With summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start planning that garage sale to get rid of any unwanted items and make some extra cash. If you're in Calgary and looking to have a successful garage sale, here are some best practices to follow. 

1. The first step to a successful garage sale is to spread the word and ensure people know about it. There are a few different ways in which this can be achieved. 

  • Join a Parade of Garage Sales. Taking advantage of this opportunity is the perfect way to be sure people know about your garage sale & that you have a great turnout! On June 10th we are hosting our Annual Parade of Garage Sales, featuring Auburn Bay, Copperfield, Mahogany, McKenzie Towne & New BrightonRegister at  www.garagesaleparade.com 

  • Local community boards: Checking to see if your community has public community boards can be a great way to share this information. This may be at a Community Association, the Community Association Websites or Library.  

  • Social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can all be used to promote your garage sale. You can create an event and invite your friends and family to share it with their networks. We have started advertising our Parade of Garage Sales across all social platforms and there is already a buzz! If you're participating in our event (Seller or Buyer), feel free to share the event to your own pages:  https://fb.me/e/3xo8arbz9 

  • Local newspaper: Consider placing an ad in the local newspaper to reach a broader audience. 

  • Create signs to advertise the sale that can be strategically placed around the community! When advertising your garage sale, be sure to include the date, time, and location. You may also want to mention some of the items you will be selling or pictures to generate interest. (With the Parade of Garage Sales, you can skip this step as we will provide signs and advertising for you!) 

2. The second step would be to choose the right day! Weekends tend to be the most popular days for garage sales. Do your research…. Try not to plan during any major community events, or Holidays as this may affect attendance. The day you choose can make a big difference in its overall success!  

3. Next step is to effectively organize! It is important to make it easy for people to browse and find what they're looking for. Here are some tips to help do so: 

  • Before your garage sale, gather all the items you plan to sell and clean and price each item. 

  • Sorting your items into logical categories can make it easier for people to find what they are looking for and can also increase sales. 

  • Use tables to display specific items with eye-catching items at the front to draw in potential buyers.  

  • If you're selling clothing, consider using racks or hangers and categorize them by size.  

  • Clearly label price for all sale items. Coloured sale tags can be used to differentiate between prices.  

4. Pricing your items appropriately is crucial to the success of your garage sale.  

  • Be realistic about what you are selling and the wear and tear of that item.  

  • Do some research for specific items to see what they are selling for and reflect the prices on a combination of that and condition of item.  

  • Realize that negotiation on prices will be a common occurrence. So be prepared to know what items you will be willing to negotiate on, and which items you will be firm.  

  • Consider bundle deals for similar products. This can be small toys, appliances, or clothing.   

5. Be sure to have change on hand for anyone who will be paying cash. Ensure to have a range of bills as well as change. It also would be beneficial to set up e transfer for possible noncash sales. 

6. Be prepared for unpredictable weather! The forecast may call for sunny days, but Calgary weather is anything but predictable. Having a tent sent up to protect from rain, or a backup day planned can be very beneficial.  

7. Lastly, be friendly and engaging. Just like in the service industry, people are more likely to buy when they are being presented with a pleasant experience. So, greet everyone with a smile, and be prepared to answer questions and be engaging. And have fun!  

 8. Make an end plan. At the end of your garage sale, consider donating any unsold items to a local charity or thrift store! This is a great way to give back and complete the process of getting rid of any unnecessary items (so they don't make their way back into the house!).


Posted by Mike Burton on


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