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Are Garage Sales Worth It?

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Or are they too much trouble for what you get in return?

Garage Sale

Recession Mama: This past beautiful weekend, my close friends had a garage sale. I envied them -- they were cleaning out their house and making some money in the process. Turns out, it took them a good week to get ready for the big event. They were pulling things out of closets and wielding a pricing gun far into the night.

On the day of the sale, they were up before 5 AM getting ready. The early birds descended just before 7 (the sale was to start at 8). My friends had priced their formerly precious possessions pretty low, but that didn't stop a level of haggling normally reserved for Turkish bazaars. Many of the customers they got were looking for something specific, old watches or coins, and when they didn't find it, they just moved on. Others would just scoop up armfuls of stuff and say "Four dollars?" My friends' kids ran a lemonade stand at the same time, which seemed to me a stroke of genius. But the garage sale junkies (who all knew each other) weren't much interested in the liquid refreshment, so the kids ended up drinking probably what amounted to gallons of lemonade, then spiraling out of control from the sugar.

We saw them all later in the day, after they had hauled the furniture back inside (the reason they had the sale in the first place) and dropped off a load of stuff that didn't sell at Goodwill. Total haul was about $230, but they said it wasn't worth all the effort.

I'd like to do my own someday, but would welcome some suggestions for a better experience. Anyone?

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
littlepeapie July 13, 2009, 7:29 AM

I’ve had great success with yard sales and will do another before the end of summer. My suggestions are to price as you go, as you clean out, price it and put it in a box. Price it to sell, getting $3 for something is $3 more than you are getting while it clutters up the closet. If you have a carport or garage, set up tables the night before. If you have a garage, go ahead and set everything out and just move your tables out the next morning and everything is done…and I’ve done this with my carport too, covered everything with sheets and pulled my car up so close that people couldn’t get in…then finally, SCHEDULED a pickup with local charity, that way you don’t have to haul anything that didn’t sell….it’s amazing what will sell once it’s trying to be put into a truck and hauled away!

Rocio Solteros July 13, 2009, 9:05 AM

I would also make a division between the things your put outside, that should have a good appearence and should be organice for price oder for qualities…
I would also say, when we sale we need to give something, i mean, for example when someone get something above 20$ then they receive other thing, something not important or valuable, but funny or like that.

Rags clothing July 13, 2009, 2:50 PM

price it knowing somone is going to offer u less for it..

Advertise! Advertise!

when u are done, bag up the clothing and bring it to a store like mine that will pay u cash for it.

the furniture can go to an auction they normally take a % but better than not getting anything for it

Trendy Momma July 15, 2009, 12:30 PM

If you can claim the goodwill donation in itemized deductions on your income taxes then you probably fall into the category of NOT WORTH IT. If you can’t, then give it a shot and use all the tips previously posted. I now donate mostly everything and try to sell the higher priced items through craigslist.

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