How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

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Spring is trying hard, really hard, to get here in the Indianapolis area. If you're anything like me, maybe the urge to declutter is starting to hit you. It's amazing how quickly clutter builds up--and even more satisfying when you let it go. Having a yard sale is a great way to let go of the things you don't need anymore and make a little money on the side.

Here are some helpful hints and tips to make your yard sale go off without a hitch! 

 What to sell:

Shoppers like to see a little bit of everything. When prospective customers drive by, they’ll more likely stop for full tables.

Never underestimate the value of absolute junk. If you haven’t used something in the past year, sell it.

Dealers and antique collectors frequent garage sales, so clearly display one-of-a-kind items.

Dressers, bookcases, baskets, tables, toys, and tools attract traffic.

Make sure appliances work. Have an outlet handy so items can be tested.


How to price:

Tag all items. Customers may assume that unmarked items are out of their price range.

Be prepared to haggle. Most garage sale experts say 10 to 30 percent of retail is a fair price.


How to display:

Clean everything. Dirty dishes fetch a far lower price than their clean counterparts.

Large items bring the most foot traffic. If you sell a couch or table early in the day, ask to keep the item with a “sold” sign on it until the end of the day.

Clothing on racks sells higher than similar items thrown on a blanket, so hang a line in your garage or buy a portable rack.

Clearly mark your sales area. If you have a sale in your garage, cover anything you want to keep.


How to advertise:

Place an ad on social media (e.g., Facebook, Nextdoor, etc.) or place an ad in the newspaper. If you partner with neighbors, you can usually split the cost.

Make bold, bright, neatly lettered signs. Place them in order to direct traffic to your house (remember to take them down when the sale is over!).


When to sell:

Check the weather when planning your sale. Even if your sale is indoors, bad weather keeps customers at home.

Saturday is often the best day for a sale, but in some places, people favor Thursday and Friday sales. If you are new to an area, ask around.


What to do with leftovers:

Give them away and/or have them picked up by a charitable organization.

Keep a list of donated items for your accountant at tax time.


How did your yard sale go?

Drop me a line and let me know!

With gratitude,



Miriam Odegard

Real Estate Broker/Owner, Odegard Real Estate Group 

United Realty Indianapolis

1425 East 82nd Street, Suite 200

Indianapolis, IN 46240

text/mobile:  (317) 220-5397


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