Preparation is key to a successful and lucrative garage sale. Below is a list of inexpensive items, and some free ones, that you will need to gather before your sale. Some of the items are optional but others are a MUST. Items in blue are available on our order page.
3x5 Cards - Small labels just won't do for marking cloth items like draperies, sheets, and tablecloths or bigger things like a bicycle, bookcase, or piano. A 3x5 card lets you add additional information (i.e., size, model, age, details, etc.).
Bags (paper or plastic) - To bag your buyers' bargains.
Balloons - Add color and attention getting motion to your sale site.
Boxes - For gathering, segregating, and storing items prior to the sale. You can also use them for packing up a buyers' multiple purchases.
Calculator - You may need to do a little addition when an individual purchases multiple items. A small solar or battery powered portable calculator will help speed up the addition process while minimizing errors.
Cash Box - A cash box is perfect for storing and safe keeping your sale money. You can also wear a fanny-pack which stays with you at all times, however, they are limited in space and coins become mixed.
Change - At a minimum try to start with at least $50.00 in change. I recommend the following denominations:
$20.00 - 2 ten dollar bills
$10.00 - 2 five dollar bills
$15.00 - 15 one dollar bills
$ 2.00 - 8 quarters
$ 2.00 - 20 dimes
$ 1.00 - 20 nickels
Clothes Rack (optional) - To hang clothes for easier viewing.
Coin Wrappers (optional) - What do you do with all that loose change after your sale? Wrap it and take it to the bank for quick deposit or ready cashing.
Cork Board (optional) - A cork board and push-pins can be used to display most jewelry and small bagged items.
Extension Cord - If you have electrical items such as small appliances, radios, record players, juke boxes, and televisions, have them turned on (low volume). A working item is a selling item! If the buyer can see and hear the item, they are more likely to purchase it. The sound will also draw attention to the item you are trying to sell.
Hammer/Nails - For hanging your sale signs.
Hangers (optional) - To hang clothes for easier viewing.
Labels and Tags - For pricing your merchandise you can use masking tape, stick-on labels (colored, rectangular, round, square), tie on tags, etc. A super way to save hours of your time is with pre-priced (peel-and-stick) price labels.
Magnifying Glass/Jewelers Loop - Have a magnifying glass or jewelers loop handy so your customers can see what they are purchasing.
Masking Tape - Smaller like-items can be bundled together using rubber bands or masking tape before placing in their box (i.e. silverware, kitchen utensils, computer disks). Masking tape can also be used to make price tags.
Merchandise (items to sell) - Anything you haven't used in the past year and have no intention of using anytime soon is a good candidate of something to sell. Chances are, if you haven't used it in the past year, you probably never will. If you don't use it, sell it! Just about anything and everything can be sold at a garage sale (see Inventory List).
Money Apron - A money apron is perfect for storing and safe keeping your sale money. You simply tie the apron around your waist and your money stays with you at all times. It also signals the shopper who to pay!
Newspapers - To wrap fragile items.
Packing Materials - You will need paper or plastic grocery bags to bag your buyers' bargains, boxes for packing, bubble wrap or newspapers to wrap fragile items, and masking or scotch tape for securing wrapped items.
Pen or Marker - A black felt or indelible ink pen is great for writing on your labels and 3x5 cards, it doesn't run or smear and is easy to read.
Permit - Verify if your city requires a permit to hold a garage sale, many cities do. The City Clerks office should have the required forms needed to get you started. If required, a permit costs very little and is usually good for 2 to 3 days. The permit lays out the ground rules of what is allowed and what isn't. It could save you a fine that would eat into your profits!
Poster Board - Signs can be made out of bright eye-catching neon posterboard. You can easily make 2 to 4 signs out of one piece (depending on sign size) and it is relatively inexpensive.
Push Pins (optional) - A cork board with push-pins can be used to display most jewelry and small bagged items.
Rubber Bands - Smaller like-items can be bundled together using rubber bands or masking tape before placing in their box (i.e. silverware, kitchen utensils, computer disks).
Signs (minimum of 10-15) - Signs are a critical source of advertising. They should announce the sale, give the address, and perhaps include an arrow indicating the direction in which motorists should go (see Arrow signs).
Spray Paint (optional) - Invest in 3" stencils and "flat black" spray paint to make your signs. Use an 18"x24" or larger piece of cardboard or posterboard.
Stapler/Staples - Nail, tape, or use a staple gun to mount your signs.
Stencils - Invest in 3" stencils and "flat black" spray paint to make your signs. Use an 18"x24" or larger board.
Streamers - Fasten colorful streamers, Christmas tinsel, or balloons on a fence or at corners of the yard. These items will help catch the attention of passersby. They will also mark the location of your sale. Make it easy for buyers to find your location! Color and movement work great.
Surge Suppressor (multi-plug) - Have an extension cord and/or multi-plug surge suppressor close by to plug in electrical items to show buyers they work.
Tables (don't forget the cashier) - You will need surfaces to display your items on. Card tables, benches, cabinets, folding tables, existing walls, picnic tables, and porches, are good candidates.
Tablet - Keep a tablet close by for recording your sales.
Tags, String - For pricing your merchandise you can use tie on tags. They are available in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Small tags for jewelry and larger ones for furniture and hard to label items.
Tape Measure - Have a tape measure handy for measuring furniture, curtain lengths, etc. This information should already be recorded on your 3x5 labeling card.
Zip-lock Baggies - Game pieces, small toys, and like-items that you are selling as a lot can be kept together and viewed easily through the clear bag.
For more great detailed and useful techniques
order Garage Sale Guide to Gold today!