Garage Sale Etiquette

Listen up, garage sale buyers and sellers! Here’s the top 5 hints to keep you out of trouble at this weekend’s garage or yard sale.


  1. Aggressive haggling is a no-no. Remember, you’re not at the sale to buy a huge item like a house or a car. You’re here to unearth a hidden gem, and have some fun in the process. Haggle by all means, but make sure you keep it light-hearted.
  2. Treat your host’s garage and yard like you would your own.
  3. If you’re bringing along kids, keep an eye on what they’re up to.
  4. Consider leaving your pet at home, or at least in the car. Not all garage sale operators, or their customers, appreciate unknown pets entering their yard.
  5. Be careful, and make sure your kids are careful, particularly around fragile items. While many garage sale items may look old, they all have some value, and the unwritten rule here is ‘if you break it, you buy it’.


  1. Make your customers feel at home. Remember, they’re your guests, and the more they linger the more they’re likely to buy.
  2. Keep your pets on a leash, or behind a gate. Not all your guests will feel as comfortable around animals as you do.
  3. Open on time. There’s no greater turn-off than a garage sale that opens late.
  4. At closing time, if there’s customers still lingering, don’t be in a hurry to usher them out. A few minutes’ patience will be rewarded, if not by a late sale, then at least with good will that will serve you well when your next sale comes around.
  5. Whether they’ve bought something or not, before they leave your sale, try to thank as many people as you can for attending. This will make them feel more comfortable if they wish to return later in the day to purchase that item they were wavering on. It will also increase the likelihood they’ll recommend your sale to their friends.

Stick to these basic rules of thumb, and you’ll not only find you’ll have a good time. But you’ll also be more likely to make a profitable transaction!