Living Amazing with Goodwill - DIY Projects


Top 10 Tips for Hosting a Successful Garage Sale: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted by Goodwill Staff on Jun 27, 2023 9:40:43 AM

Preparing for a garage sale can be overwhelming, but with these 10 tips, you can host a successful sale that attracts customers and maximizes your earnings. Learn how to gather, organize, and price items, advertise your sale, set up your display, negotiate prices, and stay safe during the event. Get ready to make the most of your garage sale with our comprehensive guide.

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Garage sales can be an excellent way to declutter your home, make extra cash, and connect with your community. However, hosting a successful garage sale requires more than just setting out a few items on your driveway. Planning, organization, and attention to detail will make your sale stand out and attract customers. In this article, we'll provide ten essential tips to help you prepare for a garage sale, from gathering and pricing items to advertising and setting up your display. Whether you're a first-time host or an experienced seller, these tips will help you maximize your earnings and make your garage sale successful.


Plan: Decide on a date for your garage sale and start preparing at least two weeks in advance.

You'll need time to promote the garage sale and ensure people in your local community know it's happening. Plus, the more you share your event, the more people you'll attract.


Gather items: Go through your home and gather all the items you no longer need or want.

Be sure to include clothing, toys, and household items you may have previously forgotten. Going through your garage, basement, and attic is a good idea to ensure you include everything you can in your garage sale.


Clean and organize: Clean and organize the items you plan to sell.

Make sure that the items you select are in good condition and that all pieces are included. If you come across items that might be missing pieces or could be in better shape, you can always create a miscellaneous bin that people can look through. Sometimes people visit garage sales looking for pieces they've lost over the years that you might just have.


Price items: Price each item you plan to sell. You can use stickers or price tags.

Pricing items for your garage sale can be challenging.

You know what you originally paid for the item, but that's not what you'll get selling the item second-hand. Don't worry! You can use several strategies to price your items. 

  • Stay away from $0.99 and make your prices whole dollars when possible. Most people don't carry change.
  • You can charge more if something is still new in the box or has a price tag attached.
  • The 10% rule is always a good fallback. It means that when you price items, you'll aim to price them at about ten percent of the original price you bought them for.

Advertise: Advertise your garage sale by putting up signs in your neighborhood, posting on social media, and listing your sale on online marketplaces.

Not sure where to start? Facebook and are great ways to share your garage sale. Ensure that the signs around the neighborhood are noticeable and easy to read. And don't forget to take them down after your sale!


Gather supplies: Gather supplies such as tables, chairs, and a cash box. You will also need bags and newspapers to wrap fragile items.

If you don't have those things available, consider borrowing them from a friend or family member. Plus, there's always room to get creative! For example, use bins for similar items; a piece of plywood on something stable can be used as a table. 


Get change: Get plenty of change, including coins and small bills.

Get more than you think you'll need; you'll thank yourself later.


Set up your garage sale early.

Make sure all items are displayed in a visible and organized manner. Be flexible if people start to show up a little early or stay a little late.


Be ready to negotiate: Be prepared to negotiate prices with customers and be willing to accept reasonable offers.

Keep in mind a few things.

  • Consider giving someone a bulk discount
  • Suggest they purchase an additional item as a two-for-one deal
  • Throw in a discount or another item if someone buys many items.

Be safe: Keep your garage sale safe by keeping an eye on your cash box, locking your home, and having someone else present to help you.

It's always good to be on the safe side, and when you're having a garage sale, it can be especially important. Try to empty some of your cash boxes every hour or so; that way, you're not opening them all day to a huge pile of bills.

Donate items that did not sell to your local Goodwill.

Not only will you be getting rid of the rest of your unwanted items, but you'll be helping your local community and giving someone else a chance to find something spectacular. Find your nearest Goodwill store and donation center.

Hosting a garage sale may seem daunting, but it can be a fun and profitable experience with the right preparation and mindset. By following the ten tips we've provided in this article, you can make your garage sale successful and eliminate unwanted items while making extra cash. Remember to plan, gather and organize your items, advertise your sale, and be prepared to negotiate with customers. Finally, and most importantly, stay safe and enjoy the process! With these tips, you'll be well on your way to hosting a successful and rewarding garage sale.

Get Your Kit Today

Elevate your garage sale game with our exclusive Garage Sale Kit, designed to make your life easier and your sale more profitable. And when the sale is over, we encourage you to donate any unsold items to Goodwill, giving back to your community and supporting a sustainable future. Join the movement and create a successful garage sale today! 

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