their little one's library. However, that's not to say that adults aren't looking to add to their bookshelves too.

2. When To Have Your Garage Sale?

woman writing in notebook

Choose to have your garage sale on a day where people will be able to attend and purchase the most items. Keep the following tips in mind:

The Day Of The Week


Typically, the majority of people visiting your garage sale will have the weekends off. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays would be days when you'd receive the most traffic at your sale.

Time Of Day

sunrise through trees

The earlier you hold your garage sale, the better, the more potential buyers you'll have visiting your sale. It doesn't make a lot of sense to start mid-day.

Pay Day

piggy bank

Hold your garage sale on the first weekend of the month if possible. By the end of the month, most businesses will have paid their employees, ensuring that potential buyers have money to spend at your garage sale.

Check The Weather

boots in puddle

Unfortunately, we can't control the weather. However, we can manage when we have our garage sales. Inclement weather will keep most buyers at bay, and put a damper on your overall success. Try to hold your garage sale on a date when the weather will be comfortable.


spring flowers

A garage sale can be held during any season, however, depending on what region you live in, your sale will have the potential to do better depending on what season you choose. Typically most garage sales are held during the spring and summertime, for preferred weather and longer days. Autumn and winter bring some challenges with unpredictable weather and unmotivated buyers.

3. How To Advertise Your Garage Sale


More than likely if you live on a busier street and you have tables outside with a bunch of items atop of them, people are going to know it's a garage sale. Curiosity will take over, and they'll take a peek. However, you want to bring in as many potential buyers as you can. People can't know if you don't advertise. How do you do it?


yard sale sign

Creating clear signage including the address, date and time of your garage sale will be extremely helpful in attracting customers to your sale. Make sure that your signs are eye-catching, with large bold text. Keep your signs simple, and neat. Place the posters in high traffic areas around your neighborhood. Add balloons to make the signs more noticeable. Check with your city hall to see if there are any sign restrictions before placing your advertising around the neighboorhood.


laptop with coffee

Create a listing on Craigslist advertising the date, time and location of your garage sale. Give a brief description of your garage sale, focusing on your hottest items. Include some photos to draw more interest.

Social Media

cellphone with facebook app and laptop

Create an event of facebook, or advertise on an online community yard/garage sale group. Similar to your craigslist posting, offer some information the date, time and location of your sale, as well as some of the items that will bring the most interest. Include photos in your post.

Check the website Reddit for a forum dedicated to your state or county. Create a free account if you don't have one and announce your garage sale there.

4. What Do You Need To Host A Garage Sale?

man thinking

To have a successful garage sale, you'll need to gather a few things to help keep things more organized.

1. Tables

picnic table

Tables will be a wonderful place for you to organize your items for purchase in an attractive manner. Sort items cohesively so it makes sense, and products are easy to find. For example, do not place toys with kitchenware, and kitchenware should not be placed with clothes. Your display should make sense.

2. Batteries/Extention Cords


If you're selling anything electronic, you'll want to make sure that potential buyers know that those objects are working. Missing a simple battery change could potentially lose you a sale. Typically, people don't want to purchase broken items.

3. Apron

counting cash

It's a good idea to keep your profits on you at all times, rather than in a cash box. It's difficult to keep an eye on your cashbox when you're conversing with customers and helping out. It's best to keep your cash on you, and it's safer and more convenient as you can quickly do transactions by staying mobile.

4. Bags/Newspaper

paper bag

Having bags for customers to put their newly found treasures in is always helpful and, newspaper to wrap breakables in is a nice touch.

5. Spare Change

jar of coins

Make sure to have an adequate amount of cash to make change with when customers make a purchase. People don't always have the exact change on hand.

6. Permit

city hall

In some areas, you must have a permit to hold a garage sale. Visit your town hall in person or online to obtain information on whether or not this is true for your neighborhood. Permits are relatively inexpensive, and it's simple to apply for one.

Other Garage Sale Tips To Keep In Mind


calculator and checkbook

When it comes to taxes you're in luck unless you're a garage sale mastermind. You generally do not need to pay any tax on your income from garage sales. This is because the IRS only taxes you on capital gains, and in a garage sale, you're selling items for less than you paid for them. Of course, if you manage to sell something for more than you bought it for, you'll need to report it as capital gains on your tax return.

Be Prepared For Alternative Payment Methods


We live in the age of smartphones, and cash isn't always king. There are a wide array of digital payment options available including PayPal and Venmo. You could even consider getting one of the credit card scanning widgets that attach to your phone. Accepting other forms of currency will let you access customers who didn't bring enough cash to buy everything they want.

What To Do With Stuff That Doesn't Sell

woman carrying blankets

At the end of the day, you're more than likely going to be left with plenty of items that didn't sell. What you want to do with these items is up to you, but donation is always a good option. Since you were selling them in the first place, you probably wanted them out of your house. Local swap centers and Goodwill stores are a great option since it goes to help those in need.

If you don't want to truck your garage sale leftovers to a store, there are even services, such as Give Back Box, which lets you ship your unwanted goods to them. You can also have the post office come to your dor to pick up the box. Just fill out the box contents form on their site and print the free shipping label. Large donations may qualify for a tax credit.

Garage sales are a great way to declutter your home. Having a plan of action and a bit of organization can help you create a big win on the day of the sale.

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