What Do I Need to Know About Having a Garage Sale?

Posted by Madison on May 17, 2011

I’m taking part in a garage sale this week. However, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’ve never participated in a garage sale before. Partially, because I have trouble parting with stuff, but also because I’ve never had enough stuff to sell to fill an entire garage. In the past, I’ve opted to sell a handful of things here and there on Craigslist and eBay.

But we finally hit a point with the kids, where we have an entire playroom in the basement filled with toys they have outgrown and no longer use. (Sound familiar?) Add the baby gear and clothes they’ve outgrown and I have a massive amount of stuff to purge. Since we’re pretty sure we are done having kids, I’m ready to part with the baby stuff.

The timing is perfect, since the moms group I belong to is coordinating a multi-family garage sale (and a portion of the proceeds will go to charity). So I have my stuff, my date, and location. Beyond that, I’m lost.

I know I have lots of frugal readers who are experts in the garage sale world. Now’s your chance to teach me everything I need to know about having a garage sale. Any and all tips are welcome, since I truly have no idea what I’m doing!

What do I need to know about having a garage sale?

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Comments to What Do I Need to Know About Having a Garage Sale?

  1. Make sure that you have posted a craigslist ad that has many pictures that are very detailed. You can search online on how to post more than 4 pics on craigslist. Its not very hard, somewhat tedious but well worth it!! I did the research last week on how to post multiple pics for our garage sale, and it made a huge difference!!

    here is my cl ad for an example, and fyi i had never done this before!


    Of course its not perfect but it more than did the trick!

    Good Luck!!


    Joe M.

    • Great tip Joe! I would have never thought to include pictures in a craigslist ad.

      However, I can tell it made a huge difference… my husband took one look at all the pictures in your ad and said “looks nice, we should move there!”

      Of course, I’m sure it was the sun, pool, patio, and house that he loved (all not stuff for sale, I’m sure)- but I can completely see how people would be 100% more inclined to show up for the sale after you lured them in with the pictures.


      • Pictures speak a thousand words! Come move to Vegas, they are giving houses like these away. This house would sell for 300k to 400k in today’s turbulent market! It’s just under 4,000sf on the golf course! Amazing!

        Joe M.

  2. Use masking tape with prices, easy to remove and do not fall off like the little stickers do. Also make it easy on you, by marking stuff 50 cents or $ (bag anything in groups, that is not worth 50 cents). A “free with purchase” box by the check out is great too. Use a fanny pack for money, do not leave out, put one person in charge of money. Have fun and make a bit of $ to, while clearing out some new space for more stuff.:)


  3. Furniture always brings people to garage sales. Make sure you have some on display prominently that passersby can see. Also, I like to do individual craigslist ads for some of the hot items I’ll be selling and then I put on those ads that these items will be available at the garage sale. That way people who are interested in those items might stop by and see other things they like as well.


  4. Also displays. You dont want it to look like you just dumped the house out on your driveway. Take things out of boxes. I set up shelving with center blocks and a bord, as well as using a ski poll for hanging clothes on. That way things can all be seen and skimmed through without making a huge disaster.


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