Garage Sale Dos and Don’ts

Did you know there are garage sale dos and don’ts? Like, a code of ethics? I thought it would be fun to gather garage sale dos and don’ts from the Internet and you know what? It was.

Garage Sale Dos and Don'ts

Although there are garage sale dos and don’ts they aren’t super unique so although I tried to do in-depth research the list is kind of short. I suppose that means this is the right info and everyone agrees or something.

Or, alternatively, they’re all quoting from the same book. That’s right. There’s a book about garage sales and how to, you know, do them.

And here’s a second book on the subject, unbelievably. Bruce Littlefield’s Garage Sale America honestly goes through the garage sale dos and don’ts for buyers and for sellers. Kind of handy actually.

Littlefield also coins (or at least uses) the phrase “Disposophobia: the fear of getting rid of stuff, no matter how worthless or how valuable.” I like that word. And the definition. And I fear I may have this disease I’ve only just learned about. Do I like my disease? Not sure yet. Perhaps. Disposophobia. My husband would probably say I have it.

My poor husband.

Garage Sale Dos and Don’ts (from Garage Sale America)


  • Advertise your sale WITH a time, date, and address
  • Come to terms with the fact you’re getting rid of things you don’t actually want. Prepare to let go and price items accordingly
  • Know your bottom line
  • Price things. All things
  • Let people touch things
  • Realize people are at your sale because they’re too cheap to pay retail
  • Sell water and/or watered-down lemonade (classic!)
  • Give everything to charity once the clock strikes 2 p.m.


  • Put stuff out you’re not ready to part with
  • Sell broken things
  • Forget you want to get rid of this stuff
  • Expect people to pay with exact change
  • Quote values or price items based on what you paid for them
  • Let people push you around


  • Go early for the best stuff
  • Go late for the best bargains
  • Pay attention to the type of neighbourhood you’re in: fancier neighborhoods have fancier stuff


  • Buy it just because it’s cheap
  • Nickel and dime. If something is a nickel, don’t offer a penny (Rude!)
  • Wear expensive clothes…you will be charged accordingly
  • Ask to use the bathroom

These are my favourite garage sale dos and don’ts anyway. Hope you had fun! Did I miss any tips?

Other posts YOu May Enjoy

Did you know there are garage sale dos and don'ts? Like, a code of ethics? I thought it would be fun to gather garage sale "Dos and Don'ts" from the Internet and you know what? It was.

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About Robyn Roste

My name is Robyn Roste and I'm a freelance writer in Abbotsford, BC. I help purpose-driven businesses translate their heart message into words so they can create meaningful connections with their customers.