6 Easy and Useful Tips for a Successful Garage Sale or Yard Sale

Garage sale signs and tags

How to make the most of your sale

Whether you’re moving, reorganizing, or simply spring cleaning, a garage sale or yard sale is a great way to clear your house of clutter and earn some extra cash. However, it takes more than just throwing your things out there and expecting shoppers to come swooping in. That’s where our garage sale tips can help.

With these useful tips and a little creativity, you’ll be on your way to hosting a successful sale. Get ready to attract your neighbors and maybe even draw a crowd with our helpful garage sale and yard sale tips!

Choosing between a yard sale and a garage sale

Before getting into our sale tips, you should first determine what type of sale to have. Once you know, you can start preparing signs, advertising, and other things you might need. So, what is the difference between a yard sale and a garage sale?

Basically, the only difference between a yard sale and a garage sale is the location. Yard sales typically take place in the front yard of a home or apartment building. Garage sales are held in the homeowner’s garage or driveway. The right sale for you will mainly depend on your home’s layout and how much space you have.

It’s also good to think about the purpose of your sale. What is your goal? Do you just want to declutter and get rid of excess items? Do you need to raise money for an upcoming vacation or a new computer? Or maybe you just want a little extra income for a rainy day. Having a goal can keep you motivated and focused throughout the sale.

When it comes to what you sell, remember to only sell secondhand items that are in good condition. People tend to look for gently used clothing, games, toys, books, furniture, home goods, tools, sports or exercise equipment, and appliances. Do not sell items that hold no value or are unsanitary. This includes used products, dirty clothes, used undergarments, broken electronics or appliances, etc.

Effective yard sale and garage sale tips to ensure success

Do Your Research

There’s a lot of prep work that goes into hosting a successful sale, so our first garage sale tip is to conduct proper research. First, check with your city to see if there are any rules or restrictions you need to follow. Most cities have specific yard sale regulations for things like the types of items you sell, what days sales are allowed, where you can post your garage sale signs, and more. You may even need to purchase a permit for your sale.

These requirements are usually found on your city’s website, so make sure you read up on them and follow them precisely. It’s best to avoid any citations or fines for not adhering to these rules. Remember, the goal is to make money, not spend more.

It’s also a good idea to research the best time to conduct your sale. This may depend on your area, especially if you need to adhere to your local restrictions, but here are our answers to a few frequently asked garage sale questions to help you get started:

What time do most garage sales start?

Garage sales usually start early in the morning, around 7 a.m., and end mid-afternoon. The busiest hours of a garage sale are often between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., before temperatures get too high. Depending on how many items you plan to sell, you may want to spread the sale out over multiple days.

What day of the week is best for a garage sale?

Most garage sales are held on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with Saturday often being the most successful sale day. However, don’t forget to check the weekend forecast. You’ll get more shoppers on good weather days than on bad.

What is the best month for a garage sale?

Early spring (around late March, April, and May) is the most popular time for a garage sale. It’s just after winter, when people are eager to head outdoors, and will give you time for some spring cleaning, so you’ll know what items you want to sell. If you’re running a little late on the decluttering, however, the late summer and early fall weather in September and October can be ideal for an outdoor sale. Plus, there’ll be less competition.

Image showing front yard with a bright yellow yard sale sign made using Avery neon label 5975 and using Avery template. Sign reads Yard Sale this way with arrow pointing to the left.
Grab the attention of potential shoppers with bright, attention-grabbing yard sale signs using full-sheet neon labels.

Use promotional tactics

Our next yard sale tip is to think like a business in regards to getting the word out. It’s not just about announcing your sale. Use promotional tactics and basic marketing strategies to get people to stop in and shop.

One way you can attract more buyers to your sale is through advertising. Create a simple ad and post it anywhere you can. Common places to advertise are in your community newsletter, the local paper, Facebook groups, church bulletins, and free online sites.

When it comes to outdoor signage, create signs that will immediately grab people’s attention. Our Avery neon labels 5975 are perfect for creating bright, eye-catching garage sale signs. And, if allowed, add colorful balloons, streamers, or flags. Also, make sure your signs can be read from a distance by using large fonts.

Like your advertisement, remember to keep your signs simple and easy to read. What you write on a yard sale sign should include the date and time it will be held, along with your address. You can also use arrow signs to direct shoppers right to your location. Make things easy by using our free garage sale sign templates and arrow sign template. Just fill in your address, print, and you’ll be good to go!

Pro tip: Make a sign map to easily plot where to hang your arrow signs. This map will also come in handy after the sale, when you need to take down all your signs.

Plan Ahead

Make sure you are ready for your garage sale by doing some planning and preparation ahead of time. Taking care of all the things you might need on the day of your sale can save you time and hassle. Here are some tasks you should cross off your list before sale day:

  • Ensure you have enough cash and coins on hand for change. Stock up on $1 bills, nickels, dimes, and quarters. If you’re selling some higher-priced items, have some $20 bills on hand just in case.
  • If you’re willing to accept other payment methods like checks, credit cards, or mobile payment apps, be sure to have any needed tools or accounts ready to go. Different payment options can make it easier for some of your shoppers and expand your chances of making money.
  • Double check that you are adhering to all of your city’s regulations. This includes purchasing a permit if needed.
  • Ask your neighbors not to park in front of your house so that parking spots will be available for shoppers.
  • Gather all the materials you’ll need to display your items. Common supplies include tables, blankets, boxes, clothing racks, signs, labels, tags, etc.
  • Have an outlet and some batteries available so your customers can make sure electrical items work.
  • Let shoppers know who they can go to for help by using Avery name badges to identify you and others as the sellers.
Image of table with garage sale item on top. Items have Avery tags showing incentives including half-off sale, buy one get one, and last chance only.
Use Avery Printable Tags with String 22802 to entice shoppers with hard-to-resist incentives, like “Last Chance” items or “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” deals.

