Garage Sale Checklist

This garage sale checklist, and other flea market, garage, or yard sale tips, will help you to be prepared for your next sale; whether you are at your own house or not.

Tables/Display Units

If you are selling at a flea market or similar place, you may be able to rent a table. If it is practical, purchase your own folding table(s) or borrow what you need from family/friends.

You can also lay out a blanket for larger or less breakable items. Boards can be made into temporary tables.

One of the most important things on the garage sale checklist is to make sure everything you put out is cleaned up, easily accessible, and is generally presented well to buyers.


Don't forget a place to sit, especially if you are selling somewhere other than your own home.


If you are outdoors, a pop-up canopy is a great item to have on your garage sale checklist; for you and your visitors. Try to utilize a garage (this might be a good time to get it organized), covered porch, or other kind of available covering. Even a patio table with a large umbrella will at least give you some shade while you wait and serve customers.

If you don't have a covering, don't let that stop you. Either way, try to plan ahead for a nice day by looking at the 10-day weather forecast for your area. Type in your zip code (or US/world city) near the top. On the next page, click on "10-day".

Lunch, Snacks, Drinks

Save some money and hassle by bringing everything you will need to consume for the sale day if you are away from home. At home, prepare everything just as you would if you weren't home. You never know when a car will pull up and you will need to be right there. Having the convenience of a prepared lunch will allow you to not have to be away from your post for too long.

Price Stickers

This is something I prefer to include on my garage sale checklist because I like to be informative and make things simpler in the long run.

Yard sale pricing may seem like a hassle, but you're going to end up spending about the same amount of time on the day of the sale because you have to respond to every single request for the price of each item, all day long. You will have to think of the price you want on the spot.

Consider putting individual prices on most things. You can have "All items on this table - 50 cents" or "Books - 25 cents" to cut time and effort. It's more welcoming to have your items priced and buyers can make up their minds more quickly and silently without having fight for your attention to get a price. I know I wouldn't want to miss sales because I didn't help along their decision-making process.

Pricing your items means more upfront work, but deciding on the prices of my items, writing it on a small sticker, and sticking it on the item is something I'd rather do before the day of the sale instead of mentally and figuratively doing it all day. Additionally, if you plan to have another sale in the future, your unsold items will already be priced!

Bag For Buyers

Reuse plastic grocery bags if you have them. Some of your items, like decor, dishes, or other breakable pieces, may be better off wrapped with packing or newspaper and packed in a box.

Cash & Coins

Have plenty of cash and coins to make change. This is a very basic garage sale checklist item, but it's so basic that it can be easily put off.

Give yourself enough time to go to the bank if necessary to get what you need. You may have all the coins to you need if you collect spare change. Unless you have big ticket items, you probably won't need very large bills, but for people who attempt to buy $15 worth with a $50 bill, I like to be able to complete the deal.

I keep a couple of $20's, a few $10's, several $5's, and as many $1's as I can manage. Remember, as far as carrying larger bills ($10's +), you will get these throughout the day. Of course, you will also receive small bills and exact change, but it is still typically the coins, $1's, and $5's that go the quickest and need to be replenished.


Enlist a friend or relative's help. This will make it easier to set up, manage the crowds, take a restroom break, take an important phone call, and pack up at the end of the day, etc. Offer your helper an invitation to bring some of his/her own stuff to sell so they can make some money as well!

Last, but certainly not least on the garage sale checklist...


  • Good yard sale days are Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday. Some people won't go to a two or three-day sale after the first day in assumption that all the good items are gone. Do what you feel is right for you.
  • Ad in Garage Sale section of local newspaper(s). One or two weeks in advance. 8 am is a good time to start. If you don't (or do) welcome early birds, make that clear in your ad.
  • Take advantage of yard sale advertisement websites. A lot of people are going online to find what's going on in their community.
  • Use words in the beginning of the ad like Big, Huge, Multi-family, Moving Sale, Spring Cleaning Sale, Everything Must Go - whatever best characterizes and evokes enthusiasm about your sale.
  • Buy pre-made garage sale signs or make your own using yard signs available at local stores. Put these signs out on as many nearby busy streets and entry-ways into your housing area as possible.
  • Make large, BOLD letters on your signs. Sample sign words: BIG YARD SALE, SATURDAY, 8am-1pm, 123 Bargain St.

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