Tips for Holding a Successful Garage Sale

There comes a time in every person’s life that makes them say “It is enough”. That can refer to some life situations, but also, it can refer to all the stuff that surrounds them. Maybe you decided to move, and you know that one of the first rules for moving is purging. Perhaps, you are just sick and tired of all the clutter around you. Whatever is the case, you made a decision to get rid of all the surpluses your place is covered with. You can put everything to trash, but that wouldn’t make you any money, would it? On the other hand, why not make some money off the things you don’t need anymore? If you decide to hold a successful garage sale, it can bring you some big bucks. Well, certainly bigger than throwing everything in the trash.

Plan and organize a successful garage sale

Every project needs a good plan for even a chance to succeed. The same rule applies if you want to hold a successful garage sale, never mind that it’s not a company project. So, if your plan is to move, look at the local moving companies like Movin’ Murdy – Pittsburgh Movers to see what items are easy to move, and what is better to get rid of. Also, decide whether you really want all of the old and duplicated stuff in your new place or not. If it’s time for a clean slate than a garage sale is a good way towards it. Follow some simple tips and tricks to have the most successful garage sale possible. Try to think about what you look for in a good sale. Put yourself in a buyers position, and then stage everything accordingly.


First of all, you have to make a good plan for having a garage sale. Think about:

A person planning a successful garage sale
If you want a successful garage sale you have to plan it on time 
  • The stuff. Go through every room of your house and take a careful look at things. All the things you haven’t used in a while are a potential item for sale. Of course, that doesn’t apply to seasonal items. You don’t want to sell your snowboard equipment, even though you skipped the mountains for the last two years. But if you got tired of your equipment, or it became too small, or hopefully too large – it’s time to let go of it. All the duplicates and outdated stuff from any self storage Pittsburgh units you may be using can be gold in sales. 
  • The date. If you can choose, pick some late-spring or early-fall months for a successful garage sale. The possibilities for the rain are minimal and it’s not too hot, like in the middle of the summer. Friday afternoon and Saturday morning are the best timings for garage sales. Try to team up with some of the neighbors, for the bigger supply of the goods and more potential buyers.
  • The permit. Ask around your neighborhood and a clerk at the town hall if permits are necessary for having this kind of sale. If so, make sure to have one, because it is a must for a successful garage sale. In some cities, you can even apply for it online.


Now that you know what, where, when and with the necessary permission, you must get into details.

A free sign indicating to a successful garage sale
People won’t know about your garage sale unless you advertise and put up some signs
  • Advertising is a must. You can use local newspaper ad, but make sure to find out what are the prices. Do your research. Just like you ask around for moving quotes Pittsburgh, as you do any time you are moving, you have to ask around what are the newspaper advertising costs. If those will exceed your potential earnings from a successful garage sale, then go with the online ads. Use the Craigslist or similar sites for advertising. Also, don’t be afraid to use free social media and Facebook groups for ads. Make garage sale signs and put them all around the neighborhood when the day comes.
  • Get the necessary supplies to make your life easier and a pleasant and successful garage sale. Have a chair for you and enough tables for things, because you don’t want them on the ground. Hang your clothes on hangers and sort all your stuff by categories. It will be much easier for people to look for stuff when they clearly see piles of clothes, books, home goods or toys. Also, don’t forget to get the change from a local bank, you will need it when people start pulling out the big bucks.
  • Price your items. You don’t have to go with the fancy labeling systems like packing services use. Just get some manila tape and a marker and you’re good to go. Price your items even if you are willing to higgle because people will know where to start.

On the garage sale day

A woman holding shopping bags.
Let people come to you with questions, don’t be pushy
The big day finally came, you did your homework and all you have to do now is make sure everything goes smoothly.
  • Make an early start. Assuming you already sorted things in categories and labeled them with prices, now you have to display them. Start setting everything out at least one hour before the sale. You want to welcome first buyers prepared.
  • Make yourself comfortable. Put your chair in the shade and always have water and snacks with you. Try to make the whole place look like a store as much as possible. You can even decorate your garage and yard with some cheap lighting ideas. People will buy more if everything looks nice. Of course, all your items need to be clean, and the clothes washed and ironed.
  • Let them come to you. Try not to be pushy, but relax and let people explore for themselves. They are going to ask questions, higgle and touch everything, so be prepared. You don’t have to lower your prices right away. Just see how the day goes and after a while, you can start bargaining to sell as much as possible.
  • What to do with the leftovers? Every successful garage sale has some leftovers, no doubt. The important thing is to feel when is the time to go with the special offers like 2 for 1 or even 5 for 1. And after your garage sale is over, you can take everything that’s left to a Goodwill store and save on your taxes. It’s always good to be charitable and help those who have less than you.

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