In order to host a successful garage sale, it’s important to plan and have the right garage sale supplies to make it a good shopping experience for your customers. Set a budget of how much you are willing to spend on garage sale supplies keeping in mind that you don’t want to wipe out any earnings you would make at the sale.
Garage Sale Supplies (you have to have)
Not many customers will want to dig through piles on the ground. Make it easy for them to shop by placing as much merchandise on tables as possible.
If you don’t have many tables, supplement with other things you have. We happened to have saw horses and an old door that worked well as an extra table. We’ve also turned big boxes upside down in order to get things off the ground.
Garage Sale Signs
Garage Sale Signs are a must-have unless you’re happy with just the neighbors stopping by. They are what lead customers from the main road to your sale. Even if you advertise in a social media group and provide the address there, you still need garage sale signs if you want your sale to be successful.
The lazy garage sale host will say, ‘make an offer’ because they don’t want to put the time and effort into pricing their things. If you ask customers to make an offer, you will sell less. Customers want to know what your price is, they don’t want to guess or put themselves in an uncomfortable situation. Take the time to price your items with price tags.
You can even use the calculator on your phone! If you have a lot of stuff to sell, you need an easy and accurate way to add each customer’s merchandise. Don’t rely on adding in your head when a customer has multiple items. Your customers will feel more confident in their final amount if they know you’ve used a calculator to add.
Fanny Pack or Cash Register
We happen to have a cash register from a previous business, but if you’re working alone, I would suggest a fanny pack to keep on you at all times.
Be sure to go to the bank and get change for your customers. The amount of change you should have on hand to host a garage sale varies depending on how many customers you have and the prices of the things you’re selling. It’s better to have too much change than not enough.
Here’s my recommendation on how much change you should have for your garage sale:
- Ones – $25
- Fives – $50
- Tens – $30
- Pennies – None, unless you have priced something for less than a nickel (which I don’t recommend).
- Nickels – $2 (1 roll)
- Dimes – $5 (1 roll)
- Quarters – $10 (1 roll)
I would suggest you don’t accept any bill over $20 in order to avoid being stuck with a large counterfeit bill.
Recycled Bags And Boxes
Save the bags you get from the grocery store and boxes you get from ordering online to use at your garage sale. Customers will appreciate having a way to carry their new finds to their car.
Paper, Marker, Painter’s Tape
You’ll want to have paper, a marker, and painter’s tape on hand so you can make signs to place on different things.
Here are a few examples:
- You sold a desk but the person who bought it is going to come back with their truck to pick it up. You need to make a quick Sold Sign to place on the desk so other customers know it’s already sold.
- There’s something in your garage that is NOT for sale but customers keep asking about it. Make a Not For Sale Sign to put on that item.
- Customers ask what sizes your clothing is. You can make Size Signs to make it clear.
- There are a few things you want to get rid of and are willing to give away for free. A Free Sign is better than a price tag because it stands out and gets people interested.
You can find and print all of these signs plus more in the Garage Sale Planner!
Garage Sale Planner
Take the guesswork out of planning your next Garage Sale by using this Garage Sale Planner that was designed to walk you through the steps to host a successful garage sale! The Garage Sale Planner includes a garage sale checklist, various signs, and a sales record that helps you track the sales of multiple people who have brought stuff to sell at your garage sale.
Garage Sale Supplies (that’ll help you sell more!)
Beyond the usual garage sale supplies, there are a few things that will help you merchandise your items better, leading to better sales!
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Clothes Rack and Hangers
We invested in a portable clothes rack many years ago, and it has worked very well for our garage sales! Customers are more willing to look through clothes on a clothes rack than on piles on a table.
If you’re selling clothes at your garage sale, you’ll likely sell more if customers can hold the clothing items up to their faces to see if the color is right for their skin tone.
In the meantime, we had bags and purses stacked up on a bed we had for sale but no one was looking at them.
So, I had the brilliant idea to hang the bags and purses from the S Hooks and they started selling like crazy! Many were simple drawstring bags and really not anything special but, when displayed well, they sold. As soon as one was emptied, I added another and another. This simple little change made the difference in moving merchandise.
Garage Sale Table Category Signs
Grouping like items together creates an organized sale that is easier to shop at. The best way to do this is to designate different tables or spaces for specific categories. Garage Sale Table Category Signs help you keep your sale organized!
If you’re selling anything that needs to be plugged in, be sure to have an extension cord ready for customers to try out the item. Otherwise, you won’t be able to sell things at top dollar if customers are taking a gamble on whether it works or not.
Batteries and Lightbulbs
Along the same line as an extension cord, customers want to know if something works before they’re willing to shell out cash for it. If you’re selling lamps or something that requires batteries, be sure to have them on hand for trying out or even provide them with the item (at an added cost).
Picture and Book Rack
When my daughter graduated high school, I built a display rack to hold her memory books and pictures. For a few years after, we used that display rack at our garage sales to display books and pictures. Because they were so well displayed, they sold a lot better. Sadly, I was tired of storing the rack and took it apart. I regret doing that each year when we have a garage sale. I might have to build another one. Another option might be a smaller magazine rack.
If a customer stumbles across your sale and finds a piece of furniture they have to have or wants to buy more than they have cash for, Venmo is a good way to have them pay. It’s fairly easy to set up an account, right on your phone, and you can provide a QR code your customers can use to scan and pay. Setting up a Venmo account will allow your customers to spend MORE money at your sale!
How To Get Garage Sale Supplies Without Spending A Lot
It’s important to be careful not to buy all of the garage sale supplies to make your sale the best ever and then discover, at the end of your sale, that you’ve actually lost money instead of making a little extra cash.
Instead, here are a few ideas on how to gather garage sale supplies without breaking the bank:
- Join forces with friends and share resources.
- Borrow tables from friends or neighbors.
- Plan your sale at the same time as your neighborhood sale (if they provide the signs) so you don’t have to make signs.
- Use what you have. (I’ve been known to take the clothes off hangers in my closet in order to use the hangers for the sale. Eventually, I had enough odd hangers that I didn’t need to do that anymore.)
When hosting your first garage sale, there’s no need to have every supply listed here on the garage sale supplies list. Start with the basics and, as you have more sales, add to your supplies so you can merchandise your items better and sell more!