How to Have a Garage Sale

Every spring (after I’ve started my seedlings), I start thinking about garage sales.  It feels good to purge the stuff I haven’t used or don’t want anymore and it’s a great way to get a little extra money!

How to Have a Garage Sale, Rummage SaleWe’ve been having rummage sales (and going to them) for over 30 years, so we can probably give you a few pointers. 😉

Here goes:


  • Watch the weather forecast. It might be wrong, but at least you give yourself a fair chance of sunshine and pleasant temperatures.
  • Know what else is going on that day. If  you’re selling mostly kids stuff and there is a circus in town, where all the parents are going to be?
  • Have a one day sale. Most people will show up right away and there’s no reason to tie up your whole weekend.
  • Decide where you’re having your sale. In your garage or in your yard…or both.
  • Plan your sale for a day and time when you think the most people can show up. Saturdays?  Around 8:00 AM?
  • Have a good amount of change. It’s surprising how many people will bring twenty dollar bills.
  • Have lots of bags and wrapping paper. Everyone appreciates neatly wrapped packages.


  • Have pricing that’s easy to count. 10 items @ $.50 each is much easier to count than 2 items @ $.25, 1 item @ $.10, etc.
  • Don’t price stuff really high. This is a rummage sale!
  • What kind of prices do you like at rummage sales? Price accordingly.
  • Have everything priced before the sale opens. You may not think clearly if you have a lot of people asking you questions.


  • Place an ad in the paper and on garage sale sites. Make it short and sweet and interesting.
  • Use key words you know people are looking for. But, don’t give the impression you’re pricing stuff really high.
  • Don’t be overly specific. Be general and use terms like household items, vintage items, furniture, etc.  An exception would be if you have something really valuable that you think may sell in a rummage sale setting.
  • Place good signage. Put clear signs up in places where people will see them.
  • Never make a sign that says “Huge Garage Sale”. For whatever reason, it seems to relate more to the size of the garage, than the size of the sale.  Ironic, I know.
  • “Not responsible for accidents” is just a silly sign.  Of course you’re responsible if someone gets hurt on your property.


  • Open early. You want to sell the stuff, right?  Dealers will be knocking on your door 1-2 hours before it starts, anyway.
  • If everything isn’t unpacked… let the early birds help you!
  • Be friendly. You’re trying to sell your stuff right?  So why be rude to the people who want to give you their money?


  • Be friendly. You’re trying to sell your stuff right?  So why be rude to the people who want to give you their money?  (Yes, I’m repeating myself…think about it.)
  • Don’t let people rush you when you’re tallying their items. That’s an old trick to try to get things cheaper.
  • Keep your change on you. Cash boxes can walk off and that would spoil your day.
  • Offer to help load big items.  It can mean the difference between making a sale or keeping the item.
  • Try out your salesmanship.  Don’t sit behind your change table looking forlorn and desperate.  Stand up, move around and talk to people.  It can greatly increase your sales!


  • Pack up right away. Get the stuff cleared out or it may end up hanging around.
  • Donate what’s left. You’ll be helping out a charity and clearing out your clutter.


  • This is the best part. After all your hard work, you should really have some fun.
  • Have a sales goal and a fun activity planned if you reach it.   It’s good incentive for family members to get rid of things they are no longer using!

Rummage sales can be a lot of work, but they are also a lot of fun.  I hope you have fun with yours!

Here are some benefits of having rummage sales:

  1.  Great way to recycle!
  2.  Helping to save the environment.
  3.  Clearing clutter and simplifying your home.
  4.  Getting extra money to use for something you need or want.
  5.  Meeting some new people.
  6.  Making room for more junk 😉  LOL

Happy rummaging!




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