Garage Sales ~ Yes or No?

Aby from Creative Organizing recently posted about garage sales, to have them or not to have them? I have to tell you, I LOVE to go to garage sales but I hate to have them. I’ve done maybe three in my lifetime and I don’t think I’ll ever do it again. They are just so much work and I am just way too lazy. One of the things I hate the most about having a garage sale is storing all the stuff somewhere in my house beforehand. I don’t have that kind of real estate so it’s just not worth it to me. Once I decide to get rid of my stuff I just want it gone, I don’t want to have to see it again and have it play with my emotions. Blech. The other thing I can’t stand is the haggling over a 5 cent item. Forget about it. I.Just.Can’t.Do.It. I live in a small community and the return really doesn’t justify the work involved. Well except perhaps for the time I had my “no more babies” garage sale. I found out baby stuff tends to sell well. I also found out I wasn’t done having babies. Oops!

So today it’s all about garage sales. Do you love them or hate them? If you love having them, what’s your best garage sale tip for us and if you hate them what do you do with your stuff instead?

And for all of you who like me go out to garage sales each week what has been your best bargain? I would have to say mine was the HUGE box of lego (which included many many many sets) that I purchased all for $20.00!! Gotta love it.

And if you really are keen on having a garage sale these two gals know how to do it well and can definitely help:

10 Tips to a Wildly Successful Garage Sale ~

Upstairs Downstairs Idea ~ $600 later! ~ Reluctant Entertainer

Filed under: Clutter Control


44 Responses to Garage Sales ~ Yes or No?

  1. 1
    Annie says

    I miss our Garage Sale days…even with your crazy driving!!

    I think when I’m back from D-Land I’ll need you here for a while…I’ll get you a present!!!

  2. 2
    Sandy@Reluctant Ente says

    My dining table is my greatest find ever. I bought it years ago and I still love it!

    Funny, the other gal who you linked to says “always price your items” and me, the seasoned garage saler (15+ yrs) who has had a ton of sales – now says “you don’t have to price items!”

    How’s that for being different? Crazy, bizzy years right now.

    Thanks Laura. Happy Evening and week!

  3. 3
    Journeyer says

    I would love to have garage sales. I would love to make some money (even a little) out of the things we no longer want or need. I’ve even planned a few garage sales. What happens? I plan and plan and plan and procrastinate and the stuff is still sitting around 6 months later. I’ve finally admitted to myself that the best and easiest way for me to get rid of stuff is to donate it to charity. You would not believe the sense of lightness and relief I feel every time I drop off a load at our local op shop :-) It totally makes up for any monetary reward that I’ve missed out on.

  4. 4
    Tiffany says

    Perfect timing. I am gearing up for my second ever garage sale (third if you count the one I did at a friend’s house). I have gone back and forth – Should I? Shouldn’t I? I will enjoy the tips you linked. Thanks! Tiffany

  5. 5
    Jenny says

    Hey Laura, these links will come in handy as we are having a fundraiser garage sale for my friend Gwen. All proceeds goes towards the adoption costs of her kids in Ethiopia.

  6. 6
    Jacki Hollywood Brow says

    Growing up we had garage sales twice a year for about 10 years.

    They really aren’t worth the time involved to get rid of the small stuff. The big stuff is easier to get rid of on (it’s free and only takes a few minutes to list).

    Also, I found out that a garage sale vendor can be SUED (yes, sued) by selling items that do not conform to Canada’s hazardous product standards.

    For more info go to:

  7. 7
    Dori says

    Love…to have them — extra $$$

    Hate…to go to them — another man’s junk is rarely another man’s treasure!


  8. 8
    Avlor says

    Where I live, there’s neighborhood garage sales. I love hitting them for kiddo clothes.

    Tried having one once and I hated it. I had a hard time with selling off the baby clothes (even after I had saved a few of the cutest outfits). I didn’t realize I was emotionally attached to the baby clothes. Like you Laura, I want my stuff gone when I’m ready to get rid of it. Freecycle is fabulous.

