Helpful Garage Sale Tips

August 22, 2017 0 Comments

How do you sell your unwanted items?

Over the past 10 years I have stuck with selling items I no longer needed online.  I have had a lot of luck selling items off of Craigslist, BST Facebook Groups, and Offer Up.  Most of the items I sold were of value.  Kitchen table, couches, washer, dryer, basically anything that is needed in a house I have sold multiple times.  Smaller items I would meet in a public place like Starbucks and larger items I would have people come to my house.  Most of the time I was alone and honestly didn’t think I was putting myself in danger. Looking back, I was pretty brave to do this and maybe a little crazy.

Last weekend I decided I needed to have a garage sale to sell items of lesser value.  Your typical garage sale items that range from $5 and under.  Of course I had some items over that price range however the majority of the items were cheap.  Soul purpose of this garage sale was to purge and down size the amount of “stuff” we have around the house.


Where I started

The first thing I did was start going through all my storage containers of Holiday decorations.  I have a ton and in the last 2 years I haven’t put most of my decorations up.  I needed to purge and only keep the items I knew wouldn’t sell or that I really liked.  This took a good couple of days going through and deciding would I miss it if it sold.  After I was finished with the Holiday decorations I moved onto clothes, accessories, and household items. Does a family of 2 really need 3 blenders?  No, we don’t.  I found shoes that I used when I taught Zumba.  That was back in 2009.  The list went on and on.  I was really impressed with the amount of items I had to put in the garage sale.  My goal was to have a wide variety of items and not to waste someone else’s time.  I realize some people go to garage sales on a weekly basis and I didn’t want them to think mine was horrible.

After I went through the entire house I then decided when I wanted to have my garage sale.  A quick search helped me narrow down my days and times.  Make sure you do this in your area.  See what others have been doing.  I selected to have mine on Friday from 8-12 and Saturday 7-11.  It gets hot fast here in Texas and I didn’t want to stay outside longer than what I had to.  I also wanted to create a sense of urgency to get people to my garage sale.

In the city I live in you have to get a permit to have a garage sale.  It was a  simple process that I filled out online.  I was able to print off 6 permits to apply on garage sale signs.  I could only have signs out on the days of my garage sale.  They also had to come down once the garage sale was over.  Believe me, I didn’t want anyone else to show up after 11pm so taking down the signs was one of the first things I sent my husband to do.

Everything was starting to fall into place.  I needed to purchase garage sale signs and get stickers to mark all the items I want to sell.  My first stop was Target.  In the office supply section they have 2 packages to pick from.  I ended up grabbing both packages.  The first package has price points marked starting with 25 cents and went as high as $5.  Each sheet had 2 blank dots, which was nice.  The other package was all blank circles.  I didn’t open this package until I ran out of certain price points.  I priced almost everything when I was gathering items.  Of course I missed some items and was able to price them while I was setting up.

I kept my set up pretty simple.  I borrowed 4 tables, had a card table, end table, and used the storage containers as tables.  I also had a rolling rack to hang up the clothes I was selling.  I did most of the set up on Thursday the day before the sale.  After setting everything on the tables I took pictures to post to advertise my sale.  I think pictures are key to attract people to your sale.  I didn’t have everything set up how it was going to be on Friday however, they got a good idea what I had to sell.

If you have a business of your own, this is a perfect opportunity to self promote.  I displayed Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit along with some chemical free cleaning products in their Thieves Line.  I had peppermint and stress away going in the diffuser, which was needed as the garage sale went on.  I didn’t concentrate on “selling” I viewed it more as a way to talk to people if they were interested.  I had a dry erase board in front of the table with information what the products are.  I had a note saying “Let’s chat if you are interested”.  A couple of people asked questions which created a perfect conversation.  Since I was by myself I couldn’t give my all on helping them as I was trying to sell the stuff I no longer wanted.  Looking back, I wish I had someone with me to help with the garage sale.

How I got people to my garage sale

Advertising is key to get people to your garage sale.  Free advertising is even better!  I posted on,,, and Nextdoor.  I purchased 3 signs and put them out around 6am on Friday.

I opened my garage door around 7:15 on Friday to get everything ready.  People started arriving around 7:30!  I thought they may arrive early but I wasn’t expecting them to arrive 30 minutes early.  I made sure to great every single person that arrived.  They were coming to my store and I wanted them to feel special.  I am a HUGE lululemon fanatic and have saved all my shoppers since I started shopping there.  I gathered the ones I was willing to part with and placed items that people bought in these bags.  I think it was a nice gesture that didn’t cost me anything.  Plus, it helped me get rid of some that I have been hoarding.

My garage sale was a success over all.  I did have one family rock my world by stealing sunglasses.  This honestly made me cry.  I know people steal from stores but I didn’t think people would do this from someone who was having a garage sale.  I posted on Nextdoor and warned fellow neighbors this happened.  I found out this happens ALL THE TIME!  This really bothered me and honestly still does.  I don’t see myself having another garage sale because of this.

What I have learned

  • Have a couple people with you at your sale who are willing to help.  Have them by your eyes.
  • Keep anything of value close to you.
  • Have a separate table to check people out. Lift up every single item and place it in a bag.
  • Have a wide variety of bills.  (People came with $20 bills and even a $100 bill)
  • People will haggle.  It’s okay to stick to your asking price.  They will buy it if they want it.

Garage Sale List

  • Items priced
  • Tables & rolling rack (if you have clothes)
  • Bag with cash and change
  • Garage Sale Signs
  • Bags to place items bought (I am sure you could get them for free at a local store for free)
  • Advertising
  • Freshly mowed lawn (people will value you more if they see you take care of your home)

I made close to $500 at my garage sale which was great.  It helped me get rid of a ton of little items that I no longer used.  Heck, I even sold Ugg flip flops for a $1.  Once I closed on Friday I looked to see what was selling and looked through the house to see if I had anything else to put out.  I did put out some more items which ended up selling.

Even though I consider my garage sale a success I don’t think I would have another one in the near future. It was draining emotionally.  People haggle and get a little nasty.  I held my ground.  My prices were more than fair.  They just want something for nothing. Hence, why a family stole the sunglasses. I continue to use Craigslist, Offer Up, Next-door, and Facebook BST sites to sell my unwanted items.  It may take a little longer to sell something but, it is easier and less stress.

If you are gearing up for a garage sale, I wish you the best!  Stay hydrated and keep your eyes peeled.