What is an Estate Sale Vs Garage Sale?

What is an Estate Sale Vs Garage Sale?

Estate sales and garage sales are two popular ways to sell unwanted items. But what is the difference between the two? In this blog, we will take a look at the differences between estate sales and garage sales and explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Read on to learn more about these two popular sales options.

What is an estate sale vs garage sale

When it comes to getting rid of stuff, you have two main options: estate sales and garage sales. But what is the difference between the two?

An estate sale is a type of sale that is generally held by a professional estate liquidator. The professional is hired by the estate’s executor to sell the possessions of a deceased person. Estate sales are usually held in the deceased person’s home and can last anywhere from one to three days. These sales are advertised in newspapers, online, and through estate sale companies.

Garage sales, on the other hand, are typically held by individuals or families who are looking to get rid of items they no longer need. Garage sales are usually organized and hosted in the individual’s or family’s home or garage. These types of sales are not typically advertised and can last anywhere from one day to multiple weekends.

The main difference between an estate sale and garage sale lies in the items being sold. Estate sales are larger in scope and typically include a wide selection of items such as furniture, appliances, artwork, clothing, jewelry, collectibles, and more. Garage sales, on the other hand, tend to be more focused and generally include items such as clothes, toys, books, small appliances, and other household items.

The selling process for both an estate sale and garage sale is similar, but there are some key differences. Estate sales are usually handled by professionals and items are typically sold for a set price. Garage sales are usually conducted by individuals or families and items are generally offered at a fixed price or “best offer”.

Whether you’re looking to get rid of items you no longer need or you’re in the market for some great deals, estate sales and garage sales are both viable options. Knowing the differences between the two can help you make the best decision for what you’re looking for.

Advantages of an Estate Sale

When it comes to estate sales vs. garage sales, there are a few key differences that can help you make the best decision for your particular situation. Looking at these differences can help you determine which option is best for you.

Advantages of an Estate Sale

One of the biggest advantages of an estate sale is that it can be much more profitable than a garage sale. Estate sales are typically larger, professionally run events that have the potential to attract more buyers. Additionally, estate sales often feature higher quality items that may fetch a better price than similar items found at a garage sale.

Another benefit of estate sales is that they are conducted by a professional team. This team will work with you to ensure the sale runs smoothly and that the maximum amount of money is made. Estate sales also tend to attract more serious buyers than garage sales, so if you’re looking to make a larger profit, an estate sale may be the way to go.

Advantages of a Garage Sale

Garage sales are often a more convenient option than estate sales. Garage sales can be set up quickly and don’t require the same level of work and organization as estate sales. Additionally, garage sales don’t require professional help, so the entire cost of the sale can be much lower.

Another advantage of garage sales is that there is often a wider selection of items available. Garage sales typically have a variety of items that can appeal to a wide range of buyers. This can be a great way to find the perfect buyer for each item in your possession.

Finally, garage sales are often more fun and laid-back than estate sales. You can often choose to run your sale over the weekend, giving you plenty of time to chat with buyers and have a good time.

Costs for Each Type of Sale 

  • Estate Sales

Estate sales are typically more expensive than garage sales, but they can be an effective way to liquidate a large number of items. An estate sale company will typically charge a flat fee to organize the sale, as well as a commission that is based on the total sales amount. The fee and commission can range from 20-50%, depending on the company’s policies. Additionally, many estate sale companies charge a minimum fee that must be met before the commission is taken, so it’s important to ask about this before signing a contract.

  • Garage Sales

Garage sales are usually less expensive than estate sales, as there are typically no flat fees or commission taken from the sales. However, it can be difficult to make a large amount of money from a garage sale, as buyers are often looking for bargains. Additionally, organizing a garage sale can be time-consuming and costly, as advertising and setup costs can add up. If you choose to go this route, it’s important to factor in these costs when deciding how much you are willing to make from the sale.

Overall, estate sales tend to be more expensive than garage sales, but can be a great way to liquidate a large number of items. On the other hand, garage sales are usually less expensive, but can be difficult to make a large profit from. Ultimately, it’s important to consider your budget and goals when deciding which option is best for you.

Tips for Hosting a Successful Sale 

Here are some tips to ensure you host a successful sale:

  • Start Early

Start planning your sale weeks in advance, setting up a timeline and to-do list to ensure everything is taken care of. Have your sale date set at least four weeks in advance to give yourself plenty of time to promote and prepare.

  • Advertise

Promote your sale through local newspapers and online sources such as Craigslist, Facebook, and even Instagram. Make sure you include the date, time, address, and list of items for sale.

  • Price Items

Determine what you want for each item and price it accordingly. Don’t forget to include sales tax if required.

  • Sort Items

Sort items into categories for easier browsing. For example, separate furniture, clothes, and collectibles.

  • Display Items

Use tables and clothing racks to display items. Make sure everything is organized, neat, and easily accessible.

  • Welcome Customers

Greet customers with a smile and be willing to answer any questions they may have.

  • Accept Different Payment Methods

Be prepared to accept different payment methods such as cash, check, and credit cards.

  • Clean Up

After the sale is over, clean up the area and make sure all left-over items are disposed of or donated.


In conclusion, estate sales and garage sales are two different types of sales that offer different items and experiences. Estate sales typically feature higher-end items, and they are often held to liquidate the belongings of someone who has passed away. Garage sales are typically held by individuals or families who are looking to declutter their home. They usually feature lower-priced items that are sourced from the owner’s own belongings. Both types of sales can be great sources for finding unique and valuable items, so it’s important to do research ahead of time and plan accordingly.