Ultimate Guide to Organizing a Multi Family Garage Sale

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Multi Family Garage Sale Guide

So you and a couple of friends (or family members) are thinking about joining forces and hosting a multi family garage sale?  Awesome!

Now, let’s be honest… working with other people in a money making endeavor isn’t always sunshine and roses.  Some people aren’t as organized, efficient or prepared as you are for the big day.  It can be too hot, too cold, too wet or just plain hard to spend 8 hours sitting in your driveway with other people.

But multi-family garage sales can actually be super lucrative!  They are attractive to drive by traffic as well as online searches because with multiple families involved it gives people more to shop from in one simple stop!  It’s why community yard sales are popular- not so much stoping and going.

Plus you’ll have enough stuff out there (hopefully) with several families working together to get people to actually get out of their car and browse verses drive by and drive away because they can see it all from the car!

I’m writing this post to help you not only make your multi family garage sale or yard sale profitable but also make it extremely organized and help you ensure that everyone actually gets paid for the sales they are due at the end of the day.  Here is my ultimate guide to organizing a multi family garage sale.  From organization to tracking sales, these are my multi family yard sale tips.

1. Set a date for your Multi family garage sale that everyone can agree on.

2. Advertise Online

There are so many great places online to advertise your sale for free. I would say get your sale advertised online as much as you can in the week leading up to it.  Try posting the details of your sale on Craigslist and Facebook.

3. Snag Cash-

If you plan to have a garage sale, you’ll want to have cash change on hand in bills and coins.  $100 is my go to number for my sales just in case.

It’s also possible nowadays to accept debit and credit cards on your smart phone using something like Square.  The only problem is that you will pay fee’s on every sale for these transactions which can make it harder to divide up your income at the end of the day.

3. Color Code Merchandise-

Before you start, make sure that each person has their own unique color price sticker which help keep track of things visually.  If each family has their own color then you’ll always be able to quickly identify who’s selling what.  If you are using the TallySheet app try to give each seller a label cover in the app to match the color of their garage sale stickers (see tutorial in Step 4).   That will speed up check out too!!

When a customer walks up to check out simply divide the items up by color, add up how much money is there for each color and track it!

Honestly, to make good money at a garage or yard sale, all your items need to be priced BEFORE you set them outside because most people prefer not to haggle or ask the price.  If you make it easy for them to buy- or easy to know where to start their haggling- you’ll make far more sales and have a much easier time keeping up with what belongs to who!

4. Have everyone download the TallySheet App.

Have you ever wondered what’s a good way to track sales at multi family garage sale?   TallySheet is a garage sale cash register app.  Gone are the days of having to remove everyone’s stickers and attach them to a pad or poster board!  Now it’s all QUICKLY, neatly and accurately tracked with an app on all of your phones.  Anyone with a smartphone can check buyers out and sales can be tracked for an unlimited number of sellers.  I want to give you a quick step by step tutorial on how to use the TallySheet app so you’ll consider giving it a try at your own sale.


Quick Start Guide To Use TallySheet:

Step 1: Open the app on your phone.

Step 2: Create an event!  Mine is Kim’s Ultimate Multi-Family Garage Sale.


Step 3: Invite your friends who are selling with you to connect on the app.

Step 4: Create Sellers and give them a color!

See how I’ve color coded each seller for this “event” below.

Step 5: Mark how much cash you are starting with and who contributed what amount.  In my example below, I put in $50 by my self.

Step 6: To “checkout” a customer at your garage sale, tap “checkout”.

Step 7: When a customer checks out, simply add up each person’s total from their colored stickers and plug them into the app!  To do this tap the sellers name and then enter their portion of the sale amount.


Step 8: Then tap the next seller’s name and enter how much they are earning from this customer. 



Step 9: Watch the money pile up under each person’s profile!!!  When you are done with the sale, you know who get’s what cut of the money you made!  Including the amount each person put into the kitty from the start.  Easy Peasy!



5.  Make Signage Clear-

Whether you buy signs or make them yourself with poster board, you want the text to be printed BIG and CLEAR.

Using the term Multi-Family Garage Sale on your sign can be appealing as it let’s customers know that there is the potential for lots of merchandise in one stop!

Make sure you have the address on them and that you set up directional signs that get people from the main road to your sale.  Consider putting balloons or neon signs on your mailbox too!

6. Get Your Merchandise Organized & Clearly Visible-

One thing people don’t want to do is dig through bins or piles.  Your best bet is to get up a few hours before the sale starts and put all your merchandise nice and neatly displayed on tables, pieces of plywood, tarps or whatever you have to make it easy to look at, look through and buy!  Make sure it’s all clearly priced. The only exception to this rule sometimes is baby clothes.  Putting it in a box and labeling it as $0.50 or $1.00 each would probably be okay.  Consider putting a box like this on a table or spot where people don’t have to bend over to go through it.

7. Build a garage sale emergency tool kit.

Consider having a kit nearby that has the following items handy for the group because you just never know when you might need these items to fix signs or make tweaks throughout the day.

  • Extra color coded stickers.
  • Phone chargers or backup battery packs.
  • Batteries
  • Extension Cords
  • Sharpies
  • Pens
  • Extra poster board
  • Packing Tape

8. Discuss Haggling Procedures

One thing that can mess up the group from the start is not discussing how haggling should be handled.

1) Figure Out Who Wants to Haggle – If no one is interested in haggling then all the sellers know that the price is “AS-IS” period.  They can tell that to customers who ask.  If members of the group do want to haggle then discuss number 2.

2) Decide if someone can haggle on your behalf-  If people in the group are up for haggling, consider discussing a strategy for doing so if the person has to run inside or take a break from the heat.  Are the other sellers allowed to haggle on your behalf?  Is there anything you don’t want to take less for?  How low will you go on certain items?

No one wants to stand around and wait for you to call them to make the sale.  If you know ahead of time you can make money and keep wheeling and dealing even if the person isn’t there to haggle themselves.

I hope this TallySheet tutorial and other tips have helped give you the confidence you need to set up your next Multi-family garage sale with confidence!