Holding a Garage Sale

A garage sale is one of the easiest ways of disposing of unwanted possessions and is considered an environmentally responsible way of keeping items out of landfills.

Decide when to hold your sale. Weekends are best except for holiday weekends when many people are away. Mid-spring and mid-fall are generally the best garage sale periods.

Even if you are moving in the summer, it is a good idea to hold your garage sale in the spring. Getting rid of excess items often makes your home more attractive to potential buyers as it appears more spacious.

Most sales are set up in front of the home; in the garage, driveway or across the lawn area. If you have a large porch, use it for the more expensive items in case it suddenly starts to rain.

PLAN IN ADVANCE

It is better to price each article in advance of the sale so potential purchasers have an idea of what you expect to get for the item. A general rule of thumb is to charge between 40-50% of the store price if an item is new and 10-20% for used or older items.

Clean and dust all items before you put them out. Put a price on everything with self adhesive tags and be sure to include the size if you are selling clothing items.

GET THE WORD OUT

Put a notice in your community newspaper and take advantage of free online forums as well as social media networks. Advertise it as a "Moving Sale" instead of a garage sale. If you are selling furniture and other popular items, be sure to include that in your ad along with the address, date and time of the sale.

Create flyers and distribute them around your neighbourhood making sure to focus on high-traffic areas such as the local supermarket. Put a large sign on your lawn and the streets around your neighbourhood.


SALE DAY

  • Have plenty of shopping bags, small boxes and change available
  • Record the amount of float you started with
  • Have a calculator, pen and paper handy to total purchases
  • Arrange small items on tables
  • Clothing should be hung from a rack or pole
  • Furniture items should be fully assembled so people know there are no missing parts
  • Run an extension cord from the house or garage so people can test appliances
  • Place books, CD's and DVD's upright in cartons so people can easily see what is there
  • If you are using your garage to display items be sure to put a "not for sale" sign on items that you want to keep
  • Keep your cash box out of sight and keep larger bills in a money pouch around your waist
  • Keep the doors to your house locked

  • HAVE FUN

  • Have everything ready 15 minutes prior to start time as people will show up early
  • Offer refreshments and snacks to make your sale more inviting
  • Periodically re-arrange displays to keep them neat
  • Bargaining is considered a normal part of garage sales so have fun with it
  • Reduce the price of items near the end of the sale to dispose of what is left
  • Consider a 2 for 1 sale and have extra cardboard ready to make a "2 for 1" sale or "prices slashed" sign

  • AFTER THE SALE

  • Count the money and deduct the amount of float you started with to determine your total sales
  • Take down all the signs and flyers used to advertise the sale
  • Decide what to do with leftover items – you may want to consider donating useful items to a local Thrift Store or charity in your area

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    Holding a Garage Sale (PDF)

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