A family garage sale is a great opportunity to get rid of your unwanted or unused items that build up in nearly every household. Whether you’re decluttering, moving house or just having a spring clean, a garage sale is also an opportunity to create some family time and hopefully the motivator for kids to join in, is that they stand to make some cash if they get involved!

Garage Sale Strategy

Begin by getting the family together and deciding what you’re going to sell. This is the time that kids can go through their old toys and games and decide what they no longer require. Once they run their ideas past Mum and Dad, they can set aside their sale items ready for sale day. When everyone has an idea of what items are going to be in the garage sale, you may want to consider involving the neighbours and / or friends. A larger garage sale will attract more customers so if you can combine a few households together, not only will it make for a fun day, but you should get more people stopping by to browse.

Marketing your garage sale

The more people that know about your garage sale, the more money you stand to make. The options for marketing your garage sale are numerous. You could put an advertisement in the paper, post an ad on Gumtree, post ads in your local school / shops notice boards. Social media is also a great way to share your plans with your friends and acquaintances. Facebook also often has community groups that can share your garage sale post targeting your own suburb and surrounding areas.

Garage sale preparation

There are a few things you can do in advance to get ready for your garage sale day. Get the kids to work on some catchy garage sale signs to post around your neighbourhood the night before the sale. If you need to, hire or borrow some trestle tables to set up your items on. Work out who is going to be in charge of the monetary side of things and get a money storage box with plenty of loose change and smaller dollar denominations to get you started on the day. Once the kids have finished the signs, they can move onto price tags for the garage sale – for inspiration look online, there are plenty of free printables for just this sort of thing.

The night before…

It will take off a lot of pressure if you are able to at least partially set up your garage sale the night before so there is less to do the morning of the sale. Have everything you are selling assembled in the garage and your tables and signs ready to go. Nail up your garage sale signs around the neighbourhood. If you’re feeling particularly energetic you could whip up a batch of muffins or scones to sell as well, more money for the till! The kids may be interested in making up a batch of the ever popular home-made lemonade to supplement their takings.

Garage sale day!

On the day of your garage sale, you’ll want to be up bright and early. Hard core garage sale punters are usually out at the break of dawn hoping to secure a bargain before everyone else. Finish setting up your items for display. The kids will love to set up their own small sections with their items for sale (although it’s a good idea if the adults help with the money exchanging).

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At the end of the day, all things going well, you hopefully have a lot less clutter and a little bit of cash in hand. Anything that doesn’t sell can always be donated to charity to ensure the clutter doesn’t again set up residence in your garage and cupboards.

Tell us your ultimate garage sale tips and tricks and success stories below!


  • Some awesome tips, cheers for sharing

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  • Great tips, thank you for sharing.

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  • Ooh, we haven’t had a Garage Sale for a long time. I was amazed at how early the ‘pros’ get there. We’d set 8am and they were knocking on the door at 7am. And barter! Be ready to fight or let go of something at a dirt cheap price. Some people know exactly what they want. I had people fighting me over books and saying that at $2 they were overpriced. Good books, good quality. I fought and at the end of the day was still left with some of them. Be prepared to sell EVERYTHING.

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  • mmmm, contemplating having one of these suckers…

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  • Great comments and tips – thanks for sharing.

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  • My mum used to have a garage sale every week. She always had her kids watching strangers from afar, as sometimes she saw people trying to take things. But 1st and foremost, do not let anyone inside…not to sell something from in there, not for someone to use your toilet and not for a glass of water – Way too dangerous

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  • People in my street had one. People starting arriving at least an hour before it opened. It was advertised as NO DEALERS. Two were bold enough to arrive in a vehicle labelled……Second Hand Shop and wanted to pay by cheque, not cash. They were told to read the ad and asked to leave. One came back a little later but was recognised so he wasted his time and fuel. Make sure you have enough people that you don’t need to leave anything unattended. Once you start collecting cash, don’t keep too much outside. Don’t over-price things. Be prepared to barter with potential buyers but don’t “give it away” because they are trying to get it for mothing.

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  • Never done a garage sale, it seems a bit daunting to be honest. (and pilfering fingers?)

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  • My tip is to be organized in advance so there is no stress!

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