Archive | Garage Sale Tips RSS feed for this section

3 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Tips for Hosting Your Next Garage SalePutting together and hosting a garage sale can be a daunting task. That being said, it can also be fun and profitable when one lays out a fantastic plan. Here are three common sense tips to help you when planning a garage sale, courtesy of PennySaver’s very own, resident “garage sale expert”, Jim Sampson.

  1. Be Sure to Advertise!

    Once you’ve picked the date of your garage sale, you need to get the word out. By placing a classified online at and in print in the PennySaver, you’ll be letting all of your closest neighbors and garage sale enthusiasts know about your upcoming garage sale. PennySaver USA will also send you free garage sale signs, or you can download them from the Garage Sale Resources on Place the signs around your neighborhood to pull in passersby, and you’ve got the trifecta of advertising your garage sale. Remember, you need as many people to show up as possible otherwise you won’t find new homes for your treasures.

  2. Organize Well in Advance

    Decide what you are going to sell. Look through your garage, closets, jewelry boxes, attic, basement, tool shed, way back in your kitchen cabinets . . . everywhere forgotten treasures may be hiding. Once you’ve got them corralled it’s time to clean and spruce them up so they look their prettiest when shoppers are checking them over the day of your sale. When you’ve got all of your items, you can create an “Inventory List” so you know all of the items that you’re hoping to sell, and you can keep track of what is sold throughout your garage sale.

  3. Price Every Item

    Putting little price stickers on your items is easy, it’s deciding what to ask that can be challenging. The one thing to keep in mind is people shop at garage sales for BARGAINS. If you’re looking for the actual value of your used item then selling it your garage sale is not the place. Also, be ready to haggle.

Remember, these three common sense tips will put you well on your way for a fun-filled day of meeting people and making some extra cash to boot!

Check out some of the current garage sale listings on

Jim Sampson, Private Party Advertising Manager at PennySaver USAJim Sampson has been the Private Party Advertising Manager at PennySaver USA for the last 10 years, and is PennySaver’s resident “Garage Sale Expert.” PennySaver USA is California’s leading resource in print, online, and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, local coupons, classifieds, and business listings.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Tips for Placing a Garage Sale Classified Ad

Tips for Placing a Garage Sale Classified AdThey say baseball is is America’s favorite past time, but everyone knows that’s not true. America’s favorite past time is garage sales! Every year as soon as the first breezes of Spring begin to blow, before the first blooms begin to show their faces, they begin popping up everywhere, bringing millions of people out to search for bargains and antiques, baby clothes and Tupperware, and millions of others setting up sales to rid their homes of all the unwanted stuff that they probably bought at a, well, a garage sale. Like the seasons of the year, it’s an endless cycle.

If you’re going to be on the selling end this year and setting up your own sale you should know that there may not be any wrong way to do it exactly, but there are better ways. One of the first things to think about is of course getting people to come to your sale. And one of the best ways to do that is to post a free garage sale ad on Many bargain hunters use the classifieds to find garage sales in their area and devise a plan of attack. Written well, a garage sale classified ad can be a very effective method of getting eager buyers to your door step. Here are a few things to consider when taking out an ad.

  • Include good directions. Nothing is more frustrating to a garage sale hunter to see only an address listed in an ad. Unless you live on a major street most people probably won’t know where the little drive in your subdivision is. Directions should be clear and easy to understand but also concise. Start out with a major intersection or well known landmark close to your home and write as though you were telling a friend how to get there, but again keep it brief and uncomplicated.
  • Make sure the date of the sale is at the beginning and stands out, and include what hours you plan on being open for business. You’re going to have early birds showing up no matter what but that’s just a part of the garage sale reality. It’s also a good idea to include a rain date if you have one.
  • Include a brief description of what types of items you’ll be selling. This doesn’t have to be long, but it should be as diverse as possible and directed at the widest range of interests, and written in a general way. If all you have are clothes, say so and what kind, no sense having folks show up looking for tools if you don’t have any.
  • Pictures aren’t really necessary for a garage sale classified ad. Everyone knows what a garage sale looks like. For most people looking for sales in the classifieds, it’s a “just the facts please ma’am” mentality.

