How much change for a garage sale?

How much change for a garage sale?


When organizing a garage sale, one of the essential considerations is determining how much change to have on hand. Having the right amount of change ensures a smooth and efficient transaction process, allowing both buyers and sellers to have a positive experience. In this article, we will explore various factors to consider when deciding how much change to prepare for a garage sale.

Factors to Consider

Expected number of customers: The first factor to consider is the estimated number of customers you anticipate at your garage sale. While it may be challenging to predict an exact number, you can make an educated guess based on factors such as the size of your neighborhood, advertising efforts, and the popularity of your sale. A larger number of expected customers will require more change to accommodate their purchases.

Price range of items: Consider the price range of the items you are selling. If you have a lot of low-priced items, such as small household goods or clothing, you may need more coins and smaller bills. On the other hand, if you have higher-priced items like furniture or electronics, you may need more larger bills.

Payment methods: Determine the payment methods you will accept at your garage sale. While cash is the most common form of payment, some people may prefer to pay with debit or credit cards. If you decide to accept card payments, you may need to invest in a mobile card reader or be prepared to direct customers to the nearest ATM.

Item popularity: Consider the popularity of certain items you are selling. If you have a few highly sought-after items, there is a higher chance that customers will pay with larger bills. Anticipating this can help you ensure you have enough change to provide them.

Availability of nearby banks or ATMs: Take into account the accessibility of banks or ATMs near your location. If there are no nearby options, customers may not be able to withdraw larger bills, so it’s important to have enough change to accommodate them.

Calculating the Amount of Change

To calculate the amount of change you should have for your garage sale, consider the following steps:

Step 1: Estimate the number of customers you expect to visit your sale.

Step 2: Determine the average purchase amount per customer. This can be done by considering the price range of your items and making an educated guess.

Step 3: Multiply the average purchase amount by the estimated number of customers to get an approximate total sales amount.

Step 4: Decide on the denominations of change you want to have on hand. This can include coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters) and bills (ones, fives, tens, and twenties).

Step 5: Divide the total sales amount by the denominations you chose to calculate the number of each denomination you should have. For example, if your total sales amount is $500 and you decide to have $100 in ones, you would need 100 one-dollar bills.


Preparing the right amount of change for a garage sale is crucial for a smooth transaction process. By considering factors such as the expected number of customers, price range of items, payment methods, item popularity, and the availability of nearby banks or ATMs, you can calculate the appropriate amount of change to have on hand. Ensuring you have enough change will help create a positive experience for both buyers and sellers.


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