The Ten Commandments of Holding a Garage Sale


It’s May. Flowers are blooming, seniors are graduating, and people are inviting complete strangers into their garages to recklessly finger their unwanted possessions. Yes, it’s garage sale season.

Garage sale, tag sale, yard sale, moving sale, rummage sale – no matter what you call it, it’s a unique American endeavor. Where else can you buy happy meal toys for a quarter apiece? Or a Styrofoam cooler for 75 cents? Or a $2.2 million Chinese bowl for the low, low price of only three dollars? (true story!)

Garage sale deal-hunting advice is everywhere. A quick online search will yield a ton of American Picker-esque tidbits. But the garage sale hosts need some tips of their own, too. Considering all of the effort that a successful sale requires, you just can’t get by with a half-assed attempt. And if you’ve ever walked into a terrible garage sale, you know that some handy pointers would benefit both buyer and seller alike.

SO BEHOLD!!!!! I GIVE UNTO YOU THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF HOSTING A GARAGE SALE!!!!! (I hope you read that in Morgan Freeman’s voice).

1. Thou shalt not placeth a card table at the end of thy driveway and calleth it a garage sale. If you only have one or two items for sale, maybe you should look into the magical world of Craigslist instead.

2. Thou shalt not putteth a $50 price tag on thy crappy flip phone. Don’t confuse “antique” with “outdated.” There’s a difference between “collectible” and “collecting dust.”

3. Thou shalt engageth approaching townsfolk, lest ye truly hast a stick up one’s posterior. You’re opening up your garage to deal-hungry people with wads of cash; the least you could do is be friendly. Don’t ignore people; remember, this isn’t the Wal-Mart customer service counter.

4. Thou shalt knoweth better than to setteth out thy trash and calleth it “vintage.” Does a dining establishment bring out a Filet-O-Fish from McDonald’s and call it “food?” Nope.

5. If thine offspring wisheth to run a lemonade stand, adviseth thy rugrats wisely. Just say the following sentence to your kids: “Keep your hands out of the lemonade, out of the dirt, out of the dog’s mouth, and out of your pants.”

6. Thou shalt not useth both a decimal point and a cent sign on the same price tag. If a sticker says “.50¢,” do you really want to sell that item for half a penny?

7. Thou shalt properly hideth items in thy garage which are not for purchase, lest thou wisheth thy daughter to accidentally selleth thy high-end Trek bicycle for a fiver. This is why we have sheets and tarps, people. If it’s not for sale, cover it up.

8. Under no circumstances shall thou ever removeth man cave signs such as the classic “I miss my ex… but my aim is getting better.” If you can’t give people a good deal, you should at least give them a good laugh.

9. If thou hast a garage full of baby clothes, advertiseth accordingly. Childless people absolutely despise when they drive to a “HUGE SALE” only to discover rows and rows of onesies. We’re looking for deals and steals, not bibs and cribs!

10. Thou shalt greeteth deal hunters with ice cold cans of pop and Casey’s donuts for 50 cents apiece. A shopper who fails to find a jackpot at the end of the rainbow will be consoled to find an apple fritter instead.



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