  9. 9
    Stephe says

    Hey there! LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!

    I am a yard sale addict!!! I’m in the process of adopting a little girl and loving all the great clothes and baby stuff at yardsales. I won’t buy carseat, highchair or stroller there, they must be new. You are right, though, baby stuff SELLS!!

    I’ve had two yardsales and they are WAY too much work for what you make. I have no room either to get the stuff ready. I almost thought of renting one of those pods in my driveway for a week. Spend the week fill it up with stuff to sell and then selling at the end of the week. Hmmm, I really must look into that!

    My best bargain was this weekend. I pulled up to a house with two ladies and one little girl about 5. They had SO MANY CUTE CLOTHES. I asked how much and the crazy lady said 25ยข per outfit. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! (that was the look I gave her too) She said that she’d been so fortunate with friends and family giving her daughter stuff she just wanted to make sure someone really got good use out of it! Needless to say I pretty much had a carful of clothes when I left. I couldn’t think straight I was so excited.

    Thanks for the post. Sorry my comment was so long!!

  10. 10
    Melissa @ Breath of says

    I’ve had one, and hated every minute of it. The extra $$ was nice, but not worth the effort.

    Our church youth generally have a yard sale once a year to raise money for mission trips. I’ve started donating my things to them. And I now make regular trips to the consignment store to drop off things I no longer want. I figure it’s worth the owner’s commission for me not to have to deal with a yard sale!

    I never go to them, either.

  11. 11
    allison carter says

    HATE EM for myself. Too much work.
    After years of being a yard sale junkie I became a professional organizer and gave up the hobby because I realized I was filling my house with other people’s crap. So unless I was looking for something like kids clothing, I skip em. The problem with going to them is you never find what you’re looking for but you find some other fantastic treasure.
    The trouble with holding them is holding onto your own clutter for weeks and weeks just like you said.
    so now good will is my garage sale partner. I write stuff off and get money on April 15th instead of nickles and dimes for my tzochkes.
    — A

  12. 12
    Debi says

    Like you…love going, hate having! So why are we having one a week and a half from now? The neighborhood is having one, and Rich figured it would be good to join in. Promised he’d do all the work. Yeah right.

  13. 13
    Debbie JordanKravitz says

    We’re having a neighborhood yardsale this weekend — a multi-house sale always increases traffic, making the effort more worth it.

    I only have a yardsale when I have large items to get rid of that donation sites wont accept because of their size.This weekend I’m selling bookcases and a picnic table.

    Most tedious part — pricing.I try to “price as I go,” storing items throughout the year in a basement corner and slapping a price tag on when I store it.

    I always have a friend bring items to sell, too — incorporates a little “girlfriend time” into an otherwise boring task!

    Worse part — haggling!! I figure if they want to argue over a buck or two, they need the item more than me. It’s worth it to me to just get the stuff out of my house!

    I used to yardsale when my kids were little-always found GREAT deals on toys. But now I avoid them-anything I buy will likely end up at my yardsale eventually anyway!


  14. 14
    Tanna says

    I feel the same as you about having them. My husband insisted when we had the no more babies sale and that one actually made us $300. SO that was worth it. We live in a large community and I even have Goodwill come park a truck by the pool so people can donate their leftovers instead of having it clutter back up the house. Once we move into a smaller community I probably won’t have a yard sale again unless we have a lot of kid stuff to get rid of.

  15. 15
    Heavenly Homemaker says

    I can only handle the “insanity” of having one once every few years. I REALLY don’t like them that much. As far as going to them…I sorta enjoy it…but for some reason with all my boys…getting to them is just not something I do very often.

