5 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

The hot pink sign boasted ‘Upscale Sale’. Of course we had to go see what an ‘upscale sale’ looked like so we turned right. At the next intersection, there was a piece of cardboard with an arrow. We followed. The next spot had a small pink arrow, we took our chances.
There was no sale to be found. The ‘Upscale Sale’ did not have upscale signage. Bummer!

Garage Sales are a lot of fun and come with bonuses! You get to free yourself of clutter and earn a little money at the same time! It’s a win win! The trick for a successful garage sale is in the preparation.

Garage sales are a lot of fun and come with bonuses! You get to free yourself of clutter and earn a little money at the same time! It's a win win!

5 Tips to Prepare for a Successful Garage Sale

1) Location, Location, Location

You’ve heard it before and it still holds true! The most successful garage sales are held near a major road. If your garage sale sign can boast ‘3 blocks’ you are likely to catch customers who weren’t intending to garage sale but can easily spare 3 blocks! Find a friend or relative who has the ideal spot and join forces!

2) Friends

Garage sales are always better with friends! Not only do you have someone to work with, you also can run to the restroom if needed. Plus, friends = more merchandise. Customers are less likely to do drive-bys if there is a huge assortment of merchandise. The more the merrier!

3) Signs

Signage is what brings the buyers in so skimping isn’t an option! Make your signs uniform but different from all of the other signs out there.

A-board signs are awesome for the main intersections. Make the smaller signs that you staple to sign poles look the same so customers are certain they are going to the right sale. (Check the codes in your area. One year we couldn’t figure out why our signs kept disappearing. Apparently, the police were ripping them down because putting staples in poles endangered the pole climbers’ lives. I had no idea utility workers still climbed poles so I paid attention and, sure enough, I actually saw someone climbing a pole not too long after. Who knew?)

We save our signs from year to year and freshen up as needed. Quite by accident, we came up with a unique sign by changing the day with a bright yellow posterboard strip on our hot pink signs. It is very identifiable and we have even advertised on Craigslist, ‘follow the hot pink and yellow signs’.

Successful Garage Sale

4) Price Tags

Price those items! Price tags can be found at the Dollar Tree or just about anywhere. We happened to have an excess of return address labels and have used those for quite a few years now. It’s super simple to print initials on them and cut into thirds for price tags. This makes it easy to know who to give credit to at check out. You can even pre-print prices for ultra easy pricing.

Garage Sale

5) Change

We have an old cash register from my dad’s old business which works fabulous! It isn’t necessary though. Make sure you have a school box, fanny pack, or something to keep money in. Have 1’s, 5’s, and coins on hand to make check out simple. Keep an eye on that money too, as it has been known to disappear.


If you have kids, why not let them make some money too? Customers are happy to pay for a cold drink on a hot day! Pepsi and water are what we usually have on hand; throw them in a cooler with some ice and have the kids make a sign! Cookies and brownies seem to be a hit as well!

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Garage Sale Tips For A Successful Sale

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14 comments… add one
  • Joy @ Joyfully Green Jul 13, 2014, 9:28 pm

    I love having garage sales to free ourselves of things we don’t use, but I never stop at them to shop. I agree that the more, the merrier. The last garage sale we had, we joined up with two neighbors and it was much more successful. People are more likely to stop if your sign says “Multi-house garage sale.”

  • How Do The Jones Do It Jul 13, 2014, 10:13 pm

    Great tip Joy! We are scheduled to have our sale this weekend and haven’t gotten the signs out yet but I think they say ‘Multi-Family’! We join forces with my parents and sister! Oftentimes friends will join too for one massive sale!

  • Well, we’ve yet to have a garage sale,. but I think it would be tons of fun! I had thought about doing a community-wide yard sale in our subdivision – that would be cool, too!

  • How Do The Jones Do It Jul 14, 2014, 12:26 pm

    It is fun Kristen! You could make it an annual event!

  • simplecasablog Jul 15, 2014, 11:23 am

    Wao, how informative!

  • Rebekah Jul 16, 2014, 5:16 pm

    I have never had a yard sale. I’ve sold things in other yard/garage sales though. The hardest thing for me is pricing things at yard sale prices, not resale shop prices.

  • How Do The Jones Do It Jul 16, 2014, 6:07 pm

    Why thank you;0)

  • How Do The Jones Do It Jul 16, 2014, 6:09 pm

    It sounds like you’ve joined forces with friends! That’s the best way to do it! Pricing gets easier the more you do it! It always cracks me up when you price something for .10 and someone wants it for .05;0)

  • Sharon Peterson Oct 2, 2016, 12:58 pm

    I never know how or what prices to put on especially women’s clothing? Help please

  • How Do The Jones Do It Oct 7, 2016, 3:21 pm

    That’s an excellent question, Sharon! You might consider pricing women’s clothing at a price you would be willing to pay when you go to a garage sale. We generally price coats at $10, jackets at $5, nice tops in the $2 – $5 range, t-shirts at .50, and jeans anywhere from $2 – $20 depending on the brand. We do find that most people won’t pay more than $5 for a pair of jeans. Pricing is dictated by what people in your area will pay so give it your best shot and get a good feel for next time!

  • Tire master Apr 6, 2017, 8:04 pm

    Great idea, to put a sign and to open garage sale in certain hours.
    I have so much unused, but perfect goods in my garage. Different tires, chemicals etc.

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