11 tips for making your garage sale great.


Consider this: the average household has 300,000 items  or another way to look at it, there are more things in your home than there are people in Saskatoon. As comedian George Carlin might have said, thats a lot of stuff.

So before the temperature drops and  depending on where you live  the leaves drop too, its the ideal time to have a weekend garage or yard sale and clear out what you dont need or use.

Here are our top 11 suggestions for a successful sale:

  • Double-check with your municipality  some require a permit or specify the time of day youre allowed to have a sale.
  • Give yourself two to four weeks to prepare for the sale  youll need to dig through your stuff, decide what youre selling, and price and organize everything for sale day.
  • If youre planning a yard sale, rather than a garage sale, have a backup plan in case it rains.
  • If you live in an apartment or condominium, speak to your superintendent or condo board about holding a sale with other residents on the front lawn or in the lobby.
  • If you havent used an item in over two years, consider selling it. If you forgot you even had it, definitely sell it.
  • No matter what you think your valuables are worth, everyone else will think theyre worth less. Do research on Google or eBay to see what similar second-hand or vintage items sell for. Tag your items accordingly but be prepared to discount them.
  • Make sure not to use super-sticky tags that might ruin an item when theyre removed.
  • Start early  8 a.m. is a reasonable time to roll up your garage door but remember, no matter what time you advertise, eager neighbours and bargain hunters will show up an hour earlier  or even the evening before. Be prepared and be flexible. The purpose, after all, is to sell your stuff.
  • Drop off flyers to all your neighbours and surrounding streets to let them know about the sale and plant a garage sale for sale sign on your front lawn early in the week. Like good gossip, news of garage sales travels fast in most neighbourhoods.
  • Youre not just trying to make money, youre trying to clear out clutter  so offer customers discounts if they take multiple items  for instance, buy 5 items and get an extra 10% off.
  • Have lots of small bills so you can make change easily. If someone insists on giving you 20- or 50-dollar notes, encourage them to buy more items. And dont accept 100s  theyre more likely to be counterfeit.

Youll find more great garage and yard sale ideas here. And why not share your own successful ideas in the Shop Talk Blog community forum!


Did you know?

Building a better garage sale


Best day to hold your sale: Saturday

Best time to start: 7 a.m.

Least-loved items: stuffed animals, TVs and magazines

Best-loved items: Tools, collectibles and sports equipment


Finally, 97% of customers leave within 2 minutes if they dont see anything so get their attention!

23 thoughts on “11 tips for making your garage sale great.

  1. When living in the country, I used to hold 2 garage sales per summer that was the law in the town. By 7:00 A.M. all my stuff was out. I used to put out a sheets on the front laws and show all books,DVD etc. So people could see what I had. No, they will not look in the box of books. You got to show them. My children had all their toys out. Believe me we were always busy. Our first year we made 800.00. They last year about 300.00. Lego sets and all Barbie accs, were popular and the Lego would be usually sold before 8.00A.M. Don’t forget music, I also sold coffee and frenzies . I had fun and pizza for supper. As long as the weather would cooperate.

  2. This words are not regarding to Reply I just want to let you know that I can’t print any offers because have to sign in and I have forgott mu account and passvord number.When I wanted to create a new one they sad that myE-mail is not correct,I know that it is .I send you an E-mail to help me but no ansvwer.Tank you

  3. Thanks for your comments. I wish I’ d known that sooner about the sale of tvs stuffed animals. This was a great memo you sent us.


  4. Garage Sales are a fantastic venue to disperse of all your unneeded/unused/unwanted items. It’s amazing how much we accumulate over the years.
    I try to have a sale once a year. Last year I made over $500 with my sale.
    It requires effort to put on a good sale, but it can also be very rewarding.
    A few tips –
    1 – Depending on where you live, you might consider asking a friend/relation who has a really good address, if you can borrow their driveway just for the morning/early afternoon of your planned sale. Otherwise – advertise, advertise, advertise!
    2 – If you say you are starting at 8am, be ready and start at 8am. People will not wait as there is so much competition.
    3 – Have a free box. People love free stuff, it is a good advertising tool, and you can put in the inexpensive nicnacs you have acquired over time. The items won’t make you rich, but is a good selling point.
    4 – Advertise on Kijiji a week ahead of sale date and plaster your neighbourhood with Garage Sale signs a few days ahead of the sale. Make sure the words are large, give good direction with date and time. No one is going to waste time going to your sale if they are having difficulty locating you.
    5 – If it is going to be quite hot, consider selling water or pop for $1 each.
    6 – If you have pets and small children, consider having a babysitter so you can concentrate on the sale.
    7 – Have Fun!! The goal is to get rid of stuff, not get rich.

    1. Hi Rose, If you live close to Scarborough, I will be there in October. I think if you choose early October you will get people itching to spend their money. Good Luck.

  5. I have sooo much really cool and expensive stuff that I really need to get rid of.Soooo many clothes,coats,shoes,all real good stuff.I`ve been wanting to do it forever!

  6. Consider using Virtual garage sale options as well, as a community out here and born from necessity we created a Varage Sale site. Some municipalities restrict garage sales by dates, not allowing posters or signs and so forth, we live in one such municipalities. The virtual site we use is through Facebook and it is an excellent option to sell or re-purpose your used items, throughout the year. When it comes to the world of ‘in person” garage sales definitely make sure if you have clothing that you have racks for people to peruse through. I have found that if the clothing is on tables it just doesn’t move. Give your stuffed animals away to the kids whose parents purchase items and let them pick one themselves. I do this when the kids buy their own item as well.

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  8. These are so great and helpful tips! My sister is moving soon and she’ll definitely need your post for her yard sale next week. Thank you for sharing all these great advises and tips!

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