A garage sale classified ad, written clearly and concisely with all the important details included can be the best way to insure you’ll have a successful, and profitable, garage sale experience.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Garage Sale Tips: How to Handle Weather Complications at Your Yard Sale

Your neon signs are eye-catching and amazing; you’ve priced and made an inventory list of your merchandise, and everything is organized for a beautiful presentation. Your garage sale is set to be perfect, but uh-oh those are storm clouds on the horizon. Before panic sets in, turn to our garage sale tips for weather complications. We’ll get you through the bad weather with a smile.

Handling Weather Complications at Your Garage Sale

Don't be like this man.

Weather tip 1: Always have your garage sale on a Saturday

If you’re only going to garage sale for one day, make it a Saturday. This way, if bad weather rolls in Saturday, you can just move the garage sale to Sunday. Easy as pie.

Weather tip 2: Check the weather a few days before

If the forecast is calling for hail, tornadoes, and flash floods, there’s no reason to put all the work into setting up your yard sale. Be a smart seller and check the forecast.

Weather tip 3: Have a few pop-up canopies and tarps on hand

If you’re going to become a regular garage seller, it’s a good idea to invest in a couple pop-up canopies and tarps. One, because they provide shade on sunny garage sale days, and two, if it’s just lightly sprinkling, you can use them to protect your merchandise.

Weather tip 4: Wait the weather out

If the skies are looking threatening, but you’ve already put the hard work into setting up, challenge the skies to a staring contest. Show the clouds you can put on a mean mug, too, and give them twenty minutes or so to blow over. But if you see thunder or lightning, pack it up – better safe than sorry.

Weather tip 5: Move it indoors

If the weather won’t budge and you have the space, try moving your garage sale indoors to a garage or carport. Bad weather will decrease your number of shoppers, but as says, shop-aholics “will go anywhere at any time for a good shopping deal.”

Sometimes the weather is just going to be bad, and there’s no way around it. In case this happens we recommend moving your sale to a sunnier weekend and curling up with a bowl of popcorn and some good reads like the garage sale tips blogs from

Rating 4.00 out of 5

Garage sale tips: using garage sales to plan the perfect graduation party

A Great Graduation Party Brought to You by Garage Sales

A Great Graduation Party Brought to You by Garage Sales

Garage sales and graduation parties? We bet you’re saying “that sounds like a stretch to me,” but we’re going to show you that the two really can go hand in hand. Keep an open mind, and you’ll see that garage sales are the perfect way to save money on an unforgettable graduation party.

Hold a garage sale to create a graduation party fund

A few weekends before you host your party, go through your house and look for items that you no longer use or want, and toss these into a garage sale box. If you’re struggling to find stuff, look in your closets, kitchen cabinets, and garage, there’s sure to be unwanted items hiding in there. Once you’ve loaded up some boxes with garage sale merchandise, follow our favorite reseller’s advice Thrift Core for setting up a killer yard sale. You should also read our post on organizing your garage sale.

Now that you’ve done all the hard work, sit back and watch the Benjamins roll in. You should end up with plenty to pay for your upcoming party. And the best part? This garage sale helped you clean house in the process.

Shop for party supplies at garage sales

Keep the money saving going, and give back to the garage sale economy when you shop for deeply discounted party supplies at your neighborhood garage sales. Here’s a quick shopping list of what to keep your eyes peeled for.

  • Vases and vintage mason jars – these can be turned into beautiful flower vases for your grad or unique beverage glasses
  • Unique planters – if you want your décor to be eco-friendly, opt for some cute vintage planter that will be happy to house a living centerpiece (Great tip from Thrift Core)
  • Fun wicker baskets – these are perfectly stylish for holding cutlery, party favors, spare diplomas…you name it (Fabulous tip from Emily Clark)
  • Decorative boxes and bowls – just like the baskets, these are great for displaying party mementos
  • Picture frames – there’s no better way to bring a tear to your guests’ eyes than to adorn your party tables with pictures of your grad growing up. You should be able to score these for pennies on the dollar at any sale
  • The grad’s mascot – search through children’s toys to find stuffed animals similar to the grad’s mascot that can be placed around the party
  • Gifts – you never know what kind of treasure you’ll uncover at a yard sale. From jewelry, to records, to vintage décor, you may just find a unique gift that will leave your grad jumping for joy

Easy, Peasy. Your perfect graduation party is just a garage sale away. Now all you have to do is tell the graduate congrats from us. For more great garage sale tips, head to our garage sale tips center.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

What type of garage sale hunter are you? Take the Quiz!

