Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
As much as we would like to plead the 5th amendment to avoid admitting it, when moving houses, we’re all guilty of rummaging through everything we own, leaving no room, cabinet or wardrobe unturned. While in the process of doing this, you would probably end up creating 3 piles: things to donate, things to trash and things to pack. But if you carefully look through your things, you’ll realize there’s potential for a very interesting fourth pile you can assemble, which is ‘items that will sell’. Now isn’t that a classic example of, “one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure.”?
Moreover, by selling items, there’s something in it for you
too. You can earn some extra cash and ensure you’re not overloading your truck
with things you no longer need. There are many different ways to sell items
that still have a long shelf life left ahead of them, but are of no use to you.
But in this blog, we’ll look at the garage sale approach and share tips on
making it a successful one.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
Step-By-Step Guide On How To Organize A Garage Sale Before Moving
This may sound like the most obvious step, but it must be the first thing for you to tackle. Just like you can’t set up a shop without knowing what to sell, you cannot even begin to imagine what your garage sale will look like without having a list of all the items you wish to put up for sale. While you’re in the process of decluttering, observe each room and scavenge for well-kept items that you wish to get rid of from your wardrobes, basement, cabinets and storage rooms.
Kitchenware, children’s clothes, bicycles, cabinets, jewelry, toys, books and home decor are few of the items that do well at a garage sale. Since you would anyways be going through each room in your house for packing purposes, it would be much easier to find things that you would realistically never need or use again.
Remember, if you aren’t sure you would purchase it, don’t put it up for sale.
Once you have your items ready, create an inventory of the things you wish to sell. It is also very important that you try your best to categorize similar items together. Mainly because you will need to have sections for your store. Clothes, crockery, jewelry, toys, kids clothes, adults clothes and shoes - each should fall in their own section. This makes it easier for the potential buyers to see and impulsively understand what falls in each category. You can also always ask your kids to help out with the toys and story books they wish to sell.
Post the process of listing items, ensure each item is
cleaned thoroughly. This conveys that you take care of the things you’re
putting up for sale. Wiping down something old could actually give it an extra
shine, putting in a little effort with how you present your item can help you
get a sale.
Once your inventory is ready, you will know the exact amount
of stuff you have to sell. But it’s also possible that you don’t really have
enough stuff to host a huge garage sale. At this point, you should consider
asking yourself if you can involve family, friends, neighbors from your street
to club the items they wish to sell into your garage sale. You would also
benefit from having more hands to help you with the sale and the store could
get more attention.
When you club with others for a sale, chances are the
message spreads further and across more networks of people. This ultimately
increases the crowd of people you can expect at your garage sale. Depending on
the people who are going to get involved, ensure that the tasks and funds are
divided efficiently. We recommend that each group creates a sheet of their
individual inventories, so there’s less hassle when it’s time to divide the
profits. Keep all members of the sale in the loop of all the conversations and
decisions to be made for the sale, this will help things go about smoothly.
Remember to pull a permit from your local authorities for a group garage sale after getting everyone’s consensus on the date.
Ideally, Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, Craigslist and the
likes are your go-to spots to place an advertisement that promotes your garage
sale. It’s free to place an ad on these websites and your products would travel
to thousands of networks and groups who browse online to shop for offers.
You would need to imagine that you’re working for an
advertising agency while writing your garage sale ad. Word your sentences in a
compelling way and ensure that the dates, time and location is extremely clear.
Click good quality pictures of the pieces you think would sell like hot cakes.
Don’t forget to add them to the post after writing a small description of the
items you’ll be selling at your garage. If your community has a social media
page or online group, go ahead and circulate a message about your sale there
Now this is an extremely important aspect that to an extent determines the success of your garage sale. When it comes to setting up the place, you want to create an atmosphere that is not just appealing to the eye but also extremely organized. Think of it as mimicking the environment of big stores in malls, created to lure their customers but on a small scale. We’d also like to mention that if you feel your garage is not exactly in a good spot, you could consider hosting the event at a friend's garage that faces the street and has good foot traffic.
Here are a couple more tips you can
use to organize the garage sale:
When you choose a theme, it helps people recognize your garage sale and it also allows you to stand out from the crowd. We suggest using one color theme for your entire sale and trying different ways to integrate that color to your messaging. For example, if you’ve decided to use fluorescent pink for your signs, stick to using this same color for the signs you’ll put up for each section of items for sale. This makes your setup look neat and won’t take you much trouble.
