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How to Have a Successful Garage Sale | Tips for the best yard sale ever!

So, you’ve got a whole bunch of stuff that you don’t want anymore and you want to know how to hold a successful garage sale. Well…. we did it this weekend and last weekend. We ran our garage sale over 2 weekends to get rid of ALL THE THINGS and based on what our readers told us and our own experiences we can now give you tips for the best garage sale ever!

How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

successful garage sale

First things first, let’s get our definitions straight! ‘Success’ can be defined in many different ways. You may define a successful garage sale as making a lot of money. I however, am claiming the title of successful garage sale because I sold ALL THE THINGS! Well… nearly all the things… most of the things!

10 Top Tips for a Successful Garage Sale – Our Tips!

  1. Be organised. Nobody wants to shop in a mess.
  2. Group your items – all the kitchenware together etc.
  3. Price everything – very few people like asking ‘how much?’
  4. Advertise everywhere – Gumtree, Facebook, Garage sale websites, tell friends.
  5. Create eye catching signs and put them up everywhere you can – at least 30 of them!
  6. Wear sunscreen.
  7. Have a ‘float’ with change.
  8. Let the kids have a table.
  9. Be realistic about your prices.
  10. Have a plan for the ‘left over’ items. Charity shop?

Top Tips for a Successful Garage Sale – Readers Tips

We asked our readers via our Facebook page what were their top tips and they told us. And they are super clever too… I definitely followed these:


  • Don’t advertise your house number – put up a sign when you’re ready to start selling or you’ll have people there before dawn!
  • Have a kitty/float.
  • Make a Facebook album and let your friends know that they can buy before the garage sale. Quite a few things went that way – and my friends didn’t try and haggle.
  • Sometimes worth asking friends or family if they have stuff to sell too – that way you can pool your stuff and everyone helps out. Much bigger turn out that way.

Fiona’s tips:

  • I like to price everything but still let people know if you are willing to negotiate too. (If you are?) I think people buy more if they have an idea of price you are wanting from the start.
  • I like to give people a discount if they buy more too & especially if they are nice and friendly, which most are.
  • Keep a close eye on your kitty and lock the rest of your house up tight!

Deb says:

  • Saturday is definitely the best day.
  • Beware of people who try and walk away with things.
  • Sell your gear cheap if you want to clear out.
  • Enlist help of family or friends.

Cathy’s tips

  • Presentation.. make sure items are clean and it is not cluttered.

If your goal is to make money, you’re better off selling on gumtree (so slow!) if your goal is to clear out your life – garage sales are very effective. We sold nearly everything before moving OS. And make sure you have a kitty! You’ll need quite a bit of change.  Also – I took a lot of photos of things and made a Facebook album for friends etc to buy.

Tammy’s tips

  • Facebook marketplace is EASY too.

Mirsada’s tips:

  • Be prepare to haggle and have enough change with you.
  • Have someone helping you with it. I found that 2 or 3 would come at me at once. I just calmly told them to hold on and wait.
  • The other thing was at the end, when you just want to get rid of heaps, there will be family group or 2 who will haggle for the lot left.

Julie’s tip:

  • Try having a stall at markets.

Adrienne’s tips:

I advertised on Gumtree and courier mail made about $400 and as most stuff was between $1 & $2 got rid of over 300 items.

  • Be negotiatable
  • Be early
  • Have signs put out night before
  • Have change
  • Lock up rest of house so not burgled while you are pre occupied
  • Ask neighbors if they are interested in joining
  • Put on Facebook
  • Relax and enjoy

Sophie’s tips:

  • I have held a few garage sales but have found it more worthwhile if you have big ticket items to list them on gumtree or fb selling groups.

Fifi’s tips:

  • Garage sales are ok for small inexpensive items. Gumtree or Facebook for the good stuff.

Final Tip:

If you are looking to have a clear out, why not partner up with a friend or another family and do it together. Our last tip for having a winner of a garage sale, is to NOT do it alone. It’s way more fun and definitely easier if you have a mad keen mate to help with the organisation before and the clean up after (not to mention the advertising on all the websites and putting up ALL THE SIGNS (and bringing them down again afterwards!).

Let us know if we missed anything that you think is imperative for a successful garage sale in comments!

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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