The hunt – it calls to you. The chance to run into hidden antiques, vintage clothes, or other garage sale goodies gives you the thrill to wake up in time for garage sailing. Or maybe you’re more of the leisurely type that stops every once in awhile? Find out what skill level you are at when it comes to the ultimate hunt, finding garage sale treasures.

1)      What time do you leave your house to go garage sale hunting?

  1. Early morning
  2. Mid-morning
  3. Afternoon

2)      What do you typically bring on the hunt?

  1. Cash, map, bag for items, and a list of items you’re looking for
  2. Cash
  3. Whatever is in your wallet

3)      How do you find garage sales?

  1. Look in the Pennysaver, search online classifieds, and the local newspaper
  2. Search the classifieds and drive around looking for signs
  3. Driving by sales on the way to weekend plans

4)      When was the last time you found something worthwhile at a garage sale?

  1. A few weeks ago
  2. A few months back
  3. A year or longer

5)      You’d consider yourself a…

  1. Pro Haggler
  2. So-so Haggler
  3. Non-existent Haggler

6)      Your garage sale outfit usually consists of…

  1. Comfy clothes and closed-toe shoes
  2. Jeans and a t-shirt
  3. Flip-flops and shorts

7)      A garage seller says “no” to your first offer. You?

  1. Start looking for items to bundle with the one you want
  2. Pay the price the seller wants
  3. Move on without batting an eye

Mostly 1′s….You’re a Pro Hunter

Are you a Pro Garage Sale Hunter? Let Us Know with a Comment Below.

You head out early to get first dibs on everything, and you’re packed like an ATM in case you find a gold mine. There has been countless times you’ve found items worth bragging about. You even prepare ahead of time by looking at the Pennysaver classifieds. You haggle till you’re out of breath, and you dress the part — comfy and cool. The art of bundling? Piece of cake! You always walk away with what you want and a few things you can repurpose into gifts for some lucky family members. You are the most pro of garage sale hunters out there.

Mostly 2′s…You’re a Garage Sale Dabbler

Dedicating every weekend to garage sale hunting? Puh-lease! You dedicate a week here and there to go garage sailing. And over the years, you’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade. For one, mid-morning is still a great time to find treasures, cause you prioritize your beauty sleep above garage sales. You know to look at the online classifieds before heading out, but you’re still tempted to keep driving around to find spontaneous sales. Every few months, you’ll find something unbelievable and get refocused, but the winner’s high runs out pretty quick. Yup, you’re a gar


Visit our Garage Sale Tips Center.

age sale dabbler.

Mostly 3′s…You’re Clueless (about Garage Sales)

Okay, so garage sales are not your thing. That’s okay, we’re sure you have other admirable traits. But when it comes to garage sales, you stop occasionally when you see a sign, you aren’t always carrying the right amount of money to buy, and you’re wearing what you’re wearing on the way to your bigger weekend plans. Once in a blue moon,

you’ll find something, not the most valuable, but the most meaningful to you. And if you have to leave it behind, you’re not regretting the buy at all. You’re clueless about garage sales.

Whether you’re a pro or a newbie, you can learn valuable advice from our garage sale pros. Be sure and check out our Garage Sale Tips; we’ll bring you up to pro status quick.

Rating 4.25 out of 5

Garage Sale Tips: Bargain Hunting 101

On the landscape of bargain hunting, there are quite a few VIP players, and it can be confusing to tell who’s who. has the 411 and is going to make it easy to tell the difference between a garage sale, estate sale, and a swap meet/flea market.