The key to pricing things is remembering that you got to
price them to sell them. Ask yourself what you would pay for the item and don’t
forget that people would only pay garage sale prices so things must be decently
priced. The bigger and more valuable pieces could be sold for upto $15, But
then again, you must be mindful of whether the product is well-worn out or
used. If that’s the case, you should be selling it for way lower.
Once you nail the price, you would need to stick price
labels on each and every item on sale. You can bundle up items that would sell
better together. For instance, place well used baby clothes for $1 on an entire
rack and put a huge sign saying, ‘Pick anything for $1’. By clubbing items,
your method of displaying is easy to grasp for anyone passing by and people
tend to buy more in bulk.
When it comes to displaying, you have to ensure that each
item is 100% visible to the customers passing by, so be sure to make
arrangements for everything to be placed at an elevated height. Use tables so
people can inspect the things they want to purchase. Most importantly, position
them in safe spots to avoid any unexpected catastrophe.
If you’ve got a permit from the local authority in your area, you can even direct people to your garage sale by putting up fluorescent color papers on streets poles and trees at intersections. It’s a good way to point out where the sale is happening. Like we said earlier, decide on a single style of paper and pen that you would use on all signs. If you put signs in different colors, fonts and messaging styles, it can confuse people since there can be 2 or more garage sales happening at the same time in your vicinity. Below are a few lines you can use as a base for your messaging and signs to direct people. You can always make it more quirky and personalize the message to attract more people.
Let’s not underestimate how stressful garage sales can get.
When the day comes to meet and entertain a huge number of people, it starts to
get slightly overwhelming. However, you can always depend on some background
music to help lighten the mood. We recommend selecting a playlist in advance so
you won’t have to worry about the songs that would play.
A great way to make your garage sale eye-catching is to add
a gorgeous colorful string of decorative flags or balloons at fences or the
entrance so you can draw in more people. To notch things up a bit more, you
could also set up a small stall for lemonade or baked goodies. You could also
keep chocolates around for people who visit your garage sale with kids. Having
something that your customers can snack on while shopping around your garage is
a small step that helps your sale stand apart from others.
Now, it’s most likely that you would have a majority of
walk-in customers who were in the area driving around and saw your garage sale.
This means there’s a high chance that they wouldn’t have a bag on them or the
exact amount of change to give you. This is why you must be prepared to have a
couple of 1 and 5 dollar bills, as well as quarters to avoid the haggle over
change. You also want to make sure that no customer in your garage leaves your
home with the struggle of balancing 2-3 things in their hands, so be sure to
keep bags handy to provide them with it. This way, they would probably end up
buying more things. We also suggest keeping your eyes on the lookout for people
who are in need of assistance and are trying to hold a lot of stuff.
If you have electronics like speakers or even something like
a lamp for sale, people are most likely going to want to test the product out
before buying it from you. Hence, it’s always smart to have an extension cord
and a power outlet to test these kinds of products. You don’t want to let
people into your house just to double check an electrical item, so ensure this
is set up close to where you’re going to be displaying electrical appliances.
You can also set up a fan for breeze if you have an extra plug-in spot on the
When you have more than 30 people browsing over the items
you’ve displayed, it can be difficult for them to spot you and understand that
you’re the person who they should be getting in touch with if they have a
doubt. Which is why it’s necessary that you either carry a colorful fanny pack
or wear an apron or outfit that declares you’re the organizer of the garage
sale. If this is a multi-group garage sale, it’s best if everyone onboard wears
the same color shirt or apron so that people who are in need assistance to
carry a large piece of furniture aren't awkwardly asking another customer for
aid with transporting it.
Remember that billing items and packing them can be the
tedious part because there’s no room for making mistakes with calculations. We
highly suggest making use of a calculator and having someone from the family
who likes accounting to handle the counter. Don’t place the counter at a
crammed corner of the garage but try to position it at a spot where people can
line up conveniently. You can also have photocopies of the inventory at the
counter so you can keep ticking off the items that have been sold. If the price
was lowered for any reason, ensure you have made note that you sold an item for
lesser than the labelled amount. If you take these small steps, it will be
easier to calculate the profits post sale.
