How to Sell Quality Items in a Garage Sale

If you want to sell your quality items in a garage sale, here are some steps showing you how to approach this successfully – and safely.And if you have that magic touch you might just be able to make a handsome profit.


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    Assess what you consider to be valuable and less valuable items. If the items are really valuable, such as gold jewelery, consider selling them online or through a trusted broker rather than leaving open the possibility of theft during a busy garage sale. If you do intend to sell very valuable items through the garage sale still, have one person completely responsible for selling those items only and make sure that they know to keep an eye on the objects at all times or to remove them or have someone else stand in if they need to leave for a moment. You will be too busy supervising the whole garage sale to be watching very valuable items and everything else otherwise.
    • Break down the "values" within those things you consider to be valuable. While gold jewelry will definitely be very valuable, your designer clothes may be valuable to you because you spent a lot on them but that doesn't necessarily mean that this value will be realized by bargain-hunters wanting to pay next-to-nothing. Always consider the other selling options if you have items like clothes that may not get a good price back at a garage sale or be prepared to make it very clear why you're standing your ground on higher prices for certain items that buyers would usually expect to pay less for.
    • Place antiques and valuables worth lots of money in a safe spot that you can keep an eye on. While these are items are the ones that will gain you lots more cash, they are also the most vulnerable.
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    Arrange clothing to show its value clearly. Clothing can sometimes be a hard sell at garage sales because people feel exposed looking through their neighbors' clothes or buyers from elsewhere simply feel uncomfortable about not being able to tell if items will fit or not. Make it easier for everyone by doing the following:
    • Rig up a changing area that provides absolute privacy.
    • If items of clothing need explanation, pin Post-It note explanations to the clothes to save people having to ask.
    • Make the prices clear, from a bag of baby's clothes for $1.00 to $100.00 for the Givenchy gown.
    • However you plan to price, always leave haggle room because that's what happens at garage sales.
    • Put the clothes in a section of their own. This will ensure that it is not so crowded when people are looking through them. If you can, it really helps to hang them on racks or provide them with a single table for sorting through.
    • Put the shoes together. People can go and look for their size without making a big mess under the clothes. Also, if you still have the original shoe boxes, make use of those to keep the pairs together.
    • If you are allowing your customers to try the shoes on, make sure there are a couple chairs and places to sit for them to try them on.
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    Keep baby gear in one place. Only some people will be interested in baby gear but they're likely to be very interested, so make it very easy for them to look. For starters, keep all the quality items in one area and be realistic about items with stains, breaks, cracks, etc. and either recycle those things or bag them together for next-to-nothing. For the good remaining items, put the toys, baby strollers, and other baby items together in an easy-to-access place. If your customer asks where the baby stuff is, just point them in the direction of this section.
    • If you have a baby creche fence, put it up with a blanket on the ground and some toys to allow new parents to put wandering babies in there while they rummage. Make a sign to make it clear that you're happy for parents to "park their babies" there while they browse (at the parent's risk of course).
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    Keep children's toys, games and items separate and somewhere that children won't be likely to bump into other sale items. Don't expect to get a lot for most toys and if you have antique ones, keep them in the antiques area rather than with the general toys and games.And be sure that all of the toys toys and games that you trying to sell still look presentable because nobody would want to buy a tatty item
    • Don't put out board games unless you are certain all the pieces are there, because people won't buy them with the pieces gone (they do ask or check). Add a Post-It note confirming that all the pieces are intact.
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    Make the furniture stand out. People love furniture at garage sales, especially quality furniture and it will fly out of your yard if you display it properly. Put all the good quality furniture as close as possible to the front or driveway. This will mean people won't have to carry it very far and it also attracts people who are simply cruising by wondering whether or not your garage sale is worth stopping for.
    • Try to fix rips, tears, or holes in furniture to encourage purchasing and to get a better price.
    • If you have a trolley or something else to help get furniture to cars, or you're even willing to deliver, make this clear by adding a sign and placing it near the furniture.
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    Keep the outdoor living and outdoor landscaping or cleaning equipment in one place. Put the things that belong outside like lawn mowers, statues, etc., together, perhaps on the lawn.
    • Have keys, tools, etc. ready in case someone wants to test things out and have someone in the family ready to stand by in case they ride away on your ride-on mower...
    • Have electricity cords in place for testing any electrical appliances.
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    Place household items like curtains, vacuum cleaners, etc. together. Avoid placing out soiled or destroyed items; things such as stained mattresses will reduce the sense of overall quality, not just for the items they're sitting near. If you need a dumpster or skip bin to get rid of stuff that really doesn't deserve to be sold, arrange for this to arrive after the garage sale so that you can get rid of anything else you don't wish to recycle or donate.
    • Put out "free" boxes of things that are really not worth selling but still seem like they could be of use to someone with handy person skills. Someone might be keen to take a box to rummage through at home.
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    Be prepared to explain the value of quality items in your garage sale. Don't expect people to know just by looking – although equally, do expect some to know and hope that you don't realize! Through the use of signs, conversations and good positioning of quality items, you can increase the chances of selling your quality garage sale items for more money than just bargain prices because people will be aware of the value and understand that you are too. When explaining why items are quality, be sure to focus on designer/labels, craftsmanship, age, amount of use, rarity, utility, price comparisons with new items, etc.


  • If you put out anything that doesn't work, people won't dare to buy it. Check first and also allow people to check for themselves to satisfy themselves.
  • If there are holes in the toys, sew them up.
  • You can also sell lemonade; if it is a very hot day people will buy some and you will make more than usual.
  • Hold the garage sale on a warm day; check the weather and make sure that it's not going to rain.
  • Look at the clothes make sure they look good not a single stain or hole.
  • Remember not to be rude to your customers; if you are, they will leave and you will get no money. They will also tell their other garage sale friends and neighbors. Keep in the spirit of community sales and friendliness – at the end of the day, it's about a bit of extra cash, not a competition or war!


  • Make sure you have the exact amount of money given to you.
  • Keep your eyes on some of the customers; some people will steal the stuff you have for sale.
  • Tell your customers have a good day when they leave or they might not come back.
  • And always make sure to look happy whilst selling your items for if you start to feel attached to your old items the customers might feel bad about making the purchase and they might turn it down.

Things You'll Need

  • Suitable yard/garage space
  • Racks for hanging clothes
  • Safe area for valuables
  • Excellent display methods such as tables, signs, etc.

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