Garage Sale Tips

Get the family involved.  Ask children to haul out toys, clothes, and anything else they no longer want.  Give them the money raised from the sale of their items. 

Only have a few items?  Team up with friends and neighbors who may also have only a few items.  Larger sales tend to attract more people.

Group similar items together (e.g., sports equipment, kitchen items, clothing, hardware, automotive, etc.)
Price each item.  Use colored, self-adhesive tags (available at Office Max or Staples).  Tags with pre-printed prices save time!  If you have many items that are all the same price (e.g., books), don’t bother pricing them individually…simply put them all in one box and label the box.      

Have coins and dollar bills on hand so you can make change if someone shows up with $10 or $20 dollar bills.  Consider wearing a fanny pack or canvas work apron (75 cents from Home Depot) to hold your money.  A cash box can easily be stolen.

Expect buyers to show up early…experienced garage salers like to get the first crack at premium merchandise.  

Have a FREE BOX filled with things you don’t want to label or things you might normally throw out.  After all, another person’s junk is another person’s treasure. 

Have plastic or paper bags on hand for customers who buy many items. 

Invite buyers to make an offer if they don’t like a price.  “Garage salers” like to’s part of the fun for many of them!

Offer package deals (if a person buys a set of golf clubs, perhaps they’ll want the box of golf balls too)!

Expect to reduce your prices on the second day.  Offer “buy one, get one” deals or bulk discounts.  Remember, the goal is to get rid of stuff!   

Develop a plan for what to do with unsold items.  Consider donating unsold merchandise to a charitable organization; a few local ones include: 
  • Salvation Army (next to Foods for Living), 2655 E. Grand River, East Lansing  
  • Volunteers of America, ph. 517-484-3697, 430 N. Larch St., Lansing
  • Goodwill of Okemos, ph. 517-347-3160, 1860 W. Grand River, Okemos
  • Some charities will even come to your home to pick things up!!

Be smart.  Lock your house, refer people to a business if they need to use a toilet, and take large amounts of money into your house. 

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!