If the main intention of this sale is to get rid of all the stuff you don’t want to take to your new place, you can also place a ‘free box’ at your garage sale. In the free box, you can place things that you very well know can’t hold a price tag, but you hope that someone else can make use of it. The free box could comprise of small things like a decorative pouch, crayons, pencil boxes, coloring books, tiffin containers, stuffed animals and anything else you can think of.
The last step of the sale process is to have a new plan for things that didn’t get sold. Today, you can sell clothes for cash online on various websites like eBay, Poshmark, ThredUp and more. Don’t worry about not getting everything sold because you can always list these items elsewhere and still make a profit.
Hosting a garage sale is a great way to let go of all the unwanted clutter that you don’t wish to take along to your new home, and make some cash in the process. We hope you can plan out your garage sale efficiently and make an unbelievable profit with the tips we’ve shared above. While getting everything together for the sale won’t happen overnight, remember to have fun and also enjoy the decision of having a garage sale when the day comes.
Also See: Tips for Organizing your Garage
What is the fastest way to
organize a garage sale?
Have an intense decluttering session at
home to collect all the items for your garage sale and then make sure to
advertise it well enough through word of mouth, social media, posters,
newspapers, as well as online marketplaces. The key to selling your items fast
at a garage sale is to keep all your items in a well-organized and systematic
manner. If a potential customer is interested in buying a few similar items,
let them be able to find things as easily as possible.
should you not sell at a garage sale?
Dirty clothing, used undergarments,
broken appliances, outdated electronics, and used skincare or beauty products
are all items that you should not be selling at a garage sale. Most of these
items are unsanitary in nature and you won’t be able to find a buyer that
easily as well.
you have a successful garage sale?
The timing of your garage sale and how
well you advertise it are key factors that determine the success of your sale.
Spring is a popular time for arranging a garage sale. Make sure to use
different advertising methods like posters, newspapers, and social media to let
as many people know about the garage sale. Start your garage sale on time and
display all your items in a neat and well-organized manner. You can also offer
some special discounts or goodies to attract more customers to your garage
you price items for a garage sale?
The present condition of an item, its
utility, as well as its popularity among people are factors based on which you
can price items for a garage sale. In general, all items that you display at a
garage sale should not be priced at more than 10% of their retail value. Since
many of these items are either partially used or have just been kept idle for quite
some time, you cannot expect to earn huge profits with them. Even though this
kind of pricing may fetch you just a small amount, it definitely increases your
chances of selling more items at the garage sale.
How do I
organize my garage?
A garage is likely to become like an
additional storehouse for all the things that do not find a place inside the
house. Naturally, organizing your garage every now and then is important to
clear all the unnecessary mess. You can start by grouping your items into different
categories such as sports and recreational equipment, camping gear, garden
tools, seasonal décor, automotive, and recycling items.
Donate or remove the items that you won’t
use any further or are too old to be kept now. Once you’ve segregated the items
into different categories, you can store them together in cardboard boxes or
container bins. Simultaneously, you can also draft a suitable layout for your
garage and install built-in cabinets or modular storage as per your needs.
Lastly, you can organize your grouped items in the garage as per your layout
and make sure to maintain the space for as long as possible.
should I put on my garage sale table?
Items displayed on tables are more likely
to grab the attention of buyers at a garage sale. Ideally, you should try and
arrange as many of your items as possible on tables but if you don’t have
enough table space for everything, then make sure to at least keep all your
high-value merchandise that you definitely want to attract buyers for on the
tables. All fragile and delicate items that could easily get damaged if left
scattered on the ground should also be placed on a table. For other accessories
like shoes and bags, you can neatly line them up in a box or on a table for
display and use hangers to display clothing items.
sells well at a yard sale?
Similar to a garage sale, good quality
clothing, board games and puzzles, gaming systems, books, tools and equipment,
and dishes and glassware are some of the items that sell well at a yard sale.
Home décor items and furniture pieces are also most likely to find potential
buyers at a yard sale. You can try your luck with some unused or brand-new
items and electronic appliances that are in good condition as well.
sells the best at garage sales?
Vintage dishes, glassware, casseroles,
power tools and garden tools, furniture, costume jewelry, books, games and
toys, appliances, and exercise equipment are some of the common items that sell
the best at garage sales. Gently used clothing in good condition and camping
gear are also popular items that sell quickly at a garage sale.
garage sale worth it?
