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Old 12-16-2009, 05:00 PM
 
9,470 posts, read 9,293,148 times
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I've been planning a garage sale next spring to get rid of LOTS of stuff before we move. Is it a waste of time? I know it takes a lot of effort to move things outside and tag everything and don't want to do all this if I don't sell much. I have nice things, but a large amount of it is smaller items + some furniture, toys, books, dishes, etc.

When is the best time of year to have the sale? Anyone want to share their experiences?
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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When I lived in Minnesota, we would have a huge neighborhood sale every other year and really clean out a lot of stuff as we had a neighborhood filled with kids. It was a hug amount of work preparing, setting up and then sitting in our yards/garages for 2-3 days. Used to net maybe $300-500, depending on stuff and weather conditions. When you break down the amount per hour of work it wasn't worth it. As a social thing, it was fun but exhausting.

Since then, I have moved three times and donated my "stuff" to a lot of good causes instead of the hassle of a sale. Going the donation route again for this upcoming move because it is not worth the time and aggravation (such as people trying to haggle over the price of things, or knocking on your door at 6:00 am to get the best things).
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:30 PM
 
Location: GA
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You might consider consignment shops also.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:16 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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Default Yes, they can be worth it.

I've always made a lot of money when I had yard sales, but there are things you have to consider to have a GOOD one that will bring in some money. Here's some tips:

1) Put readable signs up in strategic areas, obeying local sign laws. Take the signs DOWN after the sale. Make note of the weather reports as while Spring is the best time to have them, it also has the most unpredictable weather, too.

2) Start early - as in as early as 8am or earlier on weekends. Run it late, as in until 5pm as well. Many people make the huge mistake of straggling, and not starting until 9-10am and then stopping the thing as early as 2pm when the first slight slowdown happens. MISTAKE. On every yard sale I've ever had, there will be slow periods, but I make 50% of my money after 2pm. Also run it two days in a row. Friday and Saturday seem to work the best, but in some parts of town, Sat/Sun work better.

3) Have plastic bags, newspapers to wrap glass stuff in, and plenty of smaller change (coins and $1 bills, change for a $20, etc) ready to go.

4) Know the difference between sellable stuff and "junk". Don't try to become a millionaire when you price and label the stuff, either - the purpose is to get rid of clutter and junk... not become rich. Have a variety of stuff like furniture, clothes, housewares, but also if you have it to get rid of, sporting stuff like fishing equipment does well, tools, and electronics (old computers, etc). Have cords plugged in where folks can test electronics. Only take cash. If you don't have a good variety of stuff, get with a neighbor or two and combine a sale - nothing will make someone turn around quicker than following signs only to see one fold-out table set up with some baby clothes and glassware on it. Ugh.

You get the drill by now... it's one of those "do it right or don't do it" things. Some do it really well, others have no idea, but you CAN make $$$$ at one if it's done right.

Last edited by atlantagreg30127; 12-17-2009 at 01:03 PM..
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:16 AM
 
3,646 posts, read 5,388,938 times
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Toys in good condition and children's clothes always do well. Given the current economic state, I'd try selling the items first and donating what didn't sell. You might be pleasantly surprised. Vietnam Veterans of America and AADD are two organizations to call that pick up frequently. For Vietnam Veterans of America call 800 775 VETS. I don't have the number or website for AADD on hand, but I think someone on this forum has mentioned it. They are extremely nice and helpful.
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:40 AM
 
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Very good advice, AtlantaGreg. I'll follow it!

Antiquesmountainapache, Yes I've used Vietnam Vets before and been very pleased with them. I'll call them for the leftovers.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:38 AM
 
285 posts, read 872,196 times
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Make sure to list your yard sale on craigslist also. I go to yard sales almost every Saturday morning and always look on craigslist before I leave my house. Signs are important, make sure you use arrows liberally. Most people won't know your neighborhood. Start it at 8, if you start late a lot of people will skip your sale.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:03 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,191 posts, read 33,723,666 times
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added: Regarding my list above... I should have added that on your signs, make sure you have "until 5pm" (or whenever) so people won't assume you'll shut it down early and will still seek it out. So many people shut them down early, folks will see a sign after 2-3pm and not bother, knowing that 90% of folks don't even take signs down, etc. If the sign tells them when it's ending, you'll get more visitors.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Odessa, FL
2,218 posts, read 4,340,816 times
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A garage sale is a great way to get rid of stuff and make a bit of money. There are people that make a living from buying things at a garage sale (at a discount) and re-selling them at flea markets.

In addition to the tips already posted I'd the following:

Price things to move. People go to garage sales to find bargains. You are trying to get rid of stuff. Don't overprice things and as the day goes on drop the price on the things people pass over.

Be willing to negotiate. We once had a box of books, and had priced the books at something like a dollar each. Someone early in the morning looked thru the box and said "I will give you $20 for the whole box." "Sold!"

Don't let people reserve stuff. I had a guy once, who was working in the neighborhood, stop by and say "I want your couch. Can you hold it for me until this afternoon?" Like a fool I agreed. He never came back and we turned away a number of people also interested in the couch. I finally gave up on him and sold the couch late in the day. But after that my response is either "no" or "only for X minutes."

I once sold a snow shovel for $1 at a garage sale IN THE ATLANTA AREA. I still wonder if she ever used it.

As another note, recently we have taken to selling more expensive items ($20 and up) on Craigs List. This works surprisingly well. Garage sales are still best if you have a large quantity of little things.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,334 posts, read 25,937,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
I once sold a snow shovel for $1 at a garage sale IN THE ATLANTA AREA. I still wonder if she ever used it.
Might be useful for shoveling pine pollen in the spring.
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