Make Your Garage Sale a Success!

As you’re cleaning and organizing your home, a garage sale not only helps you get rid of unneeded items, but also makes you some extra cash. But putting on a garage sale does take some doing. Here are some tips to make your garage sale go as smoothly and successfully as possible.


Whether you’re putting on a garage sale for some extra cash or because you want to deep-clean your home, you’ll need to decide what you want to put up for sale. When going through your items, ask yourself the following questions to decide what you want to sell:

  • When was the last time I used this item?
  • Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose as this one?
  • Does this item hold sentimental value and is it irreplaceable?
  • Could someone else benefit from this item more than I do?

Be aware that there are certain items that you probably don’t want to sell at a garage sale. The following items are probably worth more money if you sold them elsewhere.

  • Stamps:  Some stamps, especially old stamps, can be worth millions of dollars.
  • Family Heirlooms/Antiques:  Your antiques may be worth more than you think. It may also be a good idea to check with other family members before selling to see if they feel sentimental about your family heirlooms.
  • Vinyl Records:  Check specialty music stores or music clubs to see if they want your old records.
  • Sports Memorabilia:  Jerseys and baseball cards can sometimes increase in value, sometimes even by thousands of dollars depending on the player they represent.
  • Comic Books:  Comic book collectors may pay large amounts of money for rare issues they want.

The basic rule of thumb? If the item could sell better somewhere else, don’t sell it at a garage sale. If it’s just a basic item in relatively good condition and you don’t use it anymore, mark a price and set it aside!


There are many ways to advertise your garage sale. You can advertise online (think Craigslist), in the newspaper, or with fliers. You can also effectively spread the news by word of mouth. Tell your friends, and tell your coworkers-tell anybody.

It’s also a great idea to advertise with posters close to your home. Use large posters so people can see them as they drive along the busy roads where you choose to advertise. On the posters, include your address and the hours of the garage sale so people won’t have to wonder whether or you’re still holding it when they see the sign. Put up posters every few blocks with arrows leading to your home and use the same color for each poster.

Pricing Your Items

You may be tempted to use some sort of code when pricing your items. Some people like to use color-coded stickers: red stickers mean an item is worth $5, yellow means it’s worth $10, and so on. Others put items on tables by price. We don’t recommend either option. The code could confuse people and shoppers will probably move items to different tables throughout the garage sale.

If someone doesn’t know how much an item costs, your potential buyer might not find it worth it to find you and ask you how much you’re selling it for, especially if he or she is shy! You might lose a sale.

Though it will take more time, it’s definitely worth it to individually price each item. This way, there is no question in anyone’s mind as to how much an item costs. Make it easy on the people coming to your sale.

Now you may wonder how much to charge for each item. For ideas, you can check out local garage sales in your area to see how much similar items cost.

In general, use these suggestions for pricing:

  • Children’s clothing: $1-$3
  • Adult clothing: $3-$5
  • Shoes: $5-$7
  • Books: $1
  • DVDs: $5
  • Video games: $5 to $10
  • Furniture: $10-$75
  • Knick-knacks: $3-$5
  • Electronics: $5-$20
  • Toys: $1-$3
  • Kitchen items: $1-$3

Displaying Your Items

When displaying your items, a great rule is to make it easy on those visiting your sale. Instead of organizing your items by price, consider organizing them by type so visitors can easily find what they are looking for. To go even further, use clothing organizers to organize clothing by size so visitors don’t have to sift through piles.

Also, remember to place the eye-catching items closer to the street to entice people to come to your sale. You should also remove everything from the garage sale area that you don’t want to sell-unless you don’t care about losing your garden gnomes or flower pots!

If you follow these tips, your garage sale is sure to be a hit. And when you’re finished, you’ll have enough room to truly deep-clean your home and turn it into a paradise. And if cleaning seems too daunting after putting on a garage sale, don’t worry-you can let McMaid do it while you sit back, relax, and revel in the cleanliness and organization in your home.

1 Comment
  1. This is the first time I have seen a pricing guideline. I will find it extremely helpful for my next yard sale!

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