Starting a Garage Sale Business

"There's just too much clutter in here!" "My house is a mess." "We need space for that brand new leather sofa." Lines we often say when we just have too much junk to handle.

Well, there is a solution and you can de-clog your house and be in business at the same time. It's time for a rummage sale also known to others as a garage sale!

It’s a golden opportunity for you to get rid of the things you don’t want to make room for things that you do want and also make some money on the side. It this idea tickles you, here are some suggestions to get you started.

First things first, get organized. Make a checklist of the items you want to get rid off, items that are actually still sellable and of use to others. This list will also serve as your inventory list. No under wears, bras and old socks, please. It’s just to embarrassing to handle. With that out of the way, almost anything is good for a garage sale. What items can you put on this list? Items like old toys, baby cloths, old books, used clothes, caps, and maybe an old set of golf clubs. You are free to include baseball cards, stamp collections, and framed cross stitches, if you have them. The list goes on. Organize your inventory in boxes so buyers can find them easily. Sort them into categories. By the way, you may also want to pre-wash the clothes first before piling them up for sale. I also suggest you place price tags on your items so as to make purchasing easier for your buyers. Keep your prices reasonable. Remember people are looking for bargains and you want to get rid of your junk anyway. Have ample change ready as well.

Also be ready with bags or baskets your customers can use while shopping. According to experts, grocery buyers psychologically want to see their carts full because it makes them feel complete and not lacking. So use the same rational, provide them with big baskets to fill as well. You may also want to package items which you don’t think will sell with stuff that are hot. This way you get to clear unwanted items as well.

Have cold drinks like soda or home made lemonade for sale too on your garage selling times. You know how buyers get all tired and thirsty as the search for a bargain. Who knows, this extra mile effort may actually make you an extra buck. Here’s another tip. Have your breakables into places where they are least likely to break but where customers can see and touch them. You might also want to have an electric outlet ready so your customers can test try electrical appliances for sale.

Why not make it a family activity? You may include your kids in this project by allowing them to help out and participate. Have them help you stock, organize, label and teach them some selling lines too! Customers find that cute when seven year olds try to sell. However, do reward them for their efforts.

After organizing your garage items, now is the time to think about your date to start. I would suggest you open on a Wednesday which is mid week up until Saturday. Open late and close late on these days. You want to attract both the non-working and the working that come out of their offices after five.

Make your date of opening successful by using post ads and by placing neon bright posters that hurt the eye. Use balloons and place arrows to make it easier for your buyers to find your garage sale. Try to space your opening date 4 weeks ahead so people can buzz about it. Avoid opening on holidays but why not capitalize on the season, be creative!

During the garage sale itself make sure you make an effort to meet people and create relationships. Have fun selling! As an extra gesture, you may want to hand out thank you cards with your number printed at the back for every purchase your customers make but don’t forget to ask for their numbers too. You can use this information later for future garage sales you might want to do. Enjoy the process and make a follow-up inventory after the day to track down your profits.


  • SHERRY said on February 8, 2010
    I would like to find out how to do independent estate sales.
  • salma said on August 15, 2010
    Do i have to get a license/permit in order to have a garage sale? Do garage sale businesses accept returns? please avail me with more info about this business. I live in Boston, Ma.
  • Ahmad Omar Salum said on June 9, 2017
    i need to initiate a garage in my region here in Tanzania so i need you advice on how to start


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