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18 Key Tips for Sellers for Your City-Wide Garage Sale

Communicating with residents selling at your city-wide garage sale is an important part of the planning process. When running a curbside event, vendors from individual homes need streamlined information to not only all be on the same page, but to run a successful (and safe) sale.

Garage sale itemsThe city of Roseville, Minnesota, for example, sends out flyers to past-year sellers every year. On the back
of those flyers, they post safety tips that vendors should keep in mind on the day of the sale.

We’ve assembled a list of tips that you can pass onto resident sellers for your city-wide garage sale: 

  1. Be prepared with change in your till or money belt.
  2. Mark prices on sale items beforehand to increase sale opportunities.
  3. If shoppers arrive earlier than the start time of the sale, you are not obligated to serve them.
  4. Acknowledge all shoppers.
  5. Ask for help running the sale to increase security. Tell helping volunteers you will provide free food or even a percentage of your sales for the day.
  6. Be observant and wary of distractions.
  7. Do not advertise the sale as a “Moving Sale,” which implies the house may be vacant for extended periods.
  8. Do not allow shoppers into your home.
  9. Keep pets and children close. If the day of the sale is a busy one, the roads could be filled with distracted drivers.
  10. Do not answer questions about alarm systems, daytime/nighttime occupancy, etc.
  11. Have a phone on your person to report any suspicious activity.
  12. It’s preferable to not accept checks from strangers.
  13. Lock doors into your home.
  14. Place expensive items near you (usually by the checkout table).
  15. Watch your cash box and keep only a minimal amount of cash on site.
  16. Place free items far away from the items you are charging for and label this area with a sign that says “FREE” to avoid confusion.
  17. Provide clean bags or cardboard boxes for shoppers to put their purchased goods in.
  18. At the end of the sale, if you still have items left to sell, bring them off at your local charity drop-box or place them in classifieds like Craigslist, Kijiji or Freecycle.


Add a message to Recycle Coach collection schedule reminders:

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The title “City-wide garage sale” is already taken! The event in Austin, Texas has trademarked the term. Here are some alternative names you can use for your event:

  • Community-wide garage sale
  • Trunk sale/Trail sale
  • (name of city)-wide garage sale
  • Town-wide garage sale 

These are just some tips that you should pass onto vendors for your city-wide sale. What are other tips you can think of to ensure the safety and success of your resident garage sellers?