Skip to main content
Publish date:

How to hold a successful Minnesota garage sale

It's yard sale season – here's how to make the most of it.

The warm weather is finally here and Minnesotans are looking for any excuse to be outside.

What better time then to hold a garage sale to make some extra cash and get rid of your household clutter.

Never held one before? No matter, The Tip Jar has pulled together some top advice on how to make yours a roaring success.

1. Put a price on everything

Don't be one of those sales that require people to come and make you an offer – you'll lose even the most mildly introverted people if you do that even if there's a chance you can get a better price.

Put a price-tag on every item you sell – then if people want to haggle, at least they know how much you value it.

Know the value of stuff as well – most items you'll price between $1 to $100, but if you're selling heirlooms and antiques, check out what they go for on eBay.

2. Advertise, advertise, advertise

Yard sale signs are everywhere during spring and summer, and it can't be understated how important getting the word out is.

Penny Hoarder suggests you should put as many as 15-20 signs up in nearby streets, making sure they're brightly colored and at least 3 feet square.

It's not all about signs either – put adverts on free sites Craigslist and Nextdoor, as well as community pages on Facebook.

3. Location, location, location

Live on back streets with little through-traffic? You're not going to get much love from potential buyers then.

Find a friend or relative who lives on a busy road or intersection and ask to use their driveway/garage, potentially teaming up with them for the sale.

4. Check the weather

Minnesota is the land of unpredictable weather, which is why WCCO suggests you only announce a yard sale within 10 days of it happening – that way you can get an idea of whether you're going to get rained on.


– Where's the cheapest place to park in downtown Minneapolis.

– Sign up for our daily newsletters

5. Accept credit cards

Want to really maximize your sales? Then modernize.

We're increasingly living in a cashless society, so accepting payment from credit cards will encourage people to shop and buy more.

Wholefully suggests using a smartphone or tablet app like the Square reader. Although this charges a fee for every transaction, the chances are you'll make it back with more sales.

6. Make your sale stand out

Get Rich Slowly says to make your sale really stand out, pick a theme for it.

You might want to get rid of your now-grown children's baby toys and clothes, so market it as a sale for new parents, or you might want to focus on furniture and homewares.

Keep your branding and color schemes consistent and professional-looking throughout, so it encourages people to pick your driveway over others.

7. Make it like a store

Don't just throw everything onto a table and hope for the best. suggests setting things up in mini-departments, with clothing separated from homewares that are separated from children's stuff etc.

Create browsable sections for items like books, CDs and DVDs – and if you want to cut down on your pricing preparation time, have tables where every item costs $1.

The Tip Jar is BMTN editor Adam Uren's advice column on how to spend, save, and live with confidence. Read past columns here.

Next Up


Motorist dead after crashing into utility pole in south Minneapolis

The crash happened Saturday night in the South Uptown neighborhood.

police lights

St. Cloud mother arrested after 3-month-old baby found dead

Officers discovered the baby during a welfare check Sunday.

Merwin Liquors Mounds View

Police shoot, kill man inside Mounds View liquor store

It follows an alleged armed carjacking outside a nearby Aldi.

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder, will undergo MRI

The Vikings running back was carted off the field in Sunday's loss to the 49ers.

Kirk Cousins

Watch: Kirk Cousins lines up under guard on critical 4th down play

Kirk Cousins went "Full Kirk" at the worst possible time.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook injured, Vikings drop crucial game against 49ers

The Vikings couldn't stop the Niners' rushing attack in a 34-26 loss.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man airlifted to a hospital after police shooting in Forest Lake

Police allege that the man presented a threat to officers.

Minnesota Wild

Wild's two third-period goals take down the Lightning

Ryan Hartman's go-ahead goal defeated the two-time defending champions.

Byron Buxton

Reports: Twins reach extension with Byron Buxton

The long-term deal locks in one of the Twins' franchise players.

Justin Jefferson

Vikings-49ers: 5 things you can count on

Sunday's matchup is a pivotal game in the NFC playoff picture.


No, you don't need to save double your salary for retirement by 35

The claim from Fidelity caused quite a stir last week.

The Tip Jar: Getting the Black Friday sales right

Full disclosure, I don't like Black Friday.

This is how you get people to come to your garage sale

Somebody in St. Paul has the best garage sale signs ever.

The Tip Jar: How I'm using an app to save and invest money

It's helping me set aside a few extra bucks every week.

The Tip Jar: How much money can you save giving up your car commute?

We had a race – car vs. bike vs. bus – to see whether it's worth your time giving up your car.

How a Lake Minnetonka mansion once listed at $53M is now on sale for $8M

The original Pillsbury estate has had trouble finding a buyer.