Put some thought into your display

For this next tip, you’ll want to get back into the marketing mindset. Pretend your yard or garage is a store, and display your items attractively. Make a good first impression with reasonably clean merchandise. Not only does this show that each item has been cared for, but it also lets shoppers better envision how the item can fit into their lives.

Remember to keep safety in mind. Don’t block sidewalks, walkways, or streets. Avoid placing items on the ground that can cause a tripping hazard, and don’t place items up high where they might fall. Appliances and electronic gadgets that aren’t sold for parts should be functioning properly. Keep that outlet or extension cord handy so shoppers can plug an item in and give it a good test run.

Lay out your items in a way that makes sense and is convenient for shoppers to access, similar to sections in a store. Use tables or blankets to arrange like items into categories and print category names on Avery tent cards 5309 or signs to help shoppers find what they’re looking for. Got unusual items or hard-to-find collectibles for sale? Be sure these showstoppers are front and center and clearly visible from the street.

Encourage shoppers to buy more with enticing garage sale labels, signs, or tags. Use our free garage sale tag templates to quickly create tags with tempting incentives like “half-off“, “Buy 2 get 1 free,” or “Make an offer.” Feel free to use the designs as is or watch the video below to learn how to easily customize them to your liking with Avery Design & Print Online.

Price items accordingly

Shoppers are attracted to garage and yard sales to score hidden treasures and a great deal. Our next garage sale tip is to make sure you sell items at sensible prices you won’t regret later. While you’ll want to make money, you still need to be realistic about what people are willing to pay at a garage sale.

Looking to make a profit? Price your items so there’s no remorse, but be ready to negotiate. If your plan is to unload as many items as possible, start with reasonable prices and then work your way down as the day goes on. You can use the last hour of the sale to offer an “everything must go” free-for-all, and donate whatever’s left.

In regards to how you label items for a garage sale, you should place price labels on the front or top of items where they will be clearly visible. Buyers like to be able to see the cost of items. Save a lot of time and effort by using our pre-printed garage sale labels 5480 to make pricing really easy.

You can also save time by grouping like items that are similarly priced (like books, toys, games, kitchen items, etc.) together on a table or in a box. Place a sign next to the items to show the price use a tent card to show the discount. For clothes, write up a few pricing sheets, place them in Avery sheet protectors 75304, and hang them around your clothing racks or tables.

Image showing table at garage sale with money box, money, calculator, price list sheet, and Avery pricing labels.
Make the payment process easy for you and your shoppers by creating a price guide using pre-printed pricing labels.

Stay organized and attentive

Our final garage sale tip is to make sure you stay focused and organized throughout the sale. Be sure to tidy up the area as the day goes on and keep your sale looking as presentable and approachable as possible. Aim to provide an inviting atmosphere so shoppers feel more comfortable.

Greet people when they arrive, give product demos for gadgets, and offer suggestions if they are looking for something in particular. Maybe even play some background music and provide light snacks and refreshments for your shoppers.

Streamline the purchasing process with a dedicated checkout area that includes a secure moneybox. Create a pricing guide by making a chart of the items you’re selling and how much you want to sell them for, and keep it with you for reference. When shoppers come up to pay, you can just look at your chart instead of searching for the price on all the items.

When a sale is made, be sure to have newspapers and bubble wrap to pack up fragile items, and plastic bags or small cardboard boxes so shoppers can easily haul their finds. And don’t forget to thank them for their business and make the shopper feel good about their purchase. Great customer service can go a long way, even at a garage sale.

Prepare for a successful garage sale or yard sale

In short, you can ensure a successful sale with a little effort, some creativity, and our helpful garage sale tips. Start by researching your local guidelines and the best time to host a garage sale in your area, so you’ll be well-informed when you start planning and preparing.

To get the most from your sale, don’t be afraid to think like a business. Create inviting signs, garage sale labels, and tags easily with Avery Design & Print Online. Our easy-to-use design software features thousands of free, customizable templates you can use to tempt customers with hard-to-resist deals. Keep a business-focused mentality when displaying and pricing your items for the best results, and remember that good customer service can really make a difference.

Do you have any yard sale tips or experiences you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook. You can also find more inspiration for your home organization on our Pinterest page.

Author: Rachel Gerharter

Rachel is a versatile writer with a passion for storytelling and the written word. With a background in both technical and creative writing, she has written articles and blogs on everything from car buying tips and makeup must-haves to celebrity panic disorders and personal organization. Throughout Rachel’s career in copywriting, marketing, and SEO, the main objective of her writing has always been to create content that will help the reader achieve whatever goal they need. No matter what the job entails, she’s always eager to share her knowledge and experience. When she’s not behind a computer, you can usually find Rachel spending time with her family. Whether it's reading to her precocious two-year-old daughter or catching up on the latest Star Trek episodes with her husband, she loves spending her free time with her loved ones. As a native of Southern California, don’t be surprised if you catch her at one of the many theme parks or museums in the area as well. She also likes expressing her creativity in other ways, like knitting, crafting, baking, and pretending she can paint.