Garage sale

(AKA yard sale, tag sale)

Definition – A sale of used household or personal articles ( such as furniture, tools, or clothing) held on the seller’s own premises.

Where you’ll find one – In the actual garage or front yard of someone’s home, in church parking lots, at several homes on neighborhood blocks, i.e. a community sale.


Click above to get even more garage sale tips.

What you’ll find there – Garage sales will feature a wide array of new, lightly used, and very used household items. Common finds at garage sales include children’s toys, kitchenware, tools, clothing, home décor and more. Prices are usually 75%- 95% off what you would pay at a department store, but you often have to be willing to sort through unwanted junk to find your treasure.


  • Price negotiation is expected, as long as you make reasonable offers.
  • Bundling items will get you more bang for your buck.
  • Friendly conversation will earn you better discounts.
  • In the case of garage sales, the seller is always right. Be respectful of their belongings, and you’ll take home the best bargains.

Estate Sale

Definition – “An estate sale or estate liquidation is a sale or auction to dispose of a substantial portion of the materials owned by a person who is recently deceased or who must dispose of his or her personal property to facilitate a move.”

What you’ll find there – Due to the fact that many estate sale items often belonged to an elderly deceased person, you will frequently find vintage items and antiques at estate sales. Prices are usually 50% off +, but will often be in better condition than garage sale goods, so will be priced higher.


  • Be sensitive – the items for sale often belonged to a recently passed loved one or someone who is losing their home.
  • Price negotiation is acceptable, but ask gently and don’t push it if the seller isn’t willing.
  • Bundling items will usually earn you a better discount.
  • Complimenting the quality of the items and the previous owner’s taste will put you in good standing with the seller.

Swap meet or Flea market

Definition – “a gathering for the sale or barter of usually secondhand objects”

Where you’ll find one – At community centers, parks, church parking lots, and fairgrounds.

What you’ll find there – Unlike garage sales, flea markets and swap meets are large affairs and are run by a collection of individuals. Flea markets often feature a variety of artisan wares, antiques and vintage, small local businesses, and food vendors. Swap meets are set up similarly but tend to be more industry or hobby specific and serve as a marketplace for workers in that industry to barter, sell, and trade specific goods related to their industry. For example, Classic Car enthusiasts meet at the Pomona Swap Meet to trade and sell parts for their antique autos, while people from all over Orange County go to flea-market style Orange County Market Place for bargains on everything from sunglasses to artisan foods.


  • If attending a swap meet, bring items that someone will want to trade for to get better discounts on what you want.
  • Price negotiation is often welcome, but not as flexible as garage sales. Don’t push it if the vendor doesn’t seem interested in going lower.
  • Bundling items will get you more bang for your buck.
  • Don’t be surprised to find expensive items at a flea market. A lot of the goods have taken hours of love to create, and the artisans price accordingly.
  • At a swap meet, bring your hobby with you – half the fun is showing off your car, boat, or amazing quilt to fellow enthusiasts

Now that you’ve got the scoop, head to our garage sale classifieds to find the best garage sales, estate sales, and flea markets taking place in your neighborhood this weekend.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Garage Sale Tips: Shopping for Mother’s Day 2012 gifts

It seems like every year when Mother’s Day rolls around the media pushes us to spend big: diamonds, fancy restaurants, and high-dollar perfumes. But you don’t have to burn a hole in your budget to give an unforgettable Mother’s Day gift that the moms in your life will cherish. Your neighborhood garage sales and estate sales are just the place to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts, and mom will appreciate you being smart with your money.

Before you go shopping, make sure you’ve read our Weekend Shopping Guide for garage sale tips to help you get the most out of your experience. Once you’re up to speed, all you need to know is what type of mom you’re shopping for, and what yard sale items match her interests.

Gifts for the Gardening Mom

Unique planters, teacups, or vintage bowls – all of these can be found for $5 or less at garage sales. Put a little soil in them and a miniature plant (think succulents or violas), and you’ve got a gift that will wow. For inspiration, head to Epheriell Designs who made a beautiful teacup succulent garden.

