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Garage sale 101: tips for a successful garage sale

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Declutter, make money and meet the neighbours. Here’s how to ensure a successful garage sale. Watch our Community Coordinator, Christa, discuss how to host a garage sale on CTV Morning Live, here.

Two weeks leading up to sale

  • Reach out to your neighbours. Maybe they have items to sell. A multi-family sale will garner even more attention
  • Start getting your items ready, especially if you suspect some of them need a clean up. Clean items will sell for more
  • Gather your essential items:
    • Price labels and tape
    • Markers
    • Signs for the street
    • Coins to make change
    • Cash box or aprons for the cashiers to handle money
  • Put an ad on your local site. There is a category specifically for local garage sales. Be sure to include:
    • Your location (by filling out the postal code box while creating the ad); we often share garage sale maps on Friday via our social media channels
    • Opening and closing times. Are early birds welcome?

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  • A list of some of the items being sold, these will then appear when people search our sites for and make them aware of your sale (when I was searching for a new tent last weekend, I came across this ad directing me to this garage sale)


  • Share your garage sale with your friends via social media. Use the link to your ad on or the share function within the ad and our Community Coordinators will re-share it for you for maximum exposure. Be sure to include your area’s most popular hashtag if there is one (e.g. #yyj #ottawa).

 Pricing and displaying items

  • Check your local site for comparable items and price accordingly
  • Rule of thumb is 25 per cent less than price of new
  • Consider pricing in bulk, four shirts for $5, bag small toys into ziplock bags, etc.
  • Post the most interesting or popular items nearest to passing foot and vehicle traffic to draw attention to your sale
  • Use a portable clothing rail to make clothing more desireable
  • Lay down a tarp if items are going on the ground
  • Group items together; toys on one table, holiday items on another
  • Have lots of bags and boxes on hand to encourage people to buy more
  • Consider a half price sale in the last hour of the sale
  • Have a box of FREE items to attract attention and purge

After the sale

  • Anything that didn’t sell can be donated or sold on
    • Use the free section of
    • Do a bulk ad and offer one price
    • Donate to charity either by using #UsedHelps or dropping off
  • Take your signs down and recycle

And the most important task of all – HAVE FUN!

Are you a garage saler? What tips do you have for a successful sale?

Useful links

Find garage sales in your neighbourhood on your local here.

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4 Responses to “Garage sale 101: tips for a successful garage sale”


Many good points here, but some not so good. The rule around here is not 25% less than retail it is 10% of retail unless it is a extremely desirable item. Another thing: signs with huge letters spelling “garage sale” and in tiny letters spelling out the address are a menace to traffic. All you need is the word sale and a large address and people will figure out the garage part.


    Amber R Bosma

    Thanks for these two tips. 10% seems low to us, but get what you can. Great tip about signs! Thanks!


Watch out take care of your cash box. Believe it or not people do steal from sales.

Balloons, ballons. Take down signs after and please place sign away from the beginning of intersection. Garage salers are busy looking at signs and drive too slow doing it. lol



I love going to garage sales BUT I find that people price things way WAY to high and I end up walking away.

If you don’t want to end up being that person dropping off boxes and boxes to the local thrift after a long weekend of selling nothing then price accordingly. (coming from local thrift worker who gets many of these boxes!!)


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