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Garage Sale Tips
Top 10 Tips For Garage Sales
Organizing a Garage Sale
  • Get the word out. Advertise your sale. Internet sites are especially hot right now for garage sales. List your sale on
  • Make colorful signs that can't be missed. Use bright colors such as pink, orange, red or green. Don't put too many details on your sign. We can't read an address and time when we're driving by at 30 MPH. A large sign, with "SALE" and an arrow pointing us in the right direction is perfect.
  • Make your sale appealing and enticing so folks will want to get out of their car and get a better look. Display your treasures on tables at least waist high. Your items will be easier to see. Group things together: Kitchen items, toys, beauty items, furniture, electronics, etc. should all be together. When people are looking for specific things they'll go right to their area of interest.

Lynda Hammond,
Garage Sale Gal
  • Make your sale colorful. The human eye is drawn to color. I'm sure you've seen folks drive up to your sale, look and drive on, not bothering to get out. Well, in order to coax people out and into your sale have colorful items nicely and neatly displayed. It can be anything: clothes, dishes, household goods, etc. If you get them in your driveway chances are they'll buy something.
  • Have plenty of change. There have been many sales I've visited where one person holding the sale has left to go to the store for change. Prepare the night before by getting small bills and loose change. It's not uncommon for your first garage sale buyer to hand you a $20 bill.
Shopping at Garage Sales
  • Rise and shine. The early bird gets the worm. This is so true when it comes to garage sales. Try to have that cup of coffee, dress and be out the door by 6:00 AM! I know it's early but if you want the best selection you have to get there before anyone else. I've gone to sales at 7:00 AM, asked for specific items and was told "I just sold that". So, I've learned to get out early.
  • Know how to bargain. If you see an item you're interested in ask them if they'll "take anything less", or "what's your best price". Don't be shy. You're expected to haggle over the price at a garage sale – hey that's half the fun. One rule of thumb. Don't ask for a lower price on anything $1 or less. I once asked a woman if she'd take a dime for an item marked .25..(a quarter!). I still can't get the look on her face out of my mind. (She rolled her eyes!) She thought I was crazy. While I did get it for a dime (a little Santa Claus candle holder) I've regretted it ever since.
  • Look for neighborhood sales. Often times you can hit 100 sales in one small area. Think about the community. If it's a newer neighborhood with families, keep in mind the items for sale will be different than what you may find at a retirement community for empty nesters. So, if you're looking for toys go to the family sales. Is it antiques you're interested in? Check out older, more established areas and retirement communities.
  • If you love it buy it. I often hear stories of people who let a great find get away. The reasons for "not" buying something can make sense at the time... no place to put it, it's the wrong color, etc. But if you love something you'll make it work in your home. If you find a cabinet you just have to have but you don't like the color, use your imagination, give it a coat of paint. If you don't have room for it now, hold your own sale and get rid of some things you're not using to "make" room for it. You'll be glad you did.
  • Dress comfortably and bring water. I usually wear sweats, tennis shoes and a hat (a 3-TV hat, of course)! A lot of people sell water at their sales. But you can save your money by being prepared. Bring several bottles of water. In the Summer heat in Arizona you might even have a cooler handy to keep water cool.
And finally, have fun. Garage sales should be enjoyable. Have fun meeting new people and finding fabulous bargains. Good-Luck!
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I feel I must tell you about a GREAT experience I had with one of your reporters several months ago. She is Lynda Hammond who wrote about a fund raising garage sale my Lions Club was holding in Mesa. She found out that we were going to run it for 24 hours straight starting at noon Friday & going right thru the night till noon Sat. Since she had never heard of any one doing that she ran the article on the day our sale started. Only problem with the article was that people started showing up at 6 AM Friday when we weren't open and even helping us unload the trucks to set up. Our last customer of the day showed up at 2:45 AM Sat. only because they had seen the article & couldn't sleep so why not go to a garage sale. They even bought several items. Of course the crowd gathered again at 6 AM. Thanks to Lynda's fine article we made over $3000 at the fund raiser. I want to thank you for having such great people within your organization like Lynda who I feel like I have known her for ever just because of her great personality & good writing. We (Mesa Host Lions Club) look forward to working with Lynda in the future. Thanks again.
- Lion Keith, Hackney
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