    Oh, and I too found out a few years ago that the best way to get pregnant is to get rid of all of your baby stuff. :)

  16. 16
    lucinda says

    I’d rather have my teeth cleaned than have a G-Sale. I just keep a bag going of discards so when I get the monthly donation call from various organizations I always have something. When my family has participated in church garage sales I’m amazed what people donate. I think some people suffer from a fear of throwing things away.
    On that note I really need to go through my drawers this weekend.

  17. 17
    Alison @ Pennythough says

    I use Craigslist to sell big items and donate the rest. I definitely don’t have the patience to host a garage sale, nor do I have the storage space before-hand. It’s just too much trouble. Although I occasionally enjoy visiting them, I generally use Craigslist when I’m looking for a steal.

  18. 18
    GiBee says

    I hate all the work that goes into a garage sale, and would normally far more prefer to have the tax write off I get when I donate to Goodwill — BUT — we are trying to boost our $1,000 emergency fund (Dave Ramsey) and make it 3-6 months of living cost — that’s a lot of dough — so “RIGHT NOW” — I’d rather deal with the grief, and take it on the chin for one huge big blow-out yard sale of baby clothes, baby stuff, baby, baby, baby stuff — and 4 snowman dessert dishes. Cash in hand is my current goal.

    I know I can make money on eBay, but I DON’T have the time nor the patience to photograph everything, and then package it up and ship it out.

    After the yard sale? I might have one more, but more than likely, it will all go to Goodwill or friends.

  19. 19
    Susanne says

    I love going to them, hate having them. Like you, I don’t want to hang onto to stuff and have to store it until I get enough to have a good garage sale.

    Garage sales that are wildly popular and mega attended around here are neighborhood garage sales where several people in the neighborhood hold their own sale at their own home but advertise it as a neighborhood sale. You end up with 5 or 6 sales all within a block. A Garage salers dream!

  20. 20
    Renee says

    I love them but do not like having them. I am not one to haggle with.

    Honestly I do want to sell the things but everytime I sell things the money goes towards something. I can haggle some but for god sake a $2.00 lamp they want you to come down to 50 cents.

    Money usually goes towards summer spending money, money to put away in my children’s savings, or just money to save for an emergency.

    I have found some really great deals though. And I snag it right up!

    Mama to four

  21. 21
    Alyce says

    Oh I am so glad I visited today! We have TONS of stuff that we have been saving (for quite a while) to have a yard sale. I have all the baby stuff that I am finally able to part with. (my youngest is 4). I don’t know how to price items, that will be hard for me..cause I don’t want things going for nothing when we’ve put money into it and memories.

  22. 22
    Pam says

    I like to go to them but don’t like to have them. I don’t usually have enough at one time to have a good one (I can’t stand to let the stuff pile up for one). They are a lot of work.

  23. 23
    Sheila Gregoire says

    I don’t like garage sales. I buy stuff and then get it home and realize it was junk.

    The thing was, it looked good on their table because it was better than anything else that was there. But then I take it home and realize it’s worse than anything that is in my home. It’s all context.

    I’ve had a few garage sales, and I’ll never do it again. The first one was far too successful, which is why I kept going. I made $500 selling basically junk, nothing for more than $1. But so much went it added up.

    After that I started selling better stuff, and the most I ever got to was $175. It’s not worth the time. Just donate it.

    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  24. 24
    Melissa says

    I like to go, but only to look for specific things like kids clothes or books. My husband has absolutely forbidden me to ever have another one after I spent 2 days earning less than $50 and had to beg people to cart away big items so I wouldn’t have to haul them myself. It was pathetic! :) I’m glad hubby’s taken that option away. It’s very freeing to know I don’t have to hang on to things to “sell”.!

  25. 25
    Mrs. Wilson says

    I just had my garage sale, and I made almost $900!! (minus $200 that went to my friend cuz it was his stuff, but still, I was impressed!)

    My tip to having a garage sale? PURGING. That’s it. I have no other helpful tips. But, I’m going to check out your links!

