11 Ways To Become The MacGyver Of Garage Sales

Over the years, I have seen the good, bad, & ugly when it comes to garage sales. Here are 11 ways to elevate your garage sale into becoming one of the best ever.



1. Plan when you want to have the sale. Late spring / early summer are highly recommend as mornings tend to be milder and afternoons more bearable. Talk with neighbors to get their feedback; they may be interested in joining forces for a community sale. There is power in numbers! Finally, plan at least a month out to allow everyone enough time to get their items organized.

2. Before anything can take place, you need a clean space. Make sure your garage is presentable. Hose down the floors, walls, sweep, & re-paint if needed. I get it’s “just” a garage sale, but…would you want to shop in a store that was: dirty, dusty, & musty?

3. Wash, clean, and sanitize all items for sale. Show the goods off as you first received them! Clothes will look brighter & smell fresh; other items will appear in mint condition.

4. Put thought into the layout of your sale. You ever wonder why there are so many garage sale “drive by’s”? Well, it’s because people don’t see anything worth getting out of their cars’ for. A rule of thumb that is sure to grab attention: G.B.G. (good, bad, good). Layout your garage and driveway like a boutique. Entice folks to shop by placing some of your prominent items up front; followed up with stuff that’s just “okay”. Finally, finish the last section with all remaining “good” items. This technique works best with a variety of stuff to choose from, but if clothes are predominantly what you’re selling, organize by style and color.

5. Maximize profits. Consider selling food, snacks, & beverages as well. Nothing works up an appetite better than mornings filled with shopping. In addition to hot dogs on the grill, chips & trail mixes, sodas & water are great choices for those needing an energy boost. There’s no need to go overboard with the quantity of items (gauge how long you’ll make food available) & make sure everything is $1 or less.

6. It’s common to find many items over or under priced. Don’t leave potential profits on the table; It is recommended you price items 25 – 33% of what you originally paid for them (factor in condition to determine which side of the range each item falls on).

7. Get the word out early (a week or two in advance)! Nowadays you have a variety of outlets to promote your garage sale: social media, Craigs List, Garagesale.com, word of mouth, & many more. Put signs (that you can get from a hardware store) on the busiest streets leading to the sale site. Also, make sure the time and address is legible in big bold letters.

8. Put people in the mood. Many stores play music because 1) it lightens up the environment and 2) it makes the day go faster. Do yourself a favor and play some tunes. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

9. Hopefully it’s warm & sunny but if not, have a plan B. Either post-pone until another day or pull out the tents.

10. Do you have change? It’s amazing the number of people who have garage sales and don’t prepare for giving change. In addition, it’s also surprising the # of buyers with larger bills expecting change. Only deal in cash and make sure you’ve got: quarters, 1’s, 5’s, & 10’s ready at a moments notice.

11. Win-Win. Do not be afraid to negotiate. Your emotional attachment should be gone from whatever you’re selling. As a result, don’t take it personal if someone offers you a lower price. If you’re not comfortable, counter back. The worst they can do is say “no“.

These 11 tips should put you in the best position to sell the most amount of stuff at your next sale. Let me know what you think: I’d love to hear what you’d add or do differently if anything.

-Anthony West

Anthony West

Real Estate, Entrepreneurship, and whatever else inspires me.