Typically the goods in a garage sale are unwanted items from the household with the home owners conducting the sale. The goods are sometimes new, like-new, or just usable, offered for sale because the owner does not want or need the item, to minimize their possessions, or to raise funds. Popular motivations for a garage sale are "Spring cleaning" or the owner's move to a new residence, to even getting some well-earned spending money. The seller displays their wares to the passers-by or those responding to signs, flyers, or newspaper ads. Sometimes local television stations will broadcast a sale on the local public channel. The sales venue is typically a garage, driveway, carport, front yard, porch, or occasionally, the interior of a house. Some vendors, known as 'squatters', will set up in a highly trafficked area, and not on their own property.
Staples of garage sales include old clothing, books, toys, household knickknacks,lawn and garden tools (UTC), sports equipment, and board games. Larger items like furniture and occasionally appliances are also sold. Garage sales occur most frequently in suburban areas on good-weather weekends, and usually have designated hours for the sale. Buyers who arrive before the hours of the sale to review the items are known as "Early Birds"; they often are professional restorers or resellers. Such sales also attract people who are searching for bargains or for rare and unusual items. Bargaining also known as haggling on prices is routine, and items may or may not have price labels affixed. Some people buy goods from these sales to restore them for resale.
Some cities, such as Beverly Hills, California, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, require that the homeowners apply and pay for a yard sale permit, and even with that homeowners in Beverly Hills can only hold yard sales in the back of their homes. Typically these permits cost only ten dollars or so.
The Highway 127 Corridor Sale, promoted as "The World's Longest Yard Sale," encourages private individuals and professional vendors to conduct simultaneous yard sales along a corridor spanning five U.S. states.