Garage Sale Killer Tips to Make Money Fast

Category: Financial News

garage-sale 1Need to make money fast? No, we’re not talking about running a scam. Rather, organizing a garage sale in your neighborhood almost always delivers the game. After all, who among us is not a deal finder? So rummage through your closets, attic, and storage room and bring out those slightly used goods and attract your neighbors’ tawdriness at once. But running a garage sale is not a walk in a park. It’s hard work, and like any business operation, it requires planning. Here are seven tips on how to run a killer garage sale that even your neighbor enemies will visit.

1. It’s not just for the poor; tap into our cheap yin

Don’t think that only the poor will visit your clearance. Deals and bargains are so built in our psychology that we often buy in impulse when we see a sale, both for rich and poor. With sophisticated customers, too, in mind, make sure to organize a neat “showroom,” preferably with customer service like free iced tea during a hot day.  And you need to plan the sale like a real event, advertising your garage clearance in community paper and online, as suggested by Yard Sale Queen.

2. Time your garage sale

The weather can make or break your garage sale. Rains do put a damper on your exciting prices, while a hot day can make people grumpy. Both season will likely result in less sales. Money Saving Mom also suggests that you find out not only the local holiday, but which days are popular to locals for sales. Fridays and Saturdays are a favorite for many Americans, in some towns Thursdays work just as fine. Likewise, spring is guaranteed to work, but summer with a little fun gimmick like free lemonade is just as effective.

3. Freebies

House of Hepworths has a great idea to drive customers to your garage: stack a free pile in front and announce it with big, bold FREE sign. Watch how your neighbors gravitate to your clearance like bees to a spoon of honey. The idea is to play around their guilt. Nobody really wants to grab a free item without buying something, too. We’re fools for bargains, but we’re not cheap.

4. Create an inventory

You may have price tags that shout to customers how much each item costs. But what if you lose some of them, or—and this happens—some wisecrack switches the tags. WikiHow has an answer: make an inventory of each item. You’ll thank your checklist when the garage sale is into its later days, when items are mixed, price tags are missing, and a customer challenges you that the mountain bike is $5, which is the price of your kid’s jammies.

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5. Be funny

Vintage Revivals suggests to put some humor in your garage sale. Pitches like, “Awesome Crap This Way,” and “Hoarder’s Paradise” are surely better than “Sale” or “Discounted.”  It is also suggested that you put directional signs to keep people going from one section to another. It’s a classic trick that subtly taps on our habit to follow traffic signs.

6. Lay out your items properly

Don’t just throw them in a box and stamp a price tag on it. As with a real specialty store, plan your garage sale’s floor plan, grouping items with a semblance of logic. Lifehacker has a simple rule: group like-minded items and keep different items apart. Media and clothing are clearly separate sections, but games and software may be logically placed side by side to help geeks scour both easily. Lifehacker also advises to put your most expensive or valuable item prominently; it is the showcase from which your garage sale revolves.

7. Let’s party

Sometimes all a garage sale needs is a little kick to keep it starting. Garage Sale Academy—they make it sound like they’re really running a Master’s program—proposed an event to coincide with the sale. A barbecue hangout maybe? A warning though, make sure parking is available and that you have the necessary neighborhood permit to hold the party.


Garage sales bring in real cash, but the fun part is in the planning. It is a good way to introduce your teenage kids to entrepreneurship, while clearing away some junk.


By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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Julie Hogan says:

Great tips! I will make sure to have a free pile at my sale this weekend to guilt people into buying something haha :)

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