Garage Sale Tips to Declutter Your House and Make Some Money

Garage Sale Tips to Declutter Your House and Make Some Money

Whether you’re planning your first garage sale or have done it several times, key garage sale tips will help you make the best of it.

Garage sales are an excellent opportunity to declutter your home, do some spring cleaning, and make some money while you’re at it. It is also a brilliant way to get rid of things you no longer need before moving house. They’re also a fun event to meet up and spend time with your local community. And if you’ve got kids, a garage sale could prove to be a helpful exercise in teaching them about pricing and negotiation.

Perhaps most importantly, garage sales help promote a circular economy by reducing waste and promoting the reuse of items.

Following the right steps during planning and execution can help ensure you make a decent profit from the sale.

In this guide, we will help you get on the right track with some handy garage sale tips. We have broken down this list of suggestions into different stages of the sale process.

Let’s see what they are!


Garage Sale Tips: Pre-Sale Prep

Garage sale tips for prep involve steps you should take long before the sale day to make sure it is a success.

These include:

Get Permits

This garage sale tip may not apply to everyone, but it is important to carry out.

Check local regulations if you need to secure a permit to carry out a garage sale in your city or county. You can apply for it online or visit City Hall.

In most cases, you won’t be charged anything for a permit. However, not securing a permit when it is required can lead to a hefty fine.

Collect and Organize Items

Go through your garage, basement, attic, and other storage areas to find items you don’t need anymore. It is similar to doing a home inventory, but the purpose is different.

As you’re collecting the items, organize them into categories for easy sorting. Organizing as you go will also help you understand how to set up the sale and how much space you will need.

Once you’re done collecting items to sell, take inventory and note important product information, such as colors, sizes available, warranty information, etc. You can use home inventory apps to easily organize a large number of items.

Host it Together

Ask friends and family if they’re interested in selling some of their stuff at the sale, too. This way, you can bring a large quantity of items together and have some extra hands on-site to help you out.

Set the Price

Take care of the pricing beforehand so you don’t end up with a loss. There are a few ways you can go about pricing items for a garage sale.

You can ask a friend for help or research the prices of secondhand items online.

Apps like Nest Egg can also help you store and access online prices, purchase details, and other related information for any item at a glance. We also suggest keeping the app on hand during the sale to help buyers if they need to see the original receipt or other documents.

Note that you may have to pay a sales tax on the profits you make from your yard sale. This depends on the nature of the sale, purpose, etc. Make sure you check the complete details on casual and isolated sales for your area before planning a garage sale.

While the chances of your garage sale qualifying for the same are low, it helps to consider this during pricing so you can collect sales tax.

Advertise the Garage Sale

One of the most helpful garage sale tips is to advertise the sale in local and online portals. While advertising may cost you a small fee, it’ll ensure you attract a lot of footfall for the event.

Craigslist, Garage Sale Finder, and Yard Sale Search are good places to start. You can also advertise your sale on your neighborhood Facebook group.

Stock Up On Change

Another garage sale tip is to keep enough change on hand. Consider making a trip to the bank the day before. You’ll need a lot of $1 to $20 bills, along with nickels, dimes, and quarters.

Depending on the price of your items, consider accepting credit cards or digital payment options. You can do this on your smartphone and a credit card reader.

Collect/Buy Supplies

You’ll need to source various items to run a smooth garage sale. You need price display tables, cardboard boxes, plastic bags, wraps, stickers, tags, etc. You can find some of these items at home and the rest at your local dollar store.

Set up the Sale Area

Once you’re done with the preparations, the only thing left is to host the sale.

Don’t wait until the day of the event to set up your sale area. We suggest setting everything up on the previous afternoon or evening. This way, you can start selling bright and early the next day. This will also be ideal in case some interested people turn up earlier than the designated event time.

When setting up your sale area, put big and popular items upfront and ensure their price stickers are easily visible.

Put up physical signs at the end of your street and in front of your house to guide buyers to your sale.


Garage Sale Tips: On Sale Day

Preparation is 50% of the work in a successful garage sale—the rest is execution on the day.

Here are the steps you can keep in mind to ensure your efforts are fruitful:

Learn How to Negotiate

Studies suggest that about 60% of people don’t engage in haggling practices at garage sales, but only when they consider items to be priced fairly. This means you may expect around 40% of people to negotiate at your garage sale.

One of the key garage sale tips is learning how to negotiate well. The main thing is to be ready for some haggling from customers. Engage them, but don’t let them set the price lower than your minimum.

Avoid bringing down prices in the first few hours, if possible. It should be your last resort as you balance potential customer interest with the reasonable price you’ve set.

Deal With Resellers

Certain visitors will look to haggle basement prices so they can re-sell your items for a profit. This is why you want to know the condition of your items and how much they’re selling for on online markets. Most resellers claim to make reselling profits as high as 50% of the buying price from selling on eBay. This should help you set minimum prices for items to ensure profits for yourself.

Track Orders

Keep track of all orders and items sold. You must have an accurate account of how much you’ve earned—ask for help from family and friends so you can keep up with everything no matter how busy it gets.

Plan for Unsold Goods

No matter how well you plan or how popular your sale is, you will likely end up with leftovers. Make plans for disposing of them, either through donation or listing them online.


The Takeaway

Garage sales are a great solution to getting unused items out of your house and into someone else’s who might need them more. If done right, these sales can make you a pretty penny in the process.

We hope our list of garage sale tips helps you keep the reins of the event in your control so it goes as planned.

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