Tag Archives: garage sales

National Garage Sale Day is Almost Here!

Every year, on the second Saturday in August, there’s a buying and selling bonanza going on in people’s garages, yards, driveways, and even community club houses, all across these good ‘ole United States! It’s called National Garage Sale Day and it’s just a few days away. Don’t wait until the last minute to get organized – a fatal mistake if you want to have the most successful garage sale you can.
I talked about this in my previous blog, 3 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale.
National Garage Sale Day is August 9th!

  1. Be sure to advertise
  2. Organize well in advance
  3. Price every item

Garage sales are big business. According to the website StatisticBrain.com, U.S. garage sales generate nearly 4.3 million dollars each week. Start organizing now so you can get your share of that. It doesn’t take much to set-up and run a successful garage sale, but it does take planning and effort.

Garage Sales this weekend!First, commit to actually having the sale. National Garage Sale Day is a great day to host your garage sale because there will already be lots and lots of garage sale shoppers on the road going from sale to sale. (Note: this does not negate the need to advertise – in fact, you need the biggest, best ad you can afford because you want people to come to your sale first before hitting everyone else’s, so place your free Garage Sale Ad now). If you are at all wishy-washy about having the sale then stop before you even get started. If you’re not fully committed then chances are you will not dedicate the amount of time you should.

Now, the real work begins.

Here are a few tips to setup your garage sale for the best results:


  • Decide what you are going to sell. Don’t leave any nook or cranny untouched. From your garage to your closets, from your basement to your barn, from your tool shed to your attic, don’t miss anything.
  • Bring it all together to one spot, a “staging area”, if you will.
  • Clean the items! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a garage sale and it looked like someone just dug their treasures out of the ground. Ugh!
  • Determine if electrical or battery operated items work or not. This is important because you can ask more for a working item. Have access to an electrical plug so shoppers can test an item and feel confident they bought a working item.
  • Group like items together i.e. tools, toys, appliances, furniture (just like a department store does).
  • Bundle certain items together to sell as a set. For example, got a stapler and a box of staples? Put them together in a sandwich baggie and price them as a single item.
  • Plan out your “sales floor”. You want to be sure shoppers can maneuver through your treasures easily.
  • Get the necessary tables, shelves, racks, etc., to conveniently display your items in advance. Don’t wait until Saturday morning at the crack of down to pull them out. They may be in need of a cleaning, too.
  • Make a bank run by at least the day before and make sure to get lots of smaller bills and coins. The last thing you want is to lose a sale because you couldn’t make change for a $5!
  • Buy price stickers. A lot of people like blue painter’s tape which they tear into strips.
  • Do some research on average pricing for your area. Keep in mind, you want to price to sell! Garage sale shoppers are there for B-A-R-G-A-I-N-S so don’t expect to get what the item may actually be worth. A good idea is to shop some garage sales on the weekends prior to yours to see what the going rates are.
  • Fix your completed price stickers to your items well before the sale. You want everything done before you nod off the night before the sale so all you have to do the day of the sale is put your treasures out.
  • Wake up early on the day of the sale. A nice touch is to make a donut run and have free donuts for people who stop by your sale. If you do this, make a large “Free donuts” sign and put it in a very visible location. However, put the donuts in a spot where the shopper has to come through your merchandise to get to them. Set-up your sale and be ready for a hectic but fun-filled day meeting all kinds of people!

I hope you find these garage sale tips helpful. If you decide not to host a sale yourself, then be sure to be shopper instead and go Garage “Sailing”!

National Garage Sale Day is Saturday, August 9th!

Don’t forget to check out this week’s special Garage Sale-themed PennySaver for all of the local garage sales in your area. Also, download the free Actable™ App for iPhone or Android, and scan the special masthead for a surprise!

Jim Sampson, Private Party Advertising Manager at PennySaver USAJim Sampson is the Customer Support Manager at PennySaver USA, and is also 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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 PennySaverUSA.com 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