Oodles of Tips for Having a Rummage Sale

The first thing I think of in Spring, is having a rummage sale.

From the photo of my garage, I’m sure you can guess why!

We’ve been having rummage sales (and going to them) for over 25 years, so we can probably give you a few pointers.

Here goes:


  • Watch the weather forecast. It might be wrong, but at least you give yourself a fair chance of sunshine.
  • Know what else is going on that day. If  you’re selling mostly kids’ stuff and there is a circus in town, where all the parents are going to be?
  • Have a one day sale. Most people will show up right away and there’s no reason to tie up your whole weekend.
  • Decide where you’re having your sale. In your garage or in your yard…or both.
  • Plan your sale for a day and time when you think the most people can show up. Saturdays?  Around 8:00 AM?
  • Have a good amount of change. It’s surprising how many people will bring twenty dollar bills.
  • Have lots of bags and wrapping paper. Everyone appreciates neatly wrapped packages.


  • Have pricing that’s easy to count. 10 items @ $.50 each is much easier to count than 2 items @ $.25, 1 item @ $.10, etc.  
  • Don’t price stuff really high. This is a rummage sale!
  • What kind of prices do you like at rummage sales? Price accordingly.
  • Have everything priced before the sale opens. You may not think clearly if you have a lot of people asking you questions.


  • Place an ad in the paper. Make it short and sweet and interesting.
  • Use key words you know people are looking for. But, don’t give the impression you’re pricing stuff really high.
  • Don’t be overly specific. Be general and use terms like knick-knacks or old items, instead of McCoy, Red Wing, etc.
  • Place good signage. Put clear signs up in places where people will see them.
  • Never make a sign that says “Huge Garage Sale”. For whatever reason, it seems to relate more to the size of the garage, than the size of the sale.  Ironic, I know.
  • “Not responsible for accidents” is just a silly sign.  Of course you’re responsible if someone gets hurt on your property.


  • Open early. You want to sell the stuff, right?  Dealers will be knocking on your door 1-2 hours before it starts, anyway.
  • If everything isn’t unpacked… let the early birds help you!
  • Be friendly. You’re trying to sell your stuff right?  So why be rude to the people who want to give you their money?


  • Be friendly. You’re trying to sell your stuff right?  So why be rude to the people who want to give you their money?  (Yes, I’m repeating myself…think about it.)
  • Don’t let people rush you when you’re tallying their items. That’s an old trick to try to get things cheaper.
  • Keep your change on you. Cash boxes can walk off and that would spoil your day.


  • Pack up right away. Get the stuff cleared out or it may end up hanging around.
  • Donate what’s left. You’ll be helping out a charity and clearing out your clutter.


  • This is the best part. After all your hard work, you should really have some fun.
  • Have a sales goal and a fun activity planned if you reach it. It’s good incentive for family members to get rid of things they are no longer using!

Rummage sales can be a lot of work, but they are also a lot of fun.  I hope you have fun with yours!

Happy rummaging,



5 thoughts on “Oodles of Tips for Having a Rummage Sale

  1. Pingback: Do You Decorate With Damaged Antiques? « Antique Alter Ego

  2. Pingback: Spring Time is Rummage Sale Time! « Antique Alter Ego

  3. Pingback: Use It or Lose It: How to Get Organized | Mingy Marie's Frugal Living

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