Garage Sales: Are They Really Worth It?

Garage sales can be a lot of work, time, and hassle. In today’s world are garage sale still worth all the effort? Everyone could use some extra cash from items they no longer need or want. A garage sale may be a great way to get some money, lets take a closer look.

Operating a garage sale is a lot of work. There is the worry of having enough items to get traffic to your garage sale. If you inform too many people you are having a garage sale, you could end up with too many items. Then you have to worry about proper adverting for the garage sale and many cities are coming up with rules and restrictions, making it harder to advertise for free.

Having the garage sale it self it the easy part. You simply sit in a chair and collect the money. Getting the garage sale ready is where all the work is. First you have to gather all the items that you would like to sell. Then price and organize all the items. A messy display may cause a loss in sale. Clothes are very difficult to sale at garage sales. The clothes need to be neatly displayed. Most people will not dig through the clothes, even at amazing prices. Its a double bladed sword with how many items you have; too little a they walk through and leave, too much and they won’t look through the items.

During the set up time of a garage sale, you can’t mention the sale to too many people. It is amazing how many people want to drop off items for you to price, organize, and sell. Unless you need some more item to make your garage large enough for buyers to notice you, don’t tell anyone until you are ready to open. When looking for people to join in a garage sale, be careful and make sure to explain that they should do their share of their work.

Advertising the garage sale is not as easy as it sounds. Listing online for free is helpful, but most listing only work if you live in or near a big city. Putting an ad in the local newspaper should be easy, but the newspaper chargers per words so you have to advertising is as little words as possible. One days ad with your address usually cost about $7.00. Just because you called or visit the newspaper and paid for the ad, you still need to check the paper on the day of the ad to make sure it was published and put in write. Signs are a great way to advertising and help drivers to find the location, however many local communities now have laws preventing them. If signs are allowed you have to take time to make them yourself or buy signs. Average cost of one sign is $1.50.

Once you open your garage sale with any lucky will be busy right away. People will buy the big ticket items bikes, dishwasher, ect. Then rest of your day is spent in a chair being talked down to a quarter on a pair of nice jeans. You are stuck at the garage sale, so you have to eat out so you can get a quick bit. One lucky person gets to leave the sale to pickup and bring back everyone’s food.

The garage sale is all over and now you have a bunch of items that are left over. You can advertise online for someone to pick them up for free or haul them off to charity. Now you can divided up the money that was made. Now consider the time, advertising costs, eat out expenses, what is really left of the money? The big ticket items are what is left. You could have skipped the garage sale all together and just put ads for free online to sell the big items. With ebay and craigslist it could have been a half hours tops of time instead of days.

Thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, garage sale are becoming obsolete and a waste of your time. You would be better off to sell the big item for free or small fee online and donate the rest. Donating is still helpful as you can get a tax credit for the amount donated.

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Published in: Personal Finance


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