How to Have a Good Garage Sale

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Who doesn’t love a good garage sale?  We sure do! We like to think of garage sales as mini treasure hunts! It’s amazing what you can find at a yard sale, and the deals cannot be beat! The saying ‘someone’s junk is someone else’s treasure’ is really true!

Garage sales are great ways to reclaim your garage and make a little extra cash by selling things that you no longer want or need (aka clutter).

Getting ready for a garage sale can be a lot for work, and for all that effort, you definitely want to sell as much as you can. There are things you can do to have a great garage sale, which we have compiled for you below.

Currently, many municipalities have prohibited garage sales under the state of emergency in place for the COVID-19 pandemic. These bans are serious and may be enforced by local police or by-law officers.  Before you decide to host a traditional garage sale at your home or host a community yard sale on your street or in your neighbourhood, check with your local Municipality to confirm what you can and cannot do.

For the Municipalities that have given the greenlight for in-person garage sales, here are some considerations for the garage sale host to adhere to Provincial orders:

  • Place tables at least 6 feet apart to allow for physical distancing.
  • Identify a safe distance traffic flow with tape on pavement or posted signs so that garage sale customers are moving in one direction.
  • Have hand sanitizer available for you and your customers to use.
  • Whenever exchanging cash use hand sanitizer or wash your hands before and after touching the money. Also, new bills are made of plastic, which means they can be so can be sanitized along with coins.
  • Limit the number of people at your sale to 10 at any given time - Posting signage at the end of your property asking people to please wait if there are ten individuals already shopping. Put a person in charge of standing by this stand and monitoring the volume of people.

This list is not meant to replace any guidelines, requirements or advice from your local Municipality or any Provincial orders. Be sure to check with your local Municipality to determine what is permitted and what is not, and any guidelines you must follow.  

If garage sales are permitted, but you’re not comfortable hosting (which is totally understandable), or yard sales are not permitted where you live, but you’re itching to have one, consider having an online garage sale via social media.  You can take pictures of the items you want to sell and share them online. People interested in looking at an item in closer detail or purchasing something would make an appointment with you. You can ask your local friends, families and neighbours to help promote your sale through social media too. This is a great way to sell the things you no longer need or want and follow guidelines for physical distancing and sanitation. Many of the tips we share below, can still help you have a great online garage sale, so be sure to keep reading.

So how do you have a good…make that a great, garage sale?  With these tips:

Organize Your Sale Items

  • When going through your house decluttering and finding things to sell, right off the bat, group similar items, or similarly themed items together.
  • One way to do this is to create categories based on the room or space the items are best suited for. For example, all kitchen things should be kept together, all outdoor items should be kept together, etc.  
  • By having things organized, it will be easier to organize and set up your garage sale.
  • It will also make it easier to direct your garage sale customers through your sale and let them stop in certain areas that have items they are interested in. Buyers will be less likely to wander around and miss things. They will appreciate the organization and may purchase more!

Advertise Your Sale Ahead of Time  

  • Make sure to spread the word that you’re having a sale ahead of time to allow people to plan their attendance.
  • It’s best to advertise your sale at least the weekend before, so that you catch all of those garage sale hunters in the act!
  • Signs and flyers at street corners within and around the edges of your neighbourhood are your best bet. Place bright and easy to read signs on main intersections nearby to grab the attention of people passing by in high traffic areas. 
  • Social media is a great way to reach people in your community. There are many community and neighbourhood groups to post in. You could even include a few images of the items you are selling.
  • You can also put ads out in the paper or online, but it seems that homemade DIY signs are still the most popular method of garage sale advertising.

Price Your Items Appropriately  

  • Although this is an opportunity to make some money, and put a little cash in your pocket, try to remember that the goal of your garage sale is to get rid of the items you no longer need or want.
  • You also have to know your customer base – garage sale hunters are looking for real bargains on used items. They aren’t looking to pay much to get them!
  • Pricing your items to sell is what will make you money and also help you get rid of your unwanted belongings. A good method for this is by grouping items together and selling them as packages. If you have a box of CD’s or DVD’s, sell them as a lot, not piece by piece.  

Price Like Items at the Same Rate

  • Instead of giving an individual price to each record, item of clothing, or children’s toy, consider putting a set price on these items. For example, have a bin of records and put a sticky note on the box that says “$2 each”.
  • For items that may differ within a category such as children’s toys, sort them by price. Put the small toys in one bin, the bigger ones in another, and put a set price on items within the bins for example, any toy in the small box is $3, and any toy in the big box is $5.  This allows people to choose which items they want at what price they are willing to pay. This also keeps things organized and saves you a lot of time and effort putting individual prices on everything!

Be Prepared on Sale Day

  • Make sure you’re ready to sell every item you put out. You don’t want someone to make you an offer, only to realize you don’t actually want to part ways with that item.
  • Also, be prepared to give out a lot of change. Most garage sales have items that are priced at a few dollars, which means you may have to break a lot of $5 and $10 bills for people in order to make the right change and you don’t want to run out.  It’s best to go to the bank ahead of time and get some coin rolls and small bills. 

And if you’re ever in need of extra space, we offer touch-free self storage! We have affordable, month-to-month rentals so you can rent for a little or as long as you need. You can also virtually tour either of our Milton self storage or Woodstock self storage facilities and different sized self storage units via YouTube, as well as get helpful tips, tricks and advice, plus a good laugh by following is on FacebookTwitter & Instagram.

Stay safe & healthy!

Your friend in self-storage,

Storage Solutions


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