Ideas for How to Have a Good Garage Sale Featured Image

 As the old saying goes, "one person's trash is another person's treasure", and this isn't more true than at a garage sale. When it comes time to move to your new home, it's also time to get rid of your unwanted junk. Take advantage of cleaning out your basement or attic and eliminating a lot of clutter in your life, while at the same time making a little money for a night out. But before taking the first step to organizing your "junk" to sell be aware of how Edmonton regulates garage sales. 

  • The garage sale is not being hosted by a corporation or other business organization
  • The garage sale will not exceed three (3) consecutive days
  • No more than three (3) garage sales are hosted at the same municipal address within the same calendar year; and
  • The goods being sold at a garage sale were not purchased or acquired for resale purposes

Keep those rules in mind as well as the following tips for a successful and profitable garage sale.

Be organized

Plan your garage sale a few weeks in advance. Don't wait until the last minute to put the sale together. You'll end up being bored and more important, stuck with your junk even longer.

Assign an area in your house or garage to store items you plan to sell. Go through your house from top to bottom and decide what items you no longer want or need. Take an inventory and write everything down. Garage sale experts agree that if you have not used an item in over a year, there's a good chance you might never use it again. Consider getting rid of it.

An important tip when it comes to advertising: Consider having your sale in warm weather. You can advertise free hot chocolate if you must have a garage sale in the winter, but chances are you won't have a lot of traffic.


Be aware of Edmonton’s regulations when it comes to advertising. Handmade street signs, big and bright with balloons can attract attention to passers-by. Premade garage sale signs are available at hardware stores. One of the best ways for advertising is Kijiji, or other free classified advertising websites. Give specific directions and cross streets to make getting to your garage sale as easy as possible. You can also check online for sites that do free listings, or sometimes the local paper will have a map with garage sales designated on it.

Displaying your treasures

When you put your stuff out there for people to rifle through with no rhyme or reason, it makes it a lot harder for shoppers to find something they like. Take the time to make sure you have a table to put smaller items on, and group like items together. Make it easy for shoppers to browse. Hang a clothesline or borrow a rolling rack to hang shirts, dresses and pants. Try this: think about how you like to shop and how things are displayed at your favourite store. Certain items have better curb appeal. Make sure those things are clearly visible from the street. Many garage salers will drive by before deciding to stop.

Pricing the goods

When you are in the organizing stage, you should consider putting price tags on each item so that on the day of your garage sale you won't be trying to figure out what you want to charge. This also makes it a lot easier for your customers as they're browsing. Pre-made stickers are available at the dollar store, and don't cost that much.

Most people figure you will negotiate on the price, and most do. Price your items to sell. Remember they are used, so don't expect to recoup the cost of what you paid for that sombrero, toaster or torn recliner. Those who have mastered the art of garage sales say asking for 25% of the original price of an item is a fair place to start when pricing. Also, make sure you have enough cash on hand to give change.

Garage sales should be fun to plan and fun to hold. The best part is looking at your home afterward and not seeing that velvet painting you had from college or looking in your closet or the ugliest sweater in Edmonton.

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Posted by Terry Paranych on


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