  26. 26
    Katie says

    Two words: CRAIGS LIST. Since I’ve discovered Craigs List, I vowed to never have another garage sale. Stuff over $10 goes on Craigs List, stuff under $10 gets given to friends or donated. My house has never been this clutter-free. Spending a whole weekend sitting and haggling (I hate that too…seriously people! If you want to argue over a quarter, please TAKE the darn thing with my compliments!) to get $100 or something like that. Not worth it.

  27. 28
    Candace (Mama Mia) says

    I’m with you- HATE to have them love to shop them. When I have a bag full of stuff (it can be a grocery bag full) I’ll go through the drive through at our local charity thrift store. Once I’ve decided that it needs to go – it needs to go now. We have a pretty small house so I don’t have room for any extra junk.

  28. 29
    Maine Mom says

    I am like you, I don’t have the space to store things before the garage sale and I just want stuff gone, the profit is not worth my time either, so no, I don’t have garage sales. I bring my unwanted items to Goodwill. Children’s clothes get passed on to friends or sent to Goodwill, depending on the shape they are in.

    I do love a great bargain and enjoy going to a garage sale when the opportunity arises, which unfortunately isn’t very often. I got a great outdoor bike for my toddler for $.50 a few summers ago and I picked up a free toddler slide. My neighbor passed on way too cute Tiva sandals to my 1 year old daughter that my neighbor bought at a garage sale for $.25!

  29. 31
    The Roost says

    I have had my share believe me but now I give my stuff to a girl who gives them to those in need. The rest I take to salvation army…….a few to resale shops but that is REAL work.

  30. 32
    Joan says

    Love them to peices.

    Being a SHAM and being on a tight buget they are great. Me and my friend use to do it every second weekend and now that ive moved towns i do it at least once a month with my sister. Its great to for finding toys for my kids and clothes as they grow out of things so quickly when they are still so young.

    Have also done a few garage sales with my friends. We use to just say right lets have one this weekend and decide whos house it would be. It was a great way of getting rid of stuff we really didnt need anymore. When it was finished we use to ring up a donation company and they would collect the stuff we didnt want anymore. Loved the fact we were decluttering often, making a few $$’s and then to make sure the clutter didnt go back into our houses donating the goods.

  31. 33
    Mel says

    I don’t visit garage sales because I have like zip time to drive all around looking for not really anything I need…or worse buying things to put in my own yard sale a couple months later. I do enjoy having a yard sale and actually had one last weekend. I ended up making $200 which was nice. I really prefer Ebay though and call that my tech yard sale. I’ve sold almost $400 worth of junk in the past couple of weeks. I still have some things I can get rid off too!!

  32. 34
    Laura says

    It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my dislike of having a garage sale. Joan you make a great point. Having a garage sale with friends not only increases the amount you have to sell (making your sale more attractive to buyers) but it also gives you someone to pass the time with (or at least grumble to when the 5 cent hagglers come around!)

  33. 35
    Jena says

    I fully agree. I just posted some great garage sale finds. They are great to attend, but not great to host. I’m glad for all the people out there who do have them.

  34. 36
    sharijoy says

    I haven’t been on the PROWL yet this year…and I’m missing it!
    My best garage sale find was 10 cases of Glass bricks for 150 bucks…. its worth over 1300 bucks. We wanted to do our enrty with a wall of bricks and I couldn’t believe it when I saw them…..scooped thoses suckers right up I did! the other score was the complete set of Valley High books for $3.00 if I remember right.

    If I have a garge sale I do it with a friend we don’t really price it we just put a sign out that says make me a fair offer…its ours! Really its not like I am gonna bring any of this stuff back into the house. I don’t really like having them…Love goning to them.

    This years been easy to get rid of stuff. I’ve donated to Jenny for her friends adoption garage sale fund, I have given tons to the fire victims, consignment store, sally ann and I always give the better stuff to the transtion house and status of women center….I figure some of them can’t even afford to buy at the sally ann and really whats a couple hundred bucks to me, if I could even make that, when there are people in NEED of it.

