What Are The Hottest Selling Items At Garage Sales?

Eric Stewart May 12, 2016

Garage Sale Items

Are you in the midst of decluttering your home and have items that you no longer use or need, but may be of value to someone else? With the warmer weather upon us, now is a great time to hold a yard sale. Your cast-off may be someone else’s treasure. To help you get started, read on to discover the most in-demand items at garage and yard sales.  


Lightly used children’s clothing and baby wear tend to be very popular, especially since kids outgrow their duds so fast. To make it easy for buyers, group these items by size and gender. Adult apparel doesn’t usually sell as well, because by the time it’s for sale, the clothing may already be out of fashion. To get these items moving, offer shoppers the option of filling a grocery bag with the clothing of their choice for the flat bargain price of $10 or so. This is also a great way to get rid of whatever is left near the end of the day.

Costume Jewelry

Whether they’re in the market for some inexpensive bling or they think they’ve literally uncovered a diamond in the rough, yard sale shoppers love to snatch up costume jewelry if it’s nicely displayed and priced to sell. Price simple pieces at a couple of dollars and nicer jewelry a little higher to allow for negotiating. You may want to put a few of these items near the cashier’s table. Shoppers can’t resist adding a few pieces as they check out!

Outdoor Toys and Baby Equipment

Kids’ outdoor toys get snapped up quickly, especially when in good condition. These include plastic slides, basketball hoops, turtle sandboxes, playhouses, and wagons. Baby equipment, such as strollers and car seats, are also very popular. Place these types of items near the front of your sale and they’ll stop traffic!

Lawn Equipment and Tools

As long as you’re honest with how well a piece of lawn equipment works, it will usually sell quickly. Larger, higher quality items will also bring crowds to your yard sale. Trimmers, blowers, and lawn mowers are attractive for new homeowners, those who need parts, and second-hand dealers.

Most used hand and garden tools perform as well as new ones, and some are even considered collectibles. Toolboxes, particularly sturdy older boxes made of steel, are usually an easy sell if your sale attracts the DIY crowd.


Outdoor furniture, such as patio sets and lawn chairs in good condition, are super popular. Spruce them up with a good washing first and they should sell quickly. These are additional pricey items that can also stop traffic, so place them near the street.

The current popularity of “upcycling” — breathing new life and functionality into would-be throwaways — has created a demand for many used items including wooden furniture that’s not in great shape and short of antique status. Many shoppers like to haggle for a better price on larger and one-of-a-kind items, so start by pricing them a little high.

Sporting/Camping Equipment

Garage sales are ideal for newer, and easily transportable items, such as free weights, sports/camping equipment, and bikes that are in good shape. When it’s warmer outside and the days are longer, people tend to be more active, so these items should go quickly.

Household Items and Small Appliances

Household items such as picture frames and decorative accents, and kitchenware such as silverware, dishes, and bowls are popular, especially if you have complete or near complete sets. Newer, small appliances tend to get snatched as well. If you plan on selling electrical appliances, you may want to have an electrical outlet handy or a long extension cord, as shoppers will want to test these items before purchasing.


Rather than trying to sell books individually, price stacks of similar ones for $5-$10 and sell them by the lot. This works particularly well for children’s books, since kids tend to be a little less discriminating in their choice of literature. Movies and video games are also popular with the teenager set, and should be priced with that demographic in mind.

Parting Tips

Take a lesson from supermarkets and department stores. Organize similar type items so that they are clustered neatly together and will catch the shopper’s eye. You can turn off buyers with too many random or haphazard items. Perceived junk will be thought of as just that, junk.

On the other hand, we would not recommend hawking antiques or truly valuable collectibles (which may include items that are 25 years or older). Tag-sale shoppers will want your unwanted goods at a large discount, and there are better markets for such items. Call an appraiser or consider using an eBay trading assistant to fetch the best prices for your more valuable stuff (ready my previous blog, Which Of Your Unwanted Items Will Sell Best On eBay for more information on this topic).

Last, we want to mention that the hottest commodity at your sale may actually be, the shade! Most of your visitors will have checked out multiple yard sales, so anyone who arrives at your garage sale in the afternoon hours is likely to be hot, tired, and thirsty!

If there’s any way to move some of your items into the shade, those items will be looked at longer. Just the same, know that people will tend to congregate inside your garage (if there’s enough room) — just to get out of the hot sun for a few minutes!

This is why it’s a good idea to have drinks and small snacks for sale. Take advantage of a hot day and stock a cooler with ice cold drinks. You can buy 12 packs and then sell the cans or water bottles for $1 or $1.50. You can also sell pre-packaged (store-bought) snacks for a similar amount.

You may also want to have wet wipes or hand sanitizer within close reach. Lots of moms appreciate this, as do those who’ve been to many yard sales already without taking a break. These types of special touches will result in more sales and a better yard sale experience.

More Tips on Decluttering

Download our FREE Rightsizing Guide, which provides invaluable tips on how to declutter your home, regardless of whether you plan to move in the near future or stay put for the next ten years. You will also learn how to “Rightsize” your life by evaluating your current well-being and determining what steps to take to get you to your preferable future.



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