Starting a Garage Sale Business

Garage sales are held in every city and town and almost all weekends throughout the country. These events have grown to such an extent that some individuals have leveraged them into a fulltime business. Yet, most hold them as a way to earn extra cash and to get rid of clutter. You can be successful operating as a business. But the first step is to distance yourself from your possessions.

  • Invest in at least one book to educate yourself on how to operate a yard sale
  • Set a schedule to visit the various sales held in your area
  • Determine what items you will sale after you’ve sold everything on hand

My experience

You can’t have a sale and not set aside the necessary time. Success takes effort. Therefore, you need to schedule time to collect, sort, repair, discard and label items. The times I’ve had sucessful sales were when I moved or ran local classified ads at least a day in advance of the event. In addition signs were posted within three to four blocks radius of my location.

If you are going to become a professional your signs should be clean, readable and eventually have them printed on vinyl. Make sure they are designed so that you can write in the time and location using washable markers.


Yes, in some communities it’s illegal to have a garage sale without a permit. And I’m sure you’ve seen signs posted on telephone and electrical power posts. Were they legal? Or do those who establish the ordinance look the other way? However, it’s your responsibility to determine these things and if you do have signs installed please return and retrieve them at the end of your sale.

Marketing tips

  • Give a free gift to all who purchase something
  • Keep records of all purchases for taxes and marketing
  • Use address files to inform and promote upcoming events

I haven’t practiced these techniques but a close friend followed these steps and she earned between $650. and $800, whenever she had a yard sale. The last sale I had, eight months ago, I earned almost $260.

Finding your merchandise

You can obtain your merchandise from a variety of sources. But if this is going to be your first sale you can find items in the following locations.

  • Your closet
  • Basement
  • Attic
  • Garage
  • Ask employer
  • Ask neighbor
  • Buy from other sales
  • Pick up junk and repair it

Selling at garage sales is a fun way to develop a business. If you love interacting with people and handling a variety of used and sometime almost new items you’ll find satisfaction and enjoyment in a garage sales business.

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