Prepare your garage sale in 5 steps

How to organize your yard sale. The flea and flea market season is approaching and a garage sale will be an opportunity for you to get rid of the clutter in your home. Anything can happen and your selection depends on your ability to accumulate items and… get rid of them.


Spending a day behind your stand is not improvised and the purpose of a yard sale is twofold: to make room at home and bring back a small nest egg that sounds and stumbles. This day will be an opportunity to play the grocery store, to try the art of negotiation, to meet people of all kinds who will push “Whaous” in front of some of your objects that will remind them of their childhood: I had the same one and then I lost or broke it… Promise to hunt for treasures or good deals, a garage sale is always a happy moment of shared idleness.

The 5 steps to prepare your garage sale

1 – Selection and sorting

We start with the above attic and from room to room we take the objects to the basement to gather them. Use it as an estimate to determine its value. If you are single it will be easier than in a couple or family because otherwise you will have to go through endless negotiations about “but you never use it”. Then they are sorted by theme and size so that when loaded they can be best wedged into your car, which has been transformed into a Sunday caravan.

As for the condition of your second-hand vehicles, the cleaner and in good condition they appear, the more likely you are to sell them. So take the time to wipe it with a cloth to dazzle passers-by.

2 – The survival kit of a garage sale

You are not going to go to the front without equipment, the basics are a table or board and trestles, chair, carpet, sheet or blanket to arrange your offerings. However, the essential unknown of a flea market in Mexico City or elsewhere is, as is often the case for any outdoor event: THE WEATHER! Don’t rely on your wet finger or your neighbour who guaranteed you good weather. Whatever the forecast, equip yourself with tarpaulins in case of sudden rain, a parasol in case of strong sun and why not an arbour which you will ensure the fixing so that a gust of wind does not spread it on the neighbouring stand… (lived experience!).

Taking bags and boxes can be useful or even decisive for a potential buyer during a yard sale. If he can’t transport the item, he won’t buy it. Same thing for the currency, if you can’t give it back the difference, the sale will fail. Prepare a discreet cash register and bring a few cents and banknotes as well as many euro coins. You are ready to charge, do it the day before if you have a closed garage.

3 – Arrival and unpacking

Arriving early at the garage sale will ensure you a break because as soon as you park in front of your site you will see a few browsers approaching who can turn into snoopers. Keep them at bay because these finders are looking for the rare piece, the “collector’s kinder”, and tend to stick their noses into your boxes even if they don’t come out of the trunk.

Immediately sympathize with your neighbours with a friendly hello as you will spend nearly 8 hours side by side, so make it your allies.

4 – Keeping the distance: food and drink

Whatever the weather, you will need to either warm up or cool down and eat throughout the day of the garage sale. You will have taken care to prepare a “picnic basket” and a cooler. To avoid boredom when attendance drops, you can come with a few volumes of your favorite author or reread your classics for sale in front of you.

5 – Negotiate your chips

You are sitting and sheltered, the cooler nearby, a friendly smile illuminating your face. The layout of your stand is essential. On land, heavy and bulky objects as well as clothing, classified by season or age. On a table, the small objects in front, the largest behind, all grouped by theme, the walkers will scan your stand and if it is messy, they will go directly to the next one.

You should know that a garage sale is not the collectors’ lounge but rather the meeting place for bargains: items from 1 to 10 euros leave easily, higher is more complicated except for strollers and some electronic items as long as you demonstrate how they work, and what is your preparation?

These old things can sell for a fortune!

Auctions or classified ad sites can be confusing: you may find items that seem quite ordinary to you… but can sell for a fortune!

garage sale in Mexico - coffee grinder

1. A BX has more than 8000 euros

Seen from France, the classified ad placed by an American site dedicated to original or vintage cars is surprising to the average Frenchman: a red BX from 1991 for a price…. 9500 dollars (about 8500 euros).

The car in question is nothing exceptional: imported from Spain, this “rare car”, a Citroën BX 14 TGE (1.4-litre petrol engine with 70 horsepower), stamped “Citroën Sport” with a 4-cylinder petrol engine and a gearbox (manual), was one of the thousands of BX produced by the brand in the 1980s and 1990s.

Very widespread in France and nowadays so vintage, it is a real curiosity in the land of Cadillac, Buick and other Dodge. The description of the car smells nostalgic: painted in bright red with personalized sports brand decals, it has a comfortable grey fabric interior. Radop AC, AM/FM Stereo, cassette, power steering, rear spoiler and Carrera bibs, the BX was a popular model of Citroën and this 5-door hatchback was designed as a large family sedan, equipped with an ingenious hydropneumatic suspension, with settings on the centre console to raise or lower the car to three levels.”

Still at 186684 kilometers (116000 miles), it has not yet found a buyer at nearly $10,000, a price that could be justified by the offbeat side of this car across the Atlantic, but that can be confusing in France: few BXs reach $1,000. Only those in very good mechanical and bodywork condition or the rarest have a four-digit rating.

2. Furniture in Formica whose price is soaring

We all knew these old coloured furniture typical of the 1950s to 1970s: outdated, replaced by more modern materials, shapes and colours over the next three decades, they are now the delight of nostalgic people who surf on the vintage fashion.

No precious wood here, but a simple visit to an ad site like Le Bon Coin will convince you: in good condition, a high furniture, a table and four kitchen chairs are displayed at 3000 euros! A very nice kitchen piece of furniture with its table and chairs, all yellow, demands a more reasonable price: 1000 euros all the same!

Or this purple and yellow set of the most beautiful effect, sold for 1800 euros. Decorators and bars and restaurants who want a spirit of “old bistro” are tearing them apart…

3. A Walkman with several hundred euros… or even more

With the return of the audio cassette, the famous Japanese readers seduce collectors and nostalgic.

Sony launched the first one in July 1979, just 40 years ago.

Perhaps you still have one in the attic or in the cellar… the famous Walkman, the good old audio cassette player that sold itself by the millions, is now very popular: the original model, the TPS-L2, seen in the film Marvel “Guardians of the Galaxy”, can be used to the top.

But be careful: to get such a price, you will have to sell this 40-year-old device in perfect condition: original headset with orange headphones, impeccable case, all functional. But any model that has suffered the ravages of time is still trading for several hundred euros….

If you prefer quality to authenticity – and have 9000 euros at your disposal – you can also opt for Sony’s latest product: a luxury walkman in… 9,000 euros, the DMP-Z1.

4. An old pair of sneakers

Not much chance of selling your old pair of Adidas Nastase at a very high price. But you never know… you drag a pair of a rare model into your closet, or your shoes have been worn by a star? Their price could then fly away.

In mid-July, a very old pair sold for $437,500 at an auction organized by Sotheby’s. Dating back to 1972, this is one of the first pairs of sports shoes designed by Nike.

Named “Moon Shoe”, they were designed by Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike and athletics coach for the Olympic selections at the Munich Olympics.

Rarer, yet cheaper: a pair of Converse that would have been worn by star Michael Jordan at the 1984 Olympics sold for… 190373 dollars.

5. And also… a Minitel!

A device that is absolutely useless anymore (the service was completely stopped on June 30, 2012), and which can bring you money?

The Minitel! It was often offered for rent by France Telecom, but also for purchase. If you have one of these vintage devices that ran from 1984 to 2012, you may get a few dozen euros from them: a large number are currently on sale on eBay as well as on

In the same vein, dial telephones and antique disc eaters are also popular… even if they are not always in working order: the decorative aspect is sometimes enough!