When you have a good enough collection of
items to sell after a decluttering session at home, only then would it make
sense to organize a garage sale. You do have to invest a lot of your resources
in terms of time and effort when planning and organizing the sale. So, if you
have only a few items to display and aren’t even sure if they would sell,
having a garage sale would probably not be worth the effort.
However, if you have some rare and
antique pieces or a collection of items that you know are in high demand, you
can consider having a garage sale to earn some sweet profits. In the end, weigh
the time and efforts that you’d be putting in against the returns that you’d
get from the sale, and then you can decide if a garage sale would be worth it
for you or not.
the best month for a garage sale?
Ideally, the spring months from March to
May are considered to be the best months for a garage sale. Not only is the
pleasant weather convenient for you to set up a garage sale but it is also a
popular time for people to move out of their homes and go on a shopping spree.
How can I
maximize my garage sale profit?
The way in which you price your items in
a garage sale will largely determine the profits that you earn. But before
that, you need to make sure that you have enough items to display at a
successful garage sale. Once you start pricing your items, you have to be
careful to neither price them too low below their value nor too high for people
to lose interest in the item.
Ask yourself the price you would be
willing to pay for the item and you can also check online marketplaces to get
some idea about pricing your items. In addition to that, try to make your
garage sale look as attractive as possible by advertising it well among
friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Make sure to organize your merchandise in a
systematic manner so people are more interested in having a look around your
you hang clothes for a garage sale?
Using hangers is the best way to arrange
clothes for sale. You can use a portable clothing rack to hang your clothing
items for display at a garage sale or you can also arrange for a makeshift
alternative like an old ladder or a clothesline strung between two sturdy tree
branches. If you can’t arrange to hang your clothes, you can also display them
in a neatly folded pile on a table or in a box.
How can I
declutter my garage quickly?
Planning out your space and grouping all the
items into different categories will help you declutter your garage quickly.
Just as you would do for items in your house, start with making three piles for
all items – ‘keep’, ‘donate’, and ‘throw away’. Segregate your items as per the
plies and then regroup the items you’ve decided to keep. Device a storage plan
for your garage and make the necessary arrangements. After that, all you need
to do is organize the items as per your layout and try to maintain it
clutter-free for as long as possible.
How can I
show my garage sale without a table?
Make use of plastic bins, cardboard
boxes, clothing racks, and plastic crates if you cannot arrange for a table to
display your items at a garage sale. You can use hangers for your clothing
items and boxes for books, records, costume jewelry, and other miscellaneous
items. You can also try to repurpose a dresser to display your dishes,
glassware, or any other kitchenware.
should I sell clothes for at a yard sale?
Adult clothes like pants, shirts, and
sweaters can be sold for around $3 to $5 per piece while baby clothes can be
sold for $1 to $3 per piece on average at a yard sale. Coats and jackets could
be priced between $5 to $15 for every item of clothing. In the end, the price
of each item would depend on its quality and condition. If you have brand new
clothes with the original price tag, you can price them a little higher than
sell crafts at a garage sale?
Yes, artwork and craft pieces are also
considered to be popular items sold at a garage sale. You may or may not need a
permit to sell things at a garage sale based on the local guidelines of your
neighborhood. It is best that you confirm the same with the local authorities
as well before organizing a garage sale.
clothes sell well at garage sales?
Clothes are said to be one of the easiest
items to sell at garage sales; however, they need to be gently worn and in a
good condition. Thrifting is gaining popularity as a trend now and people are
more likely to buy used clothing for cheap prices as long as they are in decent
condition. Dirty clothing or used undergarments are a big no for reselling at a
garage sale or even otherwise.
better to donate or have a garage sale?
Ideally, donating your items is
definitely a good choice as you can help out another person in need. But if you
too wish to earn a few bucks, you can choose to organize a garage sale that is
beneficial for you as well as your potential buyers. However, just make sure
you have enough items to display at a garage sale otherwise it might just be
better to donate those few items.
What is the difference between garage sale and yard sale?
Technically, there isn’t any real difference between a garage sale and a yard sale, as in both cases a person has decided to sell things off that they no longer are in need of. The only major difference between the two terms is based on the location at which the sale might be organized. While both terms are used interchangeably by people in day-to-day life, a sale that is organized in a garage would be more popularly referred to as a garage sale and the one that takes place in a yard would be called a yard sale.
Also See: Things to Never Store in Your Garage
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