7 ways to make the most money at your garage sale

By Amanda WalkerConsumer Reports

Are your ready for your garage sale? Surely you haven’t forgotten that National Garage Sale Day is tomorrow. That’s right, on Aug. 9—National Garage Sale Day is always the second Saturday in August—we celebrate the coming together of people with lots of stuff they no longer want with people who want lots of stuff they don’t have.

Whether you're planning one tomorrow or some time in the future, garage sales (or yard sales or tag sales) are big business, even if the average selling price of goods is only 85 cents. Just multiply that by the 4,967,500 goods that are sold at garage sales each week, and the total weekly revenue that U.S. garage sales generate is $4,222,375, according to the website StatisticBrain.com.

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Running a yard sale is not difficult, but it does take a little planning. Start by gathering the goods you no longer want from every room in your home–old indoor and outdoor furniture, electronics, housewares, garden tools, appliances, clothing, and the like. Store them in an out of the way corner-say, in your basement or garage. Pick the day, and check with your town government to see if you need a permit to hold a sale. Have lots of change and small bills on hand.

  • Get the word out on social media, in local papers, and on free listings sites such as eBay Classified, Craigslist, GarageSaleHunter, and YardSaleSearch.
  • Schedule your garage sale to coincide with a local event that’s likely to generate extra traffic near your home.
  • Place the items with the broadest appeal close to the street to grab attention and lure potential buyers up the driveway.
  • Sort clothing into categories—by sex, season, and age group, for example—and display those items, if possible, on hangers.
  • Keep a mirror handy if you’re selling accessories.
  • Place fresh batteries in items that require them and keep a power source handy so shoppers can try out electronics and other plug-in appliances.
  • Don’t price anything.

Why skip the price tags? See our additional tips on running a successful garage sale, plus how to make the most money selling your stuff at auctions, consignment shops, and websites.

––Mandy Walker

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