13 Steps to a successful garage sale

Garage sales can be a great way to get rid of clutter–and earn a little extra cash–before you sell your home. But make sure the timing is right. A garage sale can take on a life of its own and might not be the best use of your energy right before putting your home on the market.

13 steps to a successful garage sale, table in background with garage sale items on it

Post-Pandemic Tips:

  • Consider moving everything outside into the open air
  • Continue social distancing
  • Provide alternate means of receiving payment for higher priced items
  • Consider putting on gloves to handle cash and then remove them before handling anything else
  • Have plenty of hand sanitizer for you and your shoppers
  • Go inside to wash your hands every chance you get

Follow these 13 tips for a successful garage sale:

  • Don’t wait until the last minute. You don’t want to be scrambling to hold a garage sale the week before an open house. Depending on how long you’ve lived in your house and how much stuff you have to sell, planning a garage sale can demand a lot of time and energy.
  • Be legal. The City of Shawnee no longer requires a permit to hold a garage sale. Check to see what your city and neighborhood HOA requirements are for signage, registration, fees, etc. 
  • Invite neighbors to join in. You can turn your garage sale into a block-wide event and lure more shoppers if you team up with neighbors. However, I think a permit is necessary for each homeowner, even if it’s a group event. Call the city at 405-878-1616 for clarification.
  • Schedule the sale. Sales on Saturdays will generate the most traffic, especially if the weather cooperates. Start the sale early, 8 a.m. is best, and be prepared for early birds. When you swing open the door, be ready to sell!
  • Advertise. Place an ad on websites, Craigslist, Facebook pages/groups, and other social media.
    Here are some example groups. PROTIP: join these groups ahead of time so you’re already a member when it’s time to start your sale.

Comment below if you have other good places to post garage sale items!

Include the dates, time and address, and photos of some items. Let the public know if certain types of items will be sold, such as baby clothes, furniture or exercise equipment. Contact me to borrow some pennant flags to string across your front yard. We’ll deliver the day before and pick them up afterward!

  • Price your goods. Lay out everything you plan to sell and attach prices with removable stickers. Remember, garage sales are supposed to be bargains, so try to be objective as you set prices. Assign simple prices to your goods: 50¢, 3 for $1, $5, $10, etc.
  • Don’t sell junk. Decide what’s worth selling and what’s not. If it’s really trash, then throw it away or recycle. Also, know where a nearby electrical outlet is in case a customer wants to make sure something works.
  • Check for mistakes. Make sure that items you want to keep don’t accidentally end up in the garage sale pile.
  • Create organized displays. Lay out your items by category, and display neatly so customers don’t have to dig through boxes.
  • Stock up on bags and newspapers. People who buy many small items will appreciate a bag to carry their goods. Newspapers are handy for wrapping fragile items.
  • Manage your money. Make a trip to the bank to get ample change for your cashbox. Throughout the sale, keep a close eye on your cash; never leave your cashbox unattended. It’s smart to have one person to manage the money throughout the day, keeping a tally of what was purchased and for how much. Keep a calculator or your smartphone nearby.
  • Prepare for your home sale. Donate the remaining stuff or sell it to a resale shop. Now that all of your clutter is cleared out, it’s time to focus on preparing your house for a successful sale! We will be happy to offer advice about furniture placement and general staging ideas to put your house in its best light!
  • Hand out property flyers. Arrange ahead of time to have an ample supply of property flyers to hand out to all your garage sale customers. You never know where your buyer could come from. I can also provide some attention-getting flags to display on properties during garage sales. If a garage sale shopper wants to see the inside of your home, ask them to call Steve @ 585-6580 to make an appointment at a less hectic time. You’ve been concentrating on getting ready for the garage sale, so your home may not look its best. Also, for security reasons, you don’t want someone wandering through inside or left outside unattended. You have too much going on right now!

Good luck on your garage sale. I hope you make gobs of money!