Mother's Day gifts

Succulents like cacti can make great Mother's Day gifts.

Antique spoons – Antique spoons are easy to transform into adorable garden markers. Artsy VaVa has an easy DIY tutorial for creating whimsical herb garden spoon markers. Anyone would love this garden gift.

Lawn buddies – There’s always a cute figurine or two hiding out at a garage sale. Find out her favorite animal and keep your eyes peeled. There’s sure to be a porcelain or brass critter who’d love to call her lawn home.

Gifts for the Bookworm Mom

The obvious, books – Make a list of your mom’s favorite authors and scour the tables of your local yard sale. Books can usually be scored for $1 – $2.

Unique bookmarks – Many garage sales will have items that could be turned into beautiful bookmarks (think buttons, charms, and jewelry) at the sale. Head to Good Life Eats for inspirational DIY bookmark ideas before you go shopping.

Once you’ve rounded up some good reads and reading accessories, assemble them in a beautiful book gift basket with some of mom’s favorite teas and snacks. You’ll win the favorite kid award for sure.

Gifts for the Fashionista Mom

Jewelry – Head to estate sales or garage sales that explicitly state they have jewelry for sale. You should be able to find good bargains ranging from $1 – $10 at most sales. While the big box stores and high price tags might seem impressive, a garage sale jewelry gift is one of a kind and can be a real beauty once cleaned up. Who knows, you may even stumble on a valuable treasure.

Scarves and shawls – These can also be found at many estate sales. Keep an eye out for boxes filled with colorful silks, and you’re likely to find a vintage scarf or shawl hiding in there that would look beautiful on mom. All you need to do is give it a gentle hand wash and iron, and it will be ready for gifting.

These are just a few ideas. There are plenty of treasures to be had at garage sales. Know some gift ideas that we missed? Tell us with a comment, or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Wishing you a very happy Mother’s Day, and many successful garage sale treasure hunts!

The PennySaverUSA Team

Rating 4.00 out of 5

Garage Sale Tips: Weekend shopping guide

Indiana Jones didn’t find the elusive crystal skull by searching aimlessly through the rainforest, and you won’t find mid-century modern furnishings that way either. Indi went hunting with some hints in mind, and that’s just what is dishing up with today’s garage sale shopping guide-chocked full of garage sale tips to help get you to your treasures faster.


Click the image for more garage sale tips.

Tip 1: Send out a scout – With the cost of gas quickly rising to $5 a gallon, no one can afford to drive around aimlessly in search of neon garage sale signs. Save time and money when you search your PennySaver magazine and our online garage sale listings for promising garage sales in your neighborhood. Some people will also put signs up the night before, so take the dog for a walk and keep a lookout.

Tip 2: Bring a map – No respectable treasure hunter, or archeologist for that matter, would be caught dead without a map. Once you have a list of sales you want to visit, use PennySaverUSA’s Garage Sale Trail feature to create driving directions to each one.

Tip 3: Carry a satchel - You’ve just talked the seller into giving you an armload of vintage costume jewelry for $5, but how are you going to carry it all home? Luckily, you remembered that Indi always carries a satchel and you can tuck them safely away in your bag.

Tip 4: Bring cashThe locals aren’t likely to be willing to trade for your signature sexy smirk, nor are they likely to take checks or credit. Bring a handful of small and large denominations and change, so you can easily purchase anything that catches your eye.

Tip 5: Don’t be afraid to stray from the trail – Glorious leg lamp catch your eye at the sale a few yards over? Ask yourself, “What would Indi do?” He’d lasso a vine and swing on over, that’s what he’d do! Don’t be afraid to deviate from the plan if there’s better treasure somewhere else. Scoring great garage sale finds often takes spontaneity.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your bullwhip, put on your fedora, and let’s make this weekend a treasure hunt to remember.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Garage Sale Tips: The art of bundling

Once you’ve read our Garage Sale Tips: The art of negotiation post, the next step in becoming a garage sale shopping expert is to master the art of bundling.

What is bundling you ask? Well, it’s actually pretty simple. Bundling is when you offer to buy multiple items at a discount.garage-sale-tips-blog

This strategy can be extremely effective when shopping at garage sales.

