A guide to putting on a garage sale

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A guide to putting on a garage sale

Updated March 21, 2024
Written by Kenneth Young
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor

Expert tips for a successful garage sale

Our resident home and contents insurance expert, Adrian Taylor, has helpful tips for maximising on your garage sale.

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

When advertising your garage sale, mention where visitors can park their vehicles

Giving potential visitors a heads-up where to park will give them time to plan ahead and ensure your neighbours are not inconvenienced, as they’re likely to be your biggest asset to a successful garage sale.

Make sure your home and contents insurance covers your day of sale

If you have an existing home and content insurance policy, you may wish to check whether your policy covers your liability should anyone injure themselves while attending a garage sale on your property.

Remember to update your contents policy

If you’ve cleared out a lot of your belongings after a garage sale, it’s important to take stock of what you now have inside your home and update your policy with the new value of your remaining contents.

Planning your garage sale

What to sell at a garage sale

Pick your date wisely

Your advertising will set the tone for your garage sale, so take the time to think about it carefully. When writing your flyers, use engaging and descriptive words to entice more people to attend. If you’re selling old items, use terms like ‘vintage’ or ‘retro’ instead of ‘used’, or ‘toys and collectibles’ instead of just ‘toys’.

For a successful garage sale, start by getting the word out yourself in your local community; they’re more likely to be your customers than anyone living farther away. You can put up flyers on legally approved community noticeboards at shopping centres and the local post office, or you can ask local shop owners if they can post them on their windows. And, of course, letterbox drops in your neighbourhood can be a powerful tool for advertising.

As for where to advertise your garage sale, here are a couple of places that can boost awareness:

  • Print some flyers to do a letterbox drop in your local area.
  • Post flyers to community noticeboards (at post offices, shopping arcades and other local services).
  • Signage stuck to streetlamps around main roads and intersections in your local area (check with your local council on the legality).
  • Share images of your advertising on Facebook groups and other social media channels that may target your community audience, especially if you’re part of a local community group. You could even target specific Facebook groups, like mothers’ groups for baby items or outdoor enthusiasts for your old camping gear.
  • Take out an advert in the local paper.
  • Create a Facebook event and invite all your friends, then encourage them to invite all their friends.
  • List your event on as many garage sale websites as possible, and also advertise your sale on Gumtree.

You may want to check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of your home and contents insurance policy just in case your insurer has stipulations on advertising your address.

Preparing for your garage sale

Organise your items for sale

Setting prices

Make a great layout

What to do on garage sale day

Create a nice atmosphere

Sell, sell, sell

Service with a smile

Stay mobile and wear your cash

Important to know

What not to sell at a garage sale

Alternatives to garage sales

Meet our home and contents insurance expert, Adrian Taylor

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

As the Executive General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market, Adrian Taylor works to make it easier for homeowners, renters and landlords to protect their home and contents. He believes it’s important for all residents (whether they rent, own or lease) to have adequate financial cover for their property and belongings in case the worse should happen.