Say you’ve learned how to organize for a successful garage sale, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. The other, equally important piece, is your inventory. Some items sell more than others and here we present you with what we have found to be the top 12 garage sale item categories.
1. Clothing in good condition
Savvy shoppers know that regular clothing prices are for suckers. They tend to frequent garage and yard sales looking for items that were seldom, if ever, worn. Yes, today many people buy stuff they never use — it’s the never-ending stream of deals that pushes us to get the things we don’t actually need.
If you do have clothes to sell, make sure to hang them up on a rack, rather than folding them on a table or in a box. This way, you will make it easier for people to go through it… but, if you have a ton to sell, you may want to fold some part of it, like kids’ clothing or those items that are not in the best condition. These clothes could be placed in that “everything for $5” pile, or something like that.
2. Shoes and handbags
Similarly to clothing, old shoes that are in good condition have their buyers. And the same goes for handbags, especially those carrying a popular brand name.
Again, you’ll want to make sure these items are clean and odor-free, and if possible, sold with the original box. This will make them that much more attractive.
Handbags are especially popular so place them front and center during the sale.
3. Select jewelry
First thing to know — you don’t want to offer any truly valuable piece of jewelry in a garage sale. There are specialized merchants that will give you more for your gold necklaces or diamond rings — use them instead.
What you may want to offer are costume jewelry and statement pieces you don’t wear any more. Find a rack and put them all in one place. Or you may need two racks if you have a ton of these. Just make sure they are all placed near your cashier to prevent anyone from “borrowing” them, if you know what I mean.
These are the gadgets for grownups, mostly men who seemingly can’t get enough of them.
Make sure to put seldom used power tools on a special table and see if you can negotiate the price. Also, it is a good practice to have power strip nearby so that people could actually test the item prior to buying it; or if it’s a battery-powered tool, have it charged up for the same purpose.
5. Garden tools
These sell like cupcakes during spring, and a few days/weeks before. Even they don’t work, there are enthusiasts who know how to fix things and could get your old, say, mower if you price it correctly. You don’t want it in your house anyway, so be reasonable — if it doesn’t work, you can offer it for as little as $10 (or so). Ask around before putting a price tag on it.
On the other hand, if you have a working equipment that looks old, see if you can get spare parts from Home Depot or Lowe’s to make it look better, and consequently increase its value (and price). Just don’t go crazy investing in your old gear you want to sell anyway.
6. Kids’ stuff
These would include board and video games, toys and kids’ bicycles, all of which may find a buyer at your garage sale.
Vintage board games are especially popular these days, but they also require an extra attention. For one thing, you’ll want to make sure that all of the pieces required for the game are inside the box.
You can also use the same part of the garage/yard, to show off kids’ plastic furniture. If your kids are older now, you don’t want to keep these in your house anyway — and a garage sale is perfect event to get rid of them once and for all.
Not everyone is a digital native. Although I wowed not to ever buy a physical book after getting my Kindle, a few friends of mine keep preferring the paper versions. And they crave for old books — as long as they are in good condition, they are willing to pay a lot for them.
Typically, however, you can get $1 to $5 per book in a garage sale. Some special titles, if they are well preserved, could get you more, but chances are — selling books alone won’t get you a ton of cash.
Numerous TV ads — so called “infomercials” — prompted many folks to buy appliances they seldom, if ever, use. After a few weeks of playing with that new blender or a bread-maker, you — like many of us — just stopped using it. Now it just uses space in your home. Time to unload it.
If the appliance you want to sell is in good working condition, you can offer it in your garage sale. Heck, even some non-working appliances could find buyers — you never know.
Make sure to clean each and every appliance you want to sell, and if possible, place it in the original box along with instructions.
9. Exercise equipment
We could’ve placed this alongside appliances, cause just like them — exercise equipment is notorious to be rarely used. You may be different though — we respect that — but many Americans are buying the exercise gear thinking that it will magically make them fit. And as we all know — it doesn’t work that way.
Nevertheless, exercise equipment keeps selling like crazy, and if you have some piece to offer on your garage sale — do it.
Not everyone is looking to buy furniture at yard/garage sales. Students will like the idea of getting furniture for less, and so will the ever-expanding DIY crowd who may overhaul that old chair into something more modern. Additionally, you can pretty much bet that your old bookshelves and bookcases will find new owners during the sale.
Like with any other item, you’ll want to clean every single piece of furniture before offering it in a garage sale to increase your chances of getting rid of it. Also, be warn that selling furniture usually involves some negotiation. So be prepared.
11. Camping gear and ski equipment
These two are used once or a few times per year so chances are they are in good condition, and could thus find buyers at your garage sale.
On the other hand, if the equipment is damaged too much and requires a lot of work to be returned to the “working condition” (whatever that means), perhaps you’re best off just throwing it away. Or you could first test your chances with the garage sale.
If you opt for the “garage sale route,” you should fix the things that are not working with your camping gear / ski equipment to make it at least a bit more attractive to potential buyers.
Those of you planning to offer vintage, collectible items should make sure that is mentioned in the ad promoting or signs pointing to their garage sale.
Pretty much anything old has its buyers, you just have to find them. These would include vintage glassware, dishes and casseroles, vintage furniture, games and any other item that used to be popular 20-50 years ago.
People buy this stuff to relive their youth and are often ready to pay the premium to own it. Use that to your advantage, but again polish every single item to make it look “fresh” (if not new) in the eyes of the buyer.
Also, if it’s a brand name product, put a note or a sign next to it.
Do you know some other item that is popular on garage sales? Is there something that worked for you? Or do you buy some other stuff at garage sales?
We want to know. Do drop us a comment in the form below. Thanks.
And if you need more tips how to organize a successful garage sale check out the Garage Sale Toolkit, which will help you plan, promote and profit from your next garage sale.