Having a Garage Sale

If you are thinking about having a garage sale this summer to earn a few bucks, there are a few things that you need to know. When time and effort is put into preparing for the sale, it has the potential to be a worthwhile pursuit. Consider the following suggestions when thinking about having a garage sale:

City Permits

The first thing that any person should do to prepare for their sale is to go to their local town municipal office and obtain a permit. There may be regions that don’t have restrictions regarding garage sales, but many cities and towns do. Typically the permit costs very little, maybe ten dollars, and is good for a season or a specific number of sales in a calendar year. This is the best approach to avoid being shut down or incurring a fine.


If you know you are planning to have a garage sale, advertise. There are some free weekend publications that are great resources for individuals holding rummage or yard sales. Any local newspaper or swap-and-trade publication are also prime advertising.

If you are operating on a shoestring budget and advertising seems pricey, invest your resources into signage. Make and post as many big, bold clearly imprinted signs and put them up the day before. Gain wider attention by placing your sale in online listings, such as Craigslist, a week or two before the sale.


Prices vary from region to region, and your goods are only worth what someone else is willing to pay for them. For this reason, if an item holds sentimental value, don’t expect others to also share this sense of the item’s worth. Keep the items that are tough to part with, and instead clean out the stuff that you won’t miss. Price low to sell, but keep a few big-ticket items firm to serve as an allure for passers-by to stop and shop.
Also, nothing hinders a potential buyer more than having to ask the homeowner for the price of every item. Invest a couple bucks in self-adhesive pricing tags that can be stuck to the item, and quickly marked the night before the sale. Try to avoid situations such as “shared” sales with numerous people each labeling and marking their goods with their name or vendor number.

This gets far too confusing and errors are destined to occur. If a group is planning a sale together, all money should be pooled and divided equally with the possible exception of any large, high-ticket items.


Make the effort to launder any clothing or bedding that might be for sale. Clean items will sell better than dirty or musty ones. Also, buyers don’t typically like to have to bend over and pick items up from the ground. Be sure to have plenty of tables lined up in your space, preferably in the garage under cover, and place items out the night before. The weather can be disagreeable, so keep the sale protected, and pull items out in the open to capture attention on the day of the garage sale.

Depending on what you have hiding in your garage or storage space, a garage sale could be a good way to earn a few extra dollars. By putting some time and energy into preparing for your garage sale, it can go smoothly and profitably.

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