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5 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale


Although organizing a garage sale requires a lot of planning and work, a successful garage sale can also yield positive results, making your wallet a little fatter and your home more organized. When planning your next garage sale, consider the following tips to ensure success.

1. Plan Early

The quote, "Fail to plan, plan to fail," can be adequately used here. Because garage sales can be hard to organize and carry out, it is critical to plan early. Some questions to ask your include:

  • Where will the garage sale be located? Is this place easy to find and well-populated? Will there be enough room to display all of your items? What is parking like?
  • What date should you hold your garage sale? Consider any holidays or local celebrations that could hinder your attendance for the garage sale before choosing a date. Also, make sure that you have enough time to gather and price your items, as well as any other preparations before your garage sale.

2. Check with Local Authorities

In some towns and communities, there are rules and regulations regarding garage sales. You may be required to obtain a permit before holding your garage sale. In addition to local government regulations, check with your neighborhood Homeowner's Association, if applicable, to see if any additional rules apply to garage sales. You could be limited to a certain number of garage sales per year or a certain time of year. Your local authorities can tell you about any restrictions regarding the posting of garage sales as well.

3. Advertise in Advance

In order to have a good turnout, you should advertise your garage sale the week before. Use a variety of advertising methods to spread the word about your sale. Traditional signs work well the day of the garage sale, but you will want to let customers know about your sale in advance. Consider placing flyers at gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats, recreation centers and any other type of community board. Take advantage of your local newspaper, which will allow you to run an ad in the weekly paper. There are a variety of free advertising methods online as well, including Craigslist, social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter) and any other local websites that may allow you advertise your sale.

4. Carefully Create and Post Signs

If your signs cannot be read and followed, you will not have a good turnout for your garage sale. Creating and posting clear, easy-to-follow directional signs for your garage sale is of utmost importance. Check with your local authorities regarding any restrictions on the placement of your signs to prevent them from being taken down, which will quickly put a halt on your garage sale attendance. Use bright poster board with large, simple lettering telling customers where your garage sale is. Avoid cursive, bubbly or otherwise hard to read writing. To help keep service workers safe, avoid nailing signs to utility polls.

5. Clearly Label Your Items and Display Neatly

To make shopping easier for customers and encourage them to purchase more items, clearly label your items with the requested price on the top of the item. Be fair in your pricing! Avoid labeling items as "Make an Offer," as many buyers will not do so. Display items neatly for easy access.

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