5 Tips for Hosting a Successful Garage Sale

You’d be surprised how many people wake up on a Saturday morning and wonder, “Are there any yard sales near me?” Yard sales and garage sales are something of a hobby for legions of enthusiasts, many of whom are often willing to drive long distances for a good sale. Best of all, garage sales are a great way to not only declutter your home, but also make some much-needed cash. These tips can help you host a successful garage sale without investing too much of your time or hard-earned money.

Organizing and Prepping

After you’ve collected items for your sale, you’ll need to decide how big a sale you want to hold. Consider pooling your inventory with neighbors and holding a community sale to attract a larger crowd.

You’ll also need to recruit help in the form of family and friends — you can pay them with merchandise they want or with a celebratory dinner afterward. If your helpers have kids, consider letting them handle the toy sales, or allowing them to set up a lemonade/soft drink stand and keep the profits.

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Folding tables: These cost as little as $10, but you can also borrow them from friends or rent them from party supply companies.
  • Signs: You’ll want signs to bring people to your home, and also signs for categorizing the merchandise. Be sure to purchase waterproof signs — or you can print them at home and laminate them inexpensively at an office supply store. Use waterproof markers that won’t smear.
  • Garment racks: If you’re selling lots of clothing. These go for as little as $20.
  • Full-length mirror: If you’re selling clothes.
  • Extra cash to make change: Garage sale experts recommend at least $50 in singles, $50 in fives, $50 in 10s, $60 in 20s and at least one roll ($10) of quarters.
  • Money belts: These are helpful if you have multiple helpers handling money. Keep bills and change in separate pockets.
  • Bags and packing supplies: In addition to plastic bags, you’ll need newspaper or bubble wrap for wrapping breakable items.
  • Extension cords: These should be plugged into an indoor or outdoor outlet so customers can test electronics.
  • Measuring tape: If you’re selling furniture, people will want to measure it before purchasing.
  • Calculator: For sales transactions.
  • Pens, notebooks, tape: For notating items sold, plus for putting “Hold” notes on large items that will be picked up later.
  • Price tags: Stickers can be used for some items, but don’t put the sticker on in a way that will mar the item.


You’ll reach a lot more people if you advertise your garage sale online — and the best way to do that is to go to ClassifiedAds.com, where you can post it for free. ClassifiedAds.com gives you the opportunity to not only post a detailed ad that showcases your items; it also allows your ad to reach a huge audience of yard sale enthusiasts, some of whom are willing to travel a hundred miles or more if they’re interested in the items you list. You can also link your ad to your personal social media sites so your friends can see it as well.

Displaying Items

Items should be grouped according to categories (clothes, toys, electronics, etc.) so that people can easily find what they want. Also, it’s essential to make your inventory look as good as possible, so invest in a can of polish or cleaner, a few dust rags and an hour or two of cleaning. Remember to clean and press clothing so it’s attractive, and display really nice items (such as expensive electronics or antiques) so that they can be seen and admired.

After the Sale

There are always at least a few items left after a sale. Consider posting them online at ClassifiedAds.com, where they can potentially be seen by thousands of people.

By organizing, getting the necessary supplies and advertising beforehand, you’ll have all the tools you need for a successful, financially-lucrative garage sale.