How to Have Successful Garage Sales


I haven't had many successful garage sales myself. My best one might have made me a bit over $200. Then again, I often lived in areas that were not good for a sale, and I really only had them to get rid of things--although making some money would be nice too. Having now researched the topic, I can see some of the mistakes I made, and it is also clear that you can do more than make a little money once in a while with a garage sale. You can make a living at it if you do it right.

If you do want to make some regular income with your sales, you need to continually restock. The process can be like a treasure hunt. You'll go to yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores and anyplace else that people sell used items. Once you develop a good eye for value, you should be able to buy things for a third of what you can sell them for.

If you are going to have rummage or garage sales often, make a plywood "sandwich board" sign for the front yard. They're more visible and hold up to the wind better than flimsy paper signs. You'll also need signs to post on poles at cross streets, to direct traffic to your sale. Schedule for days when there are other garage sales, which normally means weekends.

How Much Can You Make?

There are people who make a living at this. Some vendors claim successful garage sales can net you $5,000 per month, but I suspect most people would have to set up a more permanent store or flea market to achieve that.

More realistically, this can be a great way to make some extra cash. If you have a sale 20 weekends annually and average a net profit of $600 each time, that's an extra $12,000 per year. If you have the right location and plan well, it is entirely possible to make $2,000 from a two-day sale. Do that just ten times annually and you'll pocket an extra $20,000 each year.

Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

Sell snacks and pop at your sale. If you happen to have a craft hobby of some sort, (making baskets, walking sticks, quilts, etc) you can also sell your own handicrafts. Pass out cards or flyers if you own another business you need to promote.

Always, always, always have everything priced clearly. Myself and a few million other shoppers have walked away from many things we might have bought because there was no price sticker and it's too much trouble to guess or wait to talk to the owner.

Check eBay to get an idea how to price items you're not familiar with.

Watch what sells fastest, and for how much. Play with prices to see how high you can go on some items and still sell them quickly. Take notes and stock up on the best sellers. With proper tracking of results, you should be able to refine your business and generate more income from each sale as time goes by.

A good flea market can offer a much better sales venue than your own home. In fact, the fee is often less than a newspaper classified ad would have cost you, and there might be thousands of potential customers.

Qualifications / Requirements

Almost every town allows the occasional garage sale without special permits. Do it every weekend and you might be classified as a business, which may not be allowed where you live. Also, as a business you'll generally be required to get a sale's tax license.

First Steps

Ask neighbors about their garage sales to see if there is much of a market in your area (with or without advertising, some neighborhoods attract more shoppers than others). Build your inventory. If you want to do $1,000 in sales, you should have at least twice that amount available. You'll need to buy a few tables if you don't already have some. Prepare signs and have them out an hour before the sale starts.


How to Make $5,000 a month or more with Garage Sales, by Home Business Reports: This is an Amazon Kindle e-book. You can get a free kindle reader for your computer at

If you liked this page please let others know with one of these...

Other Relevant Pages

Good Businesses Index

Fast Ways to Make Money Index

(The newsletter has been discontinued.)

Every Way to Make Money | How to Have Successful Garage Sales