Tips for Putting on a Successful Garage Sale

I have been a garage saler since I was a kid. It’s just something my family and I did almost weekly during the spring, summer, and fall growing up. The past has been on repeat and now on weekends I will pack up my kids and pick up my parents and we’ll scope out some sales! We are looking for some unique treasures and looking to find that good deal. Being an expert garage saler, there are days where I feel like I accomplished the mission and had a good time and there are days where there have been disappointments and dead ends. I know exactly what I am looking for in a garage sale and like any business, there are ways to help you be successful and to reach your goals of a successful garage sale. 

Tips for Putting on a Successful Garage Sale | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Your signs are everything:

You have no idea how many times I’ve gotten lost following garage sale signs. Lost opportunity for me to buy your stuff right there. One of my biggest tips is to get signs that all look the same. So many times I’m following signs that I think go together but look totally different. An address on the sign helps as well if to know where your sale is at. I will add that I am instantly drawn to sales that have that extra effort put into it. One sign that sticks out is where they drew a whale on a neon posterboard and wrote ” Whale of a Sale.” It was eye appealing and the effort into the sign, made me assume they had a fun, well-organized sale. I also LOVE when people write a few item descriptions on their sale signs. For example, if I saw “Girl Clothes and Toys” on the sign, I would not stop as I have all boys. I have limited time and that saved me time right there. What also saves me time is when your sale is posted online with pictures and a description. Post it on Facebook and Craigslist to get those specific buyers. Watch your messages as people will message you on there with questions or to buy items.

Organization and Visuals:

An organized sale will move more items. Group like items together. For example, have kid items grouped together, clothing on tables arranged by size, home items altogether, etc. Have a cohesive setup at your sale to help it flow. If you can hang your clothes, that also will help them sell better. Labeling your tables with simple 8×11 paper on sizes and prices will help guide people to what they are looking for. Having clear prices and labels makes for an easygoing sale for your customers and yourself. I am drawn to visuals. To draw people to your sale, make sure you are putting your big items and high demand items outside of the garage. I do drive-bys for most sales. You know, that “drive by slow and see if there is anything interesting or worth stopping to look at” type of drive-by. Make me want to stop at your sale! I’m a sucker for balloons and streamers that decorate a sale. An effort is recognized and I will stop at your sale when I see a fun, organized sale. 

Garage sale pricing is a thing:

When people stop at a garage sale, they are looking for garage sale prices. I’m looking for shirts for $1, DVDs for $1 or $2, or baseball cleats or equipment for $5. I know when I put on a garage sale, the purpose is 1st to get rid of items and 2nd to make some money. Full price or close to full price items may not sell that well unless you are lucky to have a specific buyer stumble upon your sale. Just be prepared for people to make lower offers. If you are not flexible on some of the higher end items and their pricing, I would recommend selling them online versus Facebook, Craigslist or eBay. One thing about pricing is the condition the item is in. If it’s dusty or is dirty, it won’t sell. Give your items a quick dusting or a quick cleaning with a disinfectant wipe and your item may sell quicker and for a higher price. 

Fun Add-Ons:

My kids love when I put on a garage sale. They know that means that they get to have a lemonade stand! Every year we sell pop, water, and treats and then we donate the money to our favorite charities and organizations. They have a blast and learn how to count money, how to greet people and the value of helping others. I know they will have many memories of their lemonade stand days!

Tips for Putting on a Successful Garage Sale | Twin Cities Moms Blog

On the last day of the sale, I want to get rid of as much as I can. I will usually do fill a bag for $5 after noon on the last day of the sale. I do have a table that is usually excluded from this for higher items. For bigger items, I will also do half off. I’ve had people take advantage of this time to fill up bags so they can donate goods overseas or to other local organizations. If I can bless someone by giving them a good deal, they are in turn blessing me so I don’t have to box up all this stuff at the end of the day.

Like how they play music in stores, you can play music at your sale. Play some calming, smooth jams to create a relaxing environment to shop. Or play some fun jams to help your items sell. At the last garage sale we had, we were selling a guitar and an amp. My dad just started playing songs for everyone and eventually, we sold the guitar. Choose some music that is appealing to everyone. 

Multifamily sales are a thing. Put on a sale with a family member or friend and share the time and effort to put on a garage sale. Time is the key ingredient to a successful sale. I’m talking weeks to even months to start the process of a garage sale. Share the planning, hard work and a couple pots of coffee with someone and get started on your sale. 

Spring is the start of garage sale season! Once that snow melts and we start seeing signs on corners, we are there! I hope these tips help you have the Best Garage Sale ever! You never know; you might see me at your garage sale.

Erin is a stay at home mom during the day, but to get a break and talk to adults, works part-time retail at night. Her four boys- husband, Jakin, and three sons, Miles (2010), Dylan (2011) and Ronin (2014), keep her very busy, but she still has time to volunteer for the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota as a support group leader for the south of the river area and also is involved with many resources that pertain to special needs. Erin could drink iced coffee all day, loves anything 80's, enjoys watching Star Wars with her boys, is always taking pictures but is never in them, wishes she had more time to play golf with her husband and could eat pho everyday. Her current goals in life are to write a book, travel to Vietnam where her dad is from, and find ways to manage health and fitness while being a busy mom. She enjoys displaying her life in pictures on Instagram @erinstatz, and also updates her blog when she can at


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