Tips on Hosting a Successful Garage Sale

By: Michael Tough Realty Group

Tips on Hosting a Successful Garage Sale


Joining us at the Bayview Greens Community Garage Sale? Here are our Top 10 Tips to make your sale run smoothly. 


1. Expect a Few Shoppers to Show Up Early 

Expect a few shoppers to show up early while you’re still setting up outside, even though it’s before the starting time. Have all of your tables and sale items set up in the garage or in a front hallway the night before so your set up is smooth and stress free. Keep in mind that early birds usually come to buy, and they still have all their money in their pockets!

2. Don’t Display Items On Things You Don’t Want To Sell

Other than folding tables, don’t display sale items on anything you don’t want to sell. It seems to be understood that folding tables aren’t up for grabs, but if you drag a table out of the dining room, shoppers will drive you crazy all day asking if it’s for sale. Folding tables can be purchased at any hardware store, and usually don't cost more that $50-$60.

3. Arrange Things Logically 

Put all of the books in one place, all of the clothing, all of the dishes, etc… When people are looking for children clothing, they don’t want to look through grandpa’s golf-wear. Arrange by category, size or age to help your shoppers find what they’re looking for, and help you sell more! 

4. Display Valuable Items Close To Your House 

Display valuable items close to your house or organizing table where you can keep an eye on them. While a treadmill might not be easy to run off with, you’ll want to put your more expensive items in an area that you can keep an eye on. 

5. Place Feature Items at The Back 

Grocery stores put milk, eggs, bread, and meat at opposite corners to force shoppers to search the entire store. Why not place high quality or hard-to-find items at opposing ends to direct traffic all around?  This will encourage shoppers to walk through and see all of your items. 

6. Make Sure You Have Plenty Change 

It’s an added bonus to have a card reader, but we all know that cash is key! Make sure to stock up on loonies, toonies, and quarters so you can give change to your buyers. 

7. Get a Fanny Pack Or Apron For Your Cash

If you have no designated cashier, wear a fanny pack or an apron with lots of big pockets. An apron is best so you don’t have to worry about a zipper- and it helps shoppers identify you as the seller! This keeps your money safe, and lets you walk around to answer any questions your buyers may have.

8. Price All Of Your Items

Not only will you be stressed the morning of the big day, but your shoppers will be asking for prices all day if there is no price tag. Use neon sticker price tags to let buyers know what you want for your merchandise. Be careful with stickers on paper items such as vintage books, magazines, or albums, and consider low-tack painters tape for these. 

9. Bundle Items

If you have a box full of old DVD’s, it might be difficult to sell all of them individually. However, 4 for $5 might get some attention. This is also a great strategy for jewellery, CD’s, and magazines. You could even try $10 a bag, and have shoppers take whatever they can fit into a bag you provide for a flat rate. At the end of the day, you are selling more items!

10. Have a Stack Of Newspapers And Plastic Grocery Bags

Keep plastic grocery bags and old newspapers on hand for shoppers who buy multiple or fragile items. If your buyers are taking home multiple items, a plastic grocery bag goes a long way to help carry items. Newspapers are also great to carry mugs, glass, and other fragile items that could break on the way home! 

At the end of the day, your garage sale should be a fun experience where you get to talk to your neighbours, meet new people, get rid of things you don’t need anymore, and make some money. Let your shoppers walk around without distractions, and enjoy the day. It’s not fun when you’re stressed! 

If you’re living in the Bayview Greens / Bayview Wellington neighbourhood and haven’t signed up for our community garage sale yet, click here to register and get your home on the map! We look forward to seeing you on the day.