    I’ll have to get out sale’in soon the best part about it is the eggs benny at the chatlet after!!!

  35. 37
    Gina says

    Love them! My best item (so far) was a beautiful buffet for my dining room for just $20. I’m constantly getting compliments on it, and I love telling people I got it at a yard sale.

    I admit, I also like having them, but that’s because I like to meet my neighbors and talk to everyone. It also gets me out of the house for a few hours (away from the kids!). I have a series of posts on yard sale shopping here:

  36. 38
    Kim says

    Garage sales and I have a love/hate relationship. We’ve had probably 8 garage sales since we’ve been in this house and I have no idea where this stuff comes from lol! I’ve only had 1 out of those 8 where people tried to talk me down from a dime but I’ve also had one where people where saying “keep the change!” Yeah crazy huh? We live in a community that LOVES garage sales. We had one guy show up at our house at 6 am while we were setting up just to get a glimpse at the “good” stuff lol. Oh brother! Anyway I guess my biggest score was last weekend. We walked out community sale and I got 2 brand new Disney themed shirts for my son with tags for a buck a piece and I got 3 CorningWare glass cookware with lids of different sizes for 3 bucks. Sometimes they are good and sometimes they aren’t. It’s a hit or miss thing. But things that I don’t want to bother selling I usually post on If people want them they come pick them up at your house. How cool is that. SAve gas and get rid of your stuff. Woo Hoo!
    Ok I’m done.:)

  37. 39
    kristen says

    I love yard sales. Both going and having them! My biggest deal was a handmade quilt I purchased for .25 and sold on Ebay for Autism Speaks for $50!

  38. 40
    Laura says

    I love going to them but hate hosting them. I now just either toss my stuff in the trash or give it away to family members or donate it.

  39. 41
    Stephanie @ Keeper o says

    I’ve had several garage sales, and I’m a bit torn on how I feel about them. I enjoy the push that it gives me to declutter and get rid of stuff, and I enjoy the cash that comes from doing it.

    However, I agree that they are sooo much work! I also hate having to deal with all of the stuff that doesn’t sell at the end of the day.

    I am an avid garage sale shopper, though. My best bargains are usually the free things I get- canning jars, hair straightener, VCR, tupperware, etc. About a month ago, I also found a huge deal- I bought a discontinued set of real Denby china, for $15!!!! Wow!

    My vote is for lots (and lots and lots) of garage saleing, and maybe hosting the odd one!

  40. 42
    Stacey says

    I’ve had a ton of them but never went to any.

    From what my friends have told me…. you never know what you are going to find.

    They have also told me to look for yard sales in the nicer neighborhoods. A friend of mine got 3 authentic designer handbags for $50 (all together). Needless to say, I think she just got lucky.

  41. 43
    Sarah says

    Ok I’m late getting to the party but that is because I took all of last week off of work so I could get ready for a huge estate sale I was having, and I’m just now catching up on all of my blogs.

    For about 7 months I’ve had one bedroom completely dedicated to storing *everything and anything* known to man for this sale. I also had a ton of furniture and boxes stashed around the house because my spare room was FULL. Stressful!!!!!!!

    Anyway- this was the 3rd (and hopefully LAST) sale I’ve done. I learned a lot from it in case I do have to do it again, so I do have some advice however it probably would only be helpful in certain situations. If I have to have a HUGE sale again I’d advertise in the paper & Craigslist again and also put out all of my bright & readable signs around town. I’d also only do a one-day sale & I’d make sure to say that on everything. Everything must go, one day only!!

    Of course Thursday was my busiest day so I would only have it on a Thursday next time. On Friday people were only spending 25cents at a time and paying with $20’s – it was getting old. Not to mention I had about 1/millionth of the traffic on Friday that I had on Thurs. Over the two days I made $1200 and 95% of it was from the first day. So in short, because I wrote a novel, I’d do a one day only sale & I’d advertise like hell for it.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *