How to make the most of garage sales? – Money Pacers
How to make the most of garage sales?

How to make the most of garage sales?

Garage saies


Planning and running garage sales is one way to make extra cash, and guess what you get to keep all of the proceeds. And that can add up to some mean green. According to Statistics Brain, a research group, U.S., garage sales, generate $5.2 million in weekly earnings. And as long as you sell items for less than you paid for them and don’t hold sales so often that they are considered a regular business, you won’t need to report that money to the IRS.

Here are some top tips for making money with garage sales

Find stuff to sell

Clean out your room about 2 weeks prior to the sale. Start going through your clothes, drawers, closet, and under your bed. Gather everything you don’t want anymore. When searching through your clothes, if you haven’t worn something in 6 to 12 months, you can get rid of it, because you probably won’t wear it again. Have your friends do the same thing.

Don’t Price Anything

Figuring out what to charge is the most time-consuming and stressful part of the garage sale, says Hammond. Ask buyers for their best offers; they will often name a price that’s higher than the one you would have suggested. “I had a friend who wanted to get rid of a dining room table and chairs and was going to put a $150 price tag on it before I convinced her not to,” says Hammond. “A man at her yard sale told her he only had $400 on him for the set, she was so flustered she talked him down to $300.”

Advertise your sale

Mix some new ways of advertising—like Craigslist, your neighborhood association’s Facebook page and your personal Facebook page—with old-fashioned ways such as posting signs around the area. The more you get the word out, the more people you’ll have stopped by to shop. Put up flyers on bulletin boards in your community (grocery stores, community center, etc.). Spread the news of your garage sale via word of mouth to co-workers, friends, family, Facebook friends, and VarageSale, etc.

Start on Thursday or Friday

Begin early—say, 6 a.m. or 7 a.m.—to ensure that you’ll get the going-to-work and driving-the-kids-to-school crowd. “You’ll have few other sales to compete with, and you’ll attract serious shoppers,” Hammond says. You can always continue the sale during the weekend if you have items left.

Parking Space

Before deciding to have your garage sale, consider if you have adequate parking to handle an additional 4 or 5 cars parked near your house at one time. If not, consider suggesting to a good friend (who has plenty of parking at their house .

Engage the customers.

Be friendly. Chat up the people who stop by. Be engaging. When parents with young children visit, I always find something to give the kids for free (often it’s whatever they’ve gravitated toward). I also throw in freebies for folks who buy lots of Stuff. This builds goodwill, especially among the other customers who are watching things transpire. I believe we sold more because Kim and Kris and I were friendly and fun.

Use retail store tactics.

Too many garage sales are a haphazard collection of Stuff piled every which way. Don’t be like that. Take lessons from supermarkets and department stores. “Organize things so they’ll catch the shopper’s eye,” Kris says. “And don’t have depressing music playing.” (At the start of the sale, I had some New Age music on the stereo. “It sounds like a funeral,” she told me. She had me put on Elton John’s greatest hits instead, and people loved it. Sales improved!)

Pay attention to your signs

With garage sales, the best ways to advertise your sale is through social media and websites like And don’t discount an old-fashioned sign (even if you advertise online, you should still put up a few signs directing people to your exact location).


Don Briscoe
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Don Briscoe

Finance educator, advisor, and leading voice in the global financial literacy movement.Founder and editor of lives and enjoys life with his family in New York.
Don Briscoe
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