Garage Sale Fun

Did y’all have a great holiday weekend? Mine was busy but lots of fun, and I got to enjoy some gorgeous weather – who can complain about that?  Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday – I was feeling a bit under the weather, but I’m all bright and shiny now after a great night’s sleep!

Anyhoo, back to business!  We’ve been talking about having a garage sale for weeks now – and even though I was trying to psych myself up about it, I’ve really been dreading it. I had piles of stuff but the though of hauling it all out into the front yard and putting out signs and haggling over prices sounded a bit daunting.

{ You should have seen the piles of junk once they were consolidated – it was mind boggling. }

So when it looked like Saturday was going to be rainy, I was more than ready to throw in the towel. But Friday night I had drinks with my friend that had agreed to join in on the garage sale and she convinced me to bite the bullet and hold the garage sale anyway, possible bad weather and small- crowd-due-to-Easter be damned.

I’m so glad I was convinced!! The garage sale was about 9 million times less stressful and more fun than I thought it would be. Basically, we just flew by the seat of our pants through the whole thing and it worked out fine.  Examples:

1. I was informed at the last minute that we did not, in fact, have any signs to put out on the street corners to advertise the sale. No worries, I improvised by taping brown paper over some of our Open House signs for our real estate biz – then i just wrote all the pertinent details on the signs with a big black Sharpie. Worked like a charm.

2. My grand plan was to advertise the sale on Craigslist. But when my decision to hold the sale started to waver, I abandoned the Craiglist ad since I didn’t want a slew of random people turning up at our house on Saturday morning and revolting due to the lack of low-priced nicknacks that they had been promised.  Then, I woke up Saturday morning and decided to place the ad, but by accident I never officially “published” the ad.  Sigh.

3. We only had a few card tables to display our wares, so we created makeshift tables by laying salvaged doors over empty boxes.  That was a stroke of genius on my mom’s part.

4. It didn’t really occur to us until too late that we would need a significant amount of small bills, so my brother made a mid- garage sale run to the bank to get a bunch of $1 bills. He said that the teller asked what club he was going to . . . heehee!

Lessons learned:

1. Bring reinforcements. This was vital to the success of our garage sale – not only did it make it more fun to have 6 of us working the sale {not always 6 at once, though}, but it made it much easier to handle the crowds.  Crowds, you ask?  Yes!  At times it was total mayhem, especially at the beginning of the garage sale.  I was so happy that we had extra people once I realized that customers had started showing up while I was still out putting up signs.

The 6 of us {me, Jason, Mom, my brother, and two of our friends, Russ and Tessa} each had our roles, from bookkeeper to question-answerer, which helped keep things running smoothly.

2.  You don’t have to price everything. My mom gave me that bit of advice, and she was totally right.  While it’s a great idea to have an idea of what you want to charge for certain things, people are going to try to haggle with you anyway {after all, isn’t that the great thing about garage sales?} so the time you spent putting tags and stickers on everything is kind of a waste.

3.  Clothes and shoes are big sellers. We’ve donated bags and bags of clothes to charity, which I totally don’t regret.  But it was very interesting to see that clothes and shoes were hot items – so if you’re about to hold a garage sale and you’re not sure whether to donate the clothes or stick them in the sale, go ahead and save them for your garage sale – chances are they’ll sell like hot cakes!

4.  Electronics are not big sellers. We had an awesome all-in-one printer, another printer and a scanner that we hoped would have people in a frenzy.  Nope, not at all.  In the end, we got’em sold, but not for anywhere near what we had hoped.

5.  A one-day garage sale is long enough. I thought I might have made a big mistake by only holding the garage sale on Saturday, but in the end it turned out that most of our stuff had sold by the end of that single day.  Maybe stretch your garage sale into two days if you have boatloads of stuff, but if you just have an average amount like us then 1 day is more than enough.  {FYI – we held our sale from 9 – 4.}

6.  The more the merrier. If you don’t really have enough stuff to sell to warrant a garage sale, ask your friends and family if they have items they’d like to throw in – it’s a great way to beef up the sale and have a few extra helping hands.

In the end, we thought our garage sale was a huge success.  It brought in about $700, which was definitely more than we had expected!  Our plan is to hold another one in the fall once my sister and her fiance have combined households – I have a feeling that sale will be even bigger than this one!  What about you guys?  Are you having a garage sale this spring, or are you more of the donating type?  Any tips you’d like to share with the rest of us?

P.S.  I got a delivery in the middle of the garage sale – my iPad!  I practically hugged the UPS lady . . .

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  1. Irene R says:

    I would really like to have a yard sale at the new house once we’ve closed. We can’t have it where we are now.

    We have loads of clothes and miscellaneous crap. I cannot wait.
    .-= Irene R´s last blog post ..It’s been a month… =-.

  2. I love garage sales…so glad it went well!

  3. Kiley says:

    Another great idea for people who might not have the time to host a garage sale is to hold a virtual garage sale on This site is a free, family-friendly online classified where you can sell directly to members of your community. All ads are reviewed before being posted and staff monitors posts continuously for inappropriate content. It has a much better reputation that other well-known sites that are frequently in the news for crime or scams.

    Check it out –

  4. christy says:

    I’ve never held or participated in one, but I might give it a go sometime based on this. Sounds like a total success! And how cool that you got your ipad! Sweet! Glad you’re feeling better – being under the weather on the weekend just stinks!

  5. Joan says:

    I am so happy your worries and concerns were for naught! That is an impressive stack of cash to have earned, and on stuff you were wanting to toss. Besides, think of the storage space you have freed and the clutter you have eliminated! Great job on “recycling” stuff!
    I have had a few garage sales and some have been terrific and others were a waste of time and effort. Who knows!?! Glad yours went so well!

  6. Averill says:

    Congrats on the successful garage sale — and the iPad arrival (you HAVE to do a review once you’ve had a chance to play around with it).
    .-= Averill´s last blog post ..This really irks me… =-.

  7. Roeshel says:

    Great tips! Great success! I had one last year and did really well. I’m thinking about it again this year…so much junk in the basement from our combined households still. :)
    .-= Roeshel´s last blog post ..Our Living Room’s Story and Reveal =-.

  8. Katrina says:

    Are you in my head!! LOL, I was just telling my husband last night, lets have a garage sell via ‘ clean house’ except our house isn’t a wreak – lol, and make some money and get some projects done around here!! lol

    Thanks for all the tips, I think a one day yard sale sounds doable
    .-= Katrina´s last blog post ..Living Room Revisit =-.

  9. Michelle says:

    I’ve never held or participated in one, but I might give it a go sometime based on this. Sounds like a total success! And how cool that you got your ipad! Sweet! Glad you’re feeling better – being under the weather on the weekend just stinks!

  10. Jaydee says:

    where is the printer or any computer things hehehe!

    also like checking garage sale :)
    Jaydee´s last blog post post ..How to speed up a slow or sluggish computer