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Garage Sale Truths: What No One Else Will Tell You


I’ve organized many a garage sale in my time, including two estate sales, so I know a thing or two about how to move the merchandise.  Originally when I was thinking about what I would post this week, I thought I would write the usual kind of advice article about how to get the most money from your garage sale.  About 2 hours into this garage sale, I changed my tune.

Want to know how to run a garage sale?  Scouring the Internet for the best tips, organization, funny signs, and ideas on pricing?  Skip those articles and read these truths instead.  This is how your yard sale will really go down. #garagesale #yardsale #decluttering

Truth 1: The Uglier Your Stuff, the Faster it Will Sell

This truth goes contrary to every logical thought you may have, but I’ve seen it happen time and time again.  People love to scour through your boxes of dusty, unorganized stuff hoping for a treasure.

Junk that I think is horrible and price for 25 cents goes like hotcakes.  Yet, when I’ve sold nice stuff and ran a totally clean and priced sale, my stuff sits.

Truth 2: There will Always be that One Item that Everybody Looks at and Nobody Actually Buys


One time it was a 10 cent bowl.  Another time is was a $15 cabinet.  Yet another time it was Ducks Unlimited Artwork.  You just never know.

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Truth 3: Whatever Time You Advertise Your Garage Sale Opening, People Will Arrive 1 Hour Early

I guarantee it.  If you figure out a way to avoid this, let me know!

Truth 4: If You Want to Make Money, Sell Your Stuff on Kijiji.  If You Want to Get Rid of Stuff, Price it Cheap

There will always be that one item that you feel like you are practically getting robbed on.  If your goal is to get rid of stuff, let it go and move on.

Related: Hard truths about decluttering my kitchen, and my battle with the weeds in my yard.

Truth 5: Location is King

My best garage sales have all been at locations with heavy street traffic.  If you are not so lucky, make sure you put your signs in high traffic locations and post on as many online communities as possible.

Despite my complaints, I love garage sales.  You never know what you’ll find, and I love chatting with people at the sales.

Happy Garage Sale Season!

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!