Garage sales have long been a great way for people to get rid of unwanted goods while also making a few bucks on the side.
If you do it right, though, and find out what sells at garage sales in 2023, you can ensure your sale attracts the right customers.
How do you attract customers to a garage sale?
Garage sales are general sales that people hold either in their garage or in their driveway. Sometimes, these spill over to their yard as well.
Unlike online marketplace listings, like selling on Craigslist, or selling in a store, you’ll be advertising your sale in general rather than specific products.
Attracting people to your garage sale is key if you want to make money. After all, if people don’t know that you’re even holding a garage sale, it’ll be impossible for them to see what you’re selling.
Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can help people find garage sales and attract them to come check out yours.
Tactic for Success
Marketing is a key to attracting people to your garage sale. Unfortunately, no one way works the best. Because of this, you should cast the widest net possible and market your garage sale in as many ways as you can.
How to Advertise Your Garage Sale
If you’re looking to get people to come to your garage sale and find the things to sell at a garage sale, there are different tactics to try.
Some of these tactics include:
- Decorate your yard – One of the best ways to attract people is to hand bright banners, flags and signs outside your home. You can set up tents letting people know what you’re doing.
- Signs on telephone poles – By hanging signs on telephone poles, you can direct people. It’s best to hang them near major cross streets to attract people who might not otherwise drive by your home.
- Advertise online – Post free classified advertisements that announce your upcoming garage sale. This could allow people to plan to attend that day.
- Advertise locally – Another great option is to take out a small advertisement in your local newspaper. This would help attract nearby shoppers and help you sell locally.
Trend on the Rise
People generally hold garage sales on the weekends because that’s when people have free time to attend them. An increasingly popular trend is to host garage sales on the first weekend of the month. Many people get paychecks in the last week of the month, so they’ll have extra cash to spend around that time.
What are good things to sell in a garage sale?
There are a lot of items that sell really well at garage sales, and some of them are similar to what items people shop for at estate sales.
Generally speaking, the best-selling items are typically ones that fit into some combination of three categories — they are relatively inexpensive, they are relatively small and they are relatively attractive to a large number of people.
Because of this, some of the things that sell well at garage sales are:
- Old games – This can be anything from old video games to old board games. People are always looking for inexpensive entertainment options.
- Costume jewelry – Women like to mix and match their jewelry when they go out, and garage sales are a great place to find inexpensive pieces.
- Good artwork – People love artwork, but it can be really expensive in stores. This is one of the reasons why it sells well at garage sales.
- Used jackets – Jackets are a generally expensive clothing item, and often hard to find in second-hand stores. That’s why everything from winter coats to suit jackets sell well at garage sales.
- Used tools – New and experienced handymen alike are always looking for tools to add to their collection. You can offload ones you no longer use for good prices.
Trend on the Rise
Books are another hot-selling item at garage sales. While many used books could sell for around $5, you can actually price your specific books out at second-hand stores. There are even online resources that will help you determine how popular your books might be.
Does bedding sell at garage sales?
It may be surprising that someone would want to purchase bedding that’s been used before, but items in this category actually sell pretty well at garage sales.
Part of the reason for this is that bedding is often very expensive new at stores.
Tactic for Success
People who attend your garage sale are coming to purchase items that they know have been used. Because of this, they aren’t expecting something to look brand new. That being said, you can increase the value of the items you’re selling — and the likelihood that they will sell — if you clean everything up and make it look nice.
As such, there are two types of bedding that sell particularly well.
The first type is children’s bedding. This can be anything from old mattresses to themed sheets and blankets that your children have grown out of.
It can include lounge pillows children might use in a family room, too.
The second type is premium, luxury bedding. If you have high-quality bedding that you no longer want or need, it may sell very well at your garage sale.
The reason for this is that it may be too expensive at a store but affordable at your sale.
If you’re going to sell bedding at a garage sale, make sure you’ve washed it thoroughly and then package it right.
You want it to look good and smell good for people who are attending your garage sale, otherwise they likely won’t buy it.
How to Sell Furniture at a Garage Sale
Furniture is very popular at garage sales. There are some tricky things to consider if you want to sell furniture, though.
One of the biggest challenges with furniture is that it can often be big. This can cause an issue with transportation.
If someone wants to come back to pick up an item after they rent a truck or bring a larger vehicle, make them at least put a deposit down on the item.
This will incentivize them to actually come back and not prevent you from making another sale.
Like all other items, it’s a good idea to clean up your furniture before displaying it for sale. A simple wipe down with a dust cloth and some furniture polish will do the trick.
Clean up any upholstered items with a stain remover if needed, and make sure it smells as good as possible.
It’s also a good idea to try to sell furniture items that aren’t too heavy and are accessible.
You don’t want to have to move heavy items all around your house to your garage, just to find out that it doesn’t sell.
As such, smaller furniture items like coffee tables and end tables generally sell best.
What Not to Sell at Garage Sales
While there are some things that sell really well at garage sales, there are other items that you should never sell at a garage sale — though the reasons why differ.
First, you obviously shouldn’t sell anything that’s unsafe, illegal or recalled. If a child’s toy is broken and would pose a risk to someone else who purchased it, then you shouldn’t sell it.
Likewise, don’t try to sell anything illegal such as weapons, drugs or alcohol.
Second, don’t sell anything that’s really valuable, highly collectible or antique. The reason for this is that you likely won’t get nearly what it’s worth at a garage sale.
People are always looking for big deals at a garage sale and likely won’t pay you what it’s worth. Instead, take these items to specialized dealers or second-hand shops.
Finally, don’t sell baby items that could pose a safety risk. This includes cribs, walkers and car seats.
These items not only expire but they have a high risk of injury if they’re not properly maintained and/or assembled.
You don’t want to be responsible for an accident or injury that happens to someone else’s child.
If you want to maximize your return at garage sales, it’s important to know the items that sell well in 2023 and those that don’t sell too well.
Follow our tips above about specific items that sell at garage sales, as well as how to attract more people to your sale.
Tim is a classically-trained journalist who loves to share knowledge and information with others. In the past, he has worked in TV, online and print media, and currently works with companies to help design, create and strategize their messaging.