Thinking About a "Garage Sale"..need Tips/advice

Updated on May 04, 2009
S.Y. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
11 answers

I have SO much perfectly good stuff to get rid of, especially with the new baby coming I'm feeling the "urge to purge" the contents of my house. I have baby clothes, ton of baby items, adult clothes, some household items, etc. I have not the time or patience to do items seperately on Ebay or even Craigslist, so I was thinking of a yard sale.

Here is the thing: I have NO idea what I am doing. I know there must be tips or I've even seen "kits" or internet toolboxes with recommendations how to make it simple and go smoothly. Of course I want the least amount of aggravation possible...any advice?
Thanks! :)
p.s I know this might be a simple task for some...I just have a knack for complicating things...:)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

There is plenty of tips for the yard sale.
Here is something else to think about. You could freecycle [email protected] ! that way people can use what you dont want or sell. All you have to do is type!

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answers from Philadelphia on

a yard sale is terrific if:

1. you put the work into it (and it is A LOT of work)

2. you are willing to take rock bottom prices for your items (people who come to yard sales do not want to spend money, ever!)

One solution that would be easier is to find a consignment store who takes baby and child things. We have one in our town called Once Upon a Child, and all they sell is children's clothes, toys, and items (such as strollers, playpens, etc). They will pay you on the spot for your items and you'll likely make out better than you would at a garage sale with alot less hassle.

And its a great place to shop for items for your children as well. All they take is "gently used" items, and you know how quickly babies and young children grow out of their things!

So, that is what I would do if it were me.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I've had a few garage sales in my day. Personally, I think it's a great way to make extra cash as well as re-use, recycle, reduce etc. My husband & I have done a pinky-spit-shake to never, ever, NEVER have O. again--but you never know! This has been my plan of attack for the ones I've had:

1. Eat your Wheaties. A garage sale is a LOT of work. You will feel like you have been pummeled by the end of the day. LOL Most of the real work comes before the garage sale. Day of sale is tiring b/c of the standing around, pockets of boredom, etc.
2. Pick your date (consider 2 days -- after all the work getting everything out--you can always slash prices & close early on Day #2
3. Advertise in Pennysaver and get their free sign kit/etc.
4. If you can, set up tables, etc in the garage the weekend before. (Park cars outside.)
5. Start setting items out & group them by category & likeness
6. Assign prices using either the "Books: $1 ea" or "This table $1" or "Individual price dots" method or a combination of....
7. Try to get step 6 done the night before so that when your day comes, you're ready for the dreaded "early birds" who invariably show up a good hour before your advertised opening time.
8. The day (or two) before, fill out & post signs at nearby intersections
9. Tie balloons to your mailbox to mark the spot
10. Get hubby to wheel down the grill & sell hot dog & Coke for $1 each day.
11. Get ready to be AMAZED at what items sell and the good stuff that remains sitting at the end of the sale!
12. Be prepared to haggle with people who wish to pay .10 for a .25 item. (I actually told O. lady "Just take it for free & go now!" Husband was mortified.)
13. Rake in the cash
14. Close down the garage
15. Count your dough
16. Soak feet
17. Pinky-spit-shake to NEVER do it again (But we all do!) :-)
Have fun & good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi S. I have done many yard sales,the one thing I have noticed is people are more likely to look at stuff that is on a table like clothes and any thing else that will fit on a table.People don't want to have to go threw boxes thay want to see what you got and move on to the next yard sale.Also make sure your stuff is clean people are more likely to buy stuff that is clean. Another good thing to do is and I have done it is sell cold pop and water in a cooler people will buy it and you make some extra money to. Hope some of this helped, and good luck with your yard sale.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My advice is to do most of the work ahead of time and move as much as possible into the garage so it can transported outside easily on the day of the sale. I would also ask for a family member or two to volunteer if you have a lot of items.

I had 1 yard sale as part of our community yard sale and I have no intentions of doing it again. People who come to yard sales do not want to pay a lot of money for anything, regardless of how nice it is. I got so tired of people nickle and diming me for every item. I recommend pricing items higher than the price that you are willing to sell them for and let people talk you down to the price that you actually want. I wish you well!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

Hi S.,

1.You could set up a table that everything on it is one price. For example have a table for $1 items, one for $.50 items etc. That way you won't have to label everything with price tags.
2. Make sure prices are clear to the customer though. I hate it when I go to a yard sale and can't find the price of something.
3. Strategically put your yard signs out where it will draw the most customers.
4. Make sure you have enough start out money to make change for customers. It never fails that your first customer gives you a $10 for $2 worth of things.