Most people hold garage sales so they can unload items they no longer want and make a few bucks in the process.

By offering to purchase several items at once, you are helping the seller get rid of stuff and achieve his/her goal.

There are three key points to remember when utilizing a bundling strategy, however. Follow these simple guidelines and you could get back home with a treasure trove of goodies.

  1. Make a reasonable offer: Your bundling efforts will be immediately dashed if you throw out a ridiculous offer right from the start. Don’t disrespect the garage sale host by offering $10 for four or five items that are priced at $60. Odds are not only will your offer be rejected, but the seller probably won’t want to do any business with you at all. Generally speaking you want to offer at least 50% the cost of the combined items, and to be on the safe side you should go up to 75%.
  2. Mix valuable items with invaluable items: The seller will probably not appreciate you trying to bundle his/her five most valuable items at a discounted rate. Likewise, it doesn’t make sense for either side to try to bundle a bunch of items that are only worth a total of $5-$10 anyways. By mixing in a blend of valuable and invaluable items, both parties can come away happy and you can maximize your savings.
  3. Bundle a less-desired item with one you really want: This is the oldest trick in the book and it almost always works. You’ve spotted a $50 painting you really want, but aren’t willing to spend $50. There’s also a $10 salt and pepper shaker set you had your eye on. A $7 board game has kind of caught your eye as well. This is a perfect bundling situation. Offer to pay full price on the salt and pepper shaker and board game, if you can get the painting for $30. It’s a fair offer and if the seller agrees to it, you wind up with all three items for $47 — less than the painting would have cost by itself.
Rating 3.00 out of 5

Garage Sale Tips: The art of negotiation

Shopping at a garage sale is very different than shopping at a traditional store. As part of our garage sale tips blog series, PennySaverUSA provides advice on how to shop most effectively at garage sales. We’ll start with the art of negotiation.


Friendly banter usually leads to more successful negotiations.

Unlike when you visit the local mall or chain store, all prices at a garage sale are negotiable. The price tag is just a starting point for the negotiation.

Here are five key pointers to remember when negotiating for the best deals at garage sales:

  1. Go in with a good attitude: A smile and a bit of friendly conversation can go a long way when it comes to negotiating at a garage sale. Keep in mind; you are visiting someone’s home when shopping at a garage sale, so you must treat the host with respect. The more pleasant and agreeable you appear, the better your chances of negotiating down the price. The Coupon Shoebox has a great article about negotiating which explains, “Being nice to a salesperson can save you even more in the relationship. … Make it a habit to ask people how they are and how their day is going.”
  2. Be patient: First impressions do matter, but all of that goodwill goes right out the window if you grow frustrated after a couple of failed negotiations on items. Always remember, it’s the seller’s ultimate decision whether he wants to negotiate or sell you an item. One good technique is to buy one low-cost item at the regular price and then try to negotiate for another, more valuable, item. This shows the seller you are fair and aren’t trying to rip him off.
  3. Bring cash: The fastest way to ruin a garage sale negotiation is to ask if the seller accepts check or credit. Garage sales are generally a cash game. You might as well not even start a negotiation if you fail to bring a few greenbacks. Also important is remembering to bring coins and small bills. As Dr. Lori says in a yard sale article on, “You need coins and small bills in order to take home the best from a yard sale. Don’t ask a yard sale seller to break a $50 bill, it could be the end of your negotiations.
  4. Get a feel for the seller: You are better off starting your negotiation with a secondary item. This will help you build a comfort level with the seller. Once you’ve gotten a sense for what type of negotiator he is, you’ll be better equipped to negotiate for the primary item you really had your eye on.
  5. Don’t be an early bird: As Money Saving Queen points out on her 5-Ways-to-Get-the-Best-Deals-at-Garage-Sales blog post, “The later in the day, the more eager people are to get their items out and that is a great time to negotiate.” While you risk some of the sale’s better items being gone, the trade-off is worth it because you gain the upper-hand in the negotiation.
Rating 3.00 out of 5