Garage Sale
Summer is a great time to do a little cleaning out and selling of unwanted items at a garage sale.

People always talk about how much money they made but always seem to feel that they could have made more. When you have a garage sale you are competing with others for your customer’s time and money. You must make it easy for them to quickly come in and shop.

There are a few keys to making that extra money. I visited with a lady who has had garage sales for many years and I got some advice from her. These simple steps can help you maximize your profit.


Your signs should be clear and concise. Use either white or bright colored poster board for the sign and use a black marker to write your information. Black is the most visible color. Use large block letters as these are the easiest to read. The only things that should be on the sign are the words Garage Sale, the address, date and time. Make certain that the sign is large enough to be easily read from a car. Customers will want to jot down the information as they pass by. Make sure they can do it. Do not list your items on the sign item listing is for your advertisement. Make sure that you have a sturdy stick or wire frame to put the sign on. A sign that has fallen won’t get you any customers.



You can advertise in the newspaper but this can often be costly. The new direction for garage sale advertising is online. You can go to places like Austin County Buy and Sell, Craig’s List or your local area’s online service.



You need to have change ready for your garage sale. Be prepared for someone who has a hundred dollar bill. Yes, it DOES happen! The suggested amount of change from my trusted source is: $152 split up into six tens, ten fives, twenty-five ones, one roll of quarters, one roll of dimes, one roll of nickles. This combination has proven to be successful over and over again.

She also suggested that you keep five twenties to the side to change a single one hundred dollar bill. Do not add that money into your change as it will give you an incorrect amount that you have made.

Keep your money on you at all times! If you have an apron with pockets wear it. If you have a fanny pack wear it. If all else fails go to a hardware store and get a nail apron. Putting your money in a box that can be easily picked up is a sure way to get it stolen.

Have bags and wrapping paper to bag up your customer’s purchases. If they have a large purchase offer a box to put the items in. This will insure that you have happy customers who will want to come back to shop at your next sale.



When you price your items make sure the pricing is clear. If it is an item that has a size put that on the tag as well. This helps your customers make quick choices and usually results in a larger purchase.



An item that is attractively packaged will fetch more than if the items were just loosely put on a table. Make your customers feel as if they are in a high end store rather than a garage!

Group Like Items


If you have items that will go together then group them that way! When your customers come in they can easily see how these things will fit together nicely in their home or office.

Be an Honest Salesman


If you have an item that works but has a few minor flaws don’t be afraid to point them out. If a customer really wants the items the small flaws may not dissuade them from the purchase. If they are looking for a perfect item then it is unfair to dupe them into purchasing something that is less than perfect. Honesty in selling will get you repeat customers.

Keep it CLEAN!


There is no reason to put out dirty items or soiled clothing. It takes just a few minutes to clean the items and make them presentable for your customers. Again, make them feel as if they are in a high end store and they will purchase more!

Card Jewelry Items


There is nothing worse than going to a garage sale and seeing a junky box of jewelry! There is no way that a customer is going to stand and sift through the box of mismatched earrings or the wad of necklaces. Time is of the essence with the garage sale crowd. Remember yours may not be the only garage sale they have on the list.

Protect Your Items


If you have a high end item that you don’t want getting dirty consider putting it in a plastic bag or box. There is nothing worse than having a lovely item ruined by a careless customer.

Don’t Forget the Greeting!

When customers arrive be sure to greet them. Say hello or good morning. Ask them if there is anything specific they are looking for. Talk to them and make them feel that you are glad they are there because there is nothing worse than going to a garage sale and feeling unwanted!

Last, but not least, remember the kids!


Give the kiddos a box to dig through while the adults are shopping. This will keep them occupied and also gives them a chance to choose something to purchase. Nothing gives a kid a smile like allowing them to purchase an item and having it put in an individual bag just for them! : )