Good luck on your yard sale!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Garage sales can be pretty simple, here are some tips:
- pick a date that someone can come help you (watch the toddler, help set up)
- Gather everything you want to sell and separate it into piles - $0.25, $0.50, $1.00, $2.00, $3.00, and greater than $3.00 (Don't overprice things, or they just won't sell... my rule for pricing is "if I saw this at a yerd sale, what price would make my buy it even if I wasn't sure if I really needed it":) Price everything BEFORE the sale, take a night or two during the week leading up to the sale.
- Put any books in boxes and label the boxes $0.25 soft cover, $0.50 hardbacks, unless priced otherwise.
- Put clothes on a table or a rack and label with one sign
Shirts $1.00, Pants $2.00, Sweaters $3.00, Dresses $3.00 etc.
- Borrow (or get out from the basement) a bunch of tables for the sale. You can label the tables with 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper taped to them $0.25, $0.50, $1.00, $2.00, $3.00 (or say half of a table is for 25 cent items, the other half is for 50 cent items, etc. This way you can just set up the tables and them place your items out without having to individually label everything.
- Label the items that are priced greater than $3.00 with little stickers or peices of paper taped to the item.
- Make sure everything has a price - it's easier for you on the day of the sale, and you'll sell a lot more - no one likes yard sales where you have to ask the price of everything
- make a few simple signs to direct people from major roads nearby (i.e. GARAGE SALE SAT. 8-1 -->) use arrows if turns are required.
- Get some extra coins and dollar bills to make change, you probably won't need a lot - no more than $50 in 5s and 1s, Use a fanny pack or pocketed apron to wear on the day of the sale, so you have somewhere to put the money - Or use a shoe box.
- Post your garage sale on Craigslist during the week leading up to the sale - make sure you include your address, the date and time of the sale, and the type of items you are selling (make sure to mention things people look for - kids stuff, furniture, antiques, tools if you have them)
- If you want to you can also post on Craigslist that you'll have some garage sale leftover "free items" from 1pm to 3pm. You can also post this on freecycle, if you belong to that group.
- Get some extra plastic bags that you can give people to take home their things. You can even offer these to people while they are "shopping" if you notice they need extra hands.
- On the day of the sale go out and staple or ducttape your signs up, make sure you put one out front of your home too. Set up your tables and items (if they are going to be outside). If the sale is in your garage, you can set up the tables and items ahead of time. Put on music if you want - it's fun for you and the yard-salers!
- As the day goes on, you can reduce your prices by moving items from one table to another (ie. move some $1.00 items to the $0.50 table)
- Try to sell whatever you can, since you don't want to bring it back inside! and if someone else can use it, that's better than it being wasted.
- When the sale is done, package up the nice things in boxes and bags to take to goodwill, a thrift shop, a donation center etc. AND/OR put a sign on one of your tables that says FREE, put the things you want to give away on that table and let people come to take some of the free stuff after your sale is done (if you've posted that on craigslist or freecycle). I usually pack up the things I think a thrift shop would accept and then put the rest on the free table. I also usually have a "FREE STUFF" table during my garage sales for things that I don't think people will want to pay for, but I'd rather they take it than me throwing it away (ie. half a bottle of lotion that I didn't like, old keychains and magnets, etc.)
- Take your boxed things to the thrift shop and take all of your change to the old Commerce bank (now TD Bank) where you can get all of your change counted for free and get cash for your change.
- Don't forget to take down any signs that you've stapled or ducttaped around town!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

It depends on where you live.You could rent a table and sell stuff at your local flea market. I would keep the baby clothes if you have one on the way unless it is of the opposite sex. you could set up flyers around where you live if you want to do a yard sale. I would sell the clothes for $1.00 a piece. I have personally bought a lot of nice clothes for my son at the flea market and it is worth it since they grow so fast. label everything and put it in a book if it is not too tedious. good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

I agree w/ all .
i hate to haggle ... just post a JUMBO sign $1.00 table, 50 cent rack , etc.
to tired to haggle
but, I may 'need' something ...
chuckle ....keep it fun and cleansing .



answers from Allentown on

first find out rules in your town about them, most need permits. make signs put them up few days before maybe put ad in paper or in craigs list have tables, places to hang adult clothes, lots of stickers for prices, change, quarters dollars get husband and friends to help.


answers from Pittsburgh on


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