Tag Archives: Garage Sale Tips

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 PennySaverUSA.com 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 PennySaverUSA.com. 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 PennySaverUSA.com.

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 PennySaverUSA.com. 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 Yardies.com 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 PennySaverUSA.com.

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

Beauty on a Budget: How to Utilize Garage Sales

You might be thinking, “Beauty products and garage sales…Not so sure about that one!” Actually, scouring garage sales and yard sales is a great opportunity to save some money on certain beauty products and make a fashion statement all at the same time. The key is to know what to look for and what to leave behind, and sometimes what to run away from.

Cute & Vintage Hats are Great Finds at Garage Sales

Keep clear of…

Used makeup. It’s just gross and full of bacteria! Don’t pick up any foundation, blush, eyeliner, or eye shadows that have been used before. Even if it is completely sealed and unused, it could be expired. It’s best to leave it behind and keep a move on.

Eyelash curler. Any instrument that comes in contact with another person’s eye is a big no-no. Bacteria can easily be transferred into your beautiful eyes and we don’t want that.

Used products. Eye contact solution, cleansers, lotions, etc. fall into this category. Ask yourself, why wouldn’t they just finish the bottle themselves? What’s wrong with it? Exactly.

Blowdryers and hairbrushes. Blowdryers before 1991 have serious safety hazards, and there’s no guarantee when the blowdryer was made. Just steer clear to be safe. And hairbrushes have hair that’s not yours. That’s all I have to say.

Now, onto what you want to find at a garage sale

Hats. Vintage hats from the time when Lucille Ball was sporting them are the best. If you find some at a garage sale, score! Just don’t throw the hat on right away. Take it to professional cleaners first to avoid anything the wearer may have left behind.

Shoes. I love a good find in the shoe department. Vintage Mary Jane’s, 80′s pumps, or 1990′s Steve Maddens, I’ll take it! Just be sure to not slip your toes into them without a gentle clean. Work Chic has a wonderful guide to cleaning vintage shoes.

Hair straighteners and curling irons. These are fabulous finds! Just be sure to rub each product with alcohol before use and plug in the item on the spot before purchasing to make sure it works correctly.

Perfume and perfume bottles. Most people grow tired of a scent and leave bottles half full. Finding an expensive designer brand is a treasure. Be sure to spray the perfume to make sure you like the smell. If you do, spray it on your wrist, walk around, and take a whiff of your wrist again. Perfumes can smell different person to person. And vintage perfume bottles are just fun to collect!


Visit our Garage Sale Tips Center.

Purses. Finding a Louis Vuitton? Count your blessings. Just be sure to give it a thorough and gentle cleaning to get rid of any leftover gunk. Yahoo! Voices has a wonderful how to clean vintage designer handbags.

Jewelry and accessories. Oh, yes, the holy grail of garage sale shopping. Finding a wonderful piece of jewelry is thrilling and fun. Just be sure to properly clean each piece before wearing like Pure, Green, Simple recommends in their How to Clean Jewelry at Home – The Green Way.

If you find any of these wonderful items at a garage sale, please share it with me by leaving a comment. I love a good garage sale beauty find!

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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 PennySaverUSA.com 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 PennySaverUSA.com 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.

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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. PennySaverUSA.com 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

PennySaver in the Press: Garage sale expert Jim Sampson

Resident PennySaverUSA.com garage sale expert Jim Sampson has been making the rounds to local media recently to share his garage sale tips with communities throughout California.

To see the video of his appearances please click the following links:

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

PennySaver in the Press: Garage sale tips on San Diego 6

PennySaver garage sale expert Jim Sampson was recently interviewed by the San Diego 6 news team to share some crucial garage sale tips.

Watch the clip above to get all the insights to having the best garage sale possible.

Rating 3.00 out of 5