How to Set Up a Garage Sale

May 04, 2022
Garage Sale

Cleaning out your home is a tried and true method to get organized and get rid of things you don’t need. While you can donate gently used items, having a garage sale is a great way to make a little extra money. How do you set up a garage sale?

A well-organized, money-making garage sale is possible. To ensure the success of your sale, you need to:
  • Plan it for the Best Time
  • Neighborhood or Multi-Day Sales
  • Clean All Items
  • Organize Items
  • Give Everything a Price
  • Advertise
  • Allow for Haggling
  • Have Plenty of Change
If you’re ready to clean out your garage and make a little extra pocket money, keep reading for more information!

Plan for the Best Time

In most areas, the best time for a garage sale is on the weekend. Start by checking the local garage sale listings and see when most people are holding their sales. The more popular days will be when you need to schedule yours as well.

If you’ve never held a garage sale before, know that your hours of operation are solely at your discretion. Most shoppers come early to find the best deals and see all your offerings before they’ve been picked over. While you might consider packing it up around noon, try staying open until 3 or 4. Sometimes last-minute customers end up being the best customers.

Garage Sale

Consider Multi-Family/Day Sales

If you are looking for the best crowd, consider holding a neighborhood or multi-family garage sale. More people will come to a sale if they know there is more than one stop within the subdivision. Try organizing a time where several people in the neighborhood can do it.

To further maximize your sales, hold a multi-day garage sale if possible. For example, start your sale on Friday evening and then continue it all day Saturday. You may have a better turnout that way.

Clean All Items

In the weeks leading up to your garage sale, make sure you clean everything you plan to sell. No one wants to purchase something that immediately needs to be taken home and sanitized. Likewise, browsers are less likely to become buyers if your stuff looks dirty.

During your sale, make sure to go through periodically and straighten the display tables. According to, if you have clean items and a clean home exterior, shoppers are more willing to pay higher prices. They’ll see the products you’re selling as hidden treasures, not worn-out junk.

Cleaning Supplies

Organize Items

It’s crucial to organize your items in a way that encourages people to browse and buy. Set up your tables so shoppers can easily navigate around your sale. Consider setting the tables in an L or U shape so they don’t have to worry about weaving through narrow spaces.

Don’t be afraid to use garage storage items to help display your goods.  Slatwall offers hooks and baskets that you can temporarily display things like clothes or jewelry. Movable workbenches can double as tables.

A few things to consider when setting up your sale:

  • Hang the clothes to make it easier for shoppers to browse.
  • Try to avoid putting any clothes in a box because it will become a mess in a hurry. Also, breakable or more valuable items should be located by the cashier’s table. This way, you can keep an eye on the valuables and if anything is broken, you can quickly clean it up.
  • Put like items together, but don’t overcrowd your tables. You don’t want buyers to feel they can’t touch something without knocking everything over.

As you’re setting up your garage sale, remember to think like a shopper. Place items in a manner that makes sense. Remember, people are looking for hidden treasures and valuables. Make it easy for them to succeed in their quest!

Give Everything a Price

Unless you enjoy answering “how much is this” all day, make sure everything has a price tag. Put the prices on top of the items so that they are easily seen when your shoppers browse. If you are tagging softer things, like stuffed animals, you might want to use a tag with a string instead of a sticker.

Comic Books


With all the planning on when, where, and how you want your garage sale to look, don’t forget the most essential part, advertising.

Putting an advertisement for your garage sale in a local paper is probably the most common method. You should also post your ad on digital sites to ensure that those who don’t read the newspaper are alerted of your sale. Try sites like:

You don’t have to pay for advertising space and you can alter and remove the ads as needed. You can also post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to let family and friends know. Finally, put up signs around your neighborhood that direct customers to your home.

Allow for Haggling

Haggling is part of the fun for some garage sale shoppers. They like to know they can get the best deal on that crockpot you don’t want anymore. Don’t be so steadfast in your pricing and allow for a bit of wiggle room with your customers.

Instead of setting a non-negotiating price, determine what is the least amount you are willing to accept for your items. Initially, price the objects a little higher than rock-bottom. When someone wants to haggle for a price, you’ll know the minimum you can accept and negotiate effectively from there.

Have Plenty of Change

The digital age has arrived and many people like to use debit or credit cards to pay for things. However, when it comes to garage sales, cash is the best way to go. This way, you won’t have to worry about the hassle of getting a card reader and setting it up or worse, face the dreaded returned check fees.

According to Penny Pinchin Mom, you should get between “$75 and $100 in change.” Ensure that there are various bill sizes, including $1s, $5s, and $10s. Also, have at least a roll of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies on hand.


Setting up a successful garage sale takes proper planning. Ensure that you schedule it for the right time of the week and be open to a neighborhood or multi-day sale. You want to proudly display clean items that you’ve carefully organized to be appealing to visitors. Post clear prices on all of your items, and don’t forget to advertise as much as possible!


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