Friday, May 16, 2008

Garage sales - worth it?


Well, it's going to be ridiculously hot this weekend here in Seattle. And with the weather brings out all the peeps in the neighborhood. I was thinking it was time to open up the time machine of shit that is my basement and host a little garage sale to rid myself of some crap.

What does everyone think? I seem to hear that they are more work that it's worth.

Sherry from blog This Young House raked in a cool $475 from her yard sale. $475 could buy me a lot of Lillet. Read about Sherry's yard sale HERE.

Thoughts? Experiences?



That's Sherry of This Young House in the photo. Not me. First clue that it's NOT me? Her skinny-ass thighs don't touch. Mine have since I was in diapers. But I'm not bitter.

22 comments:

diana @ please sir said...

I say YES to garage sales...mainly because I like to go to them too! We seems to have an annual yard sale - and last year got almost $500 plus. But, we had LOTS of stuff, and some wasn't half bad. I think we are becoming known for our crazy yard sales - people even call their friends. I would say GO FOR IT - one morning, get some cash, but best of all - get rid of old stuff and feel better. Be sure to post visible signs to your house, and advertise in the local paper classifieds. Write up something really good too!

mrlfvl said...

Go for it. It is always interesting to see the wierdos who come out of the woodwork. In my town, there is this wacky man that goes to every yard sale looking for vintage watches. He pulls up at like 5:15 am and parks outside -at my last yard sale, he actually knocked on my door at 6am. I was not amused. He really needs to re-evaluate his hobby. Anyway, my last yard sale was a riot - my neighbors used crime scene tape wrapped around their garbage cans to prevent people from parking in front of their houses. Seriously. Both neighbors. I shit you not.

Elissa said...

Yes! Obviously what you make depends on what you have to sell. Last year my fiance and I had one and made about $350, but we didn't have any big ticket items. My parents had one this spring and made close to $900 because they had a bunch of furniture and rugs. The best way to get a lot of people is to hold one on the same day as someone else in your neighborhood. If they've already advertized you don't have to spend your money on it. Bigger is better, if you don't have enough stuff to fill a driveway on your own, see if friends would want to sell their stuff too! Cars are much more likely to stop if they see lots of stuff, particularly furniture and other big items.
Lots of signs that can be read from a moving vehicle. As an avid yard saler myself, there's nothing more annoying than a sign that you can't read without having to pull over.
www.vintage-green.blogspot.com

Mary T. said...

Before we moved to Seattle early last year, there was a warm weekend predicted in Cincinnati in November and I decided to do a last-minute garage sale. I put an ad on Craigslist (thank god for Craigslist) and put up big signs and threw the whole thing together in two days. We sold a TON of crap, which was great because we needed to get rid of a LOT since we were about to move across the country.

Weirdly, the very first thing we sold? A Twist'n'Go scooter for $1500! That may sound like a huge steal, but I'd won it in a raffle the year before, and after a brief flurry of excitement we never used it. It was really odd that a woman actually mentioned to us that she was in the market for a scooter, and we just happened to have one in our backyard, not even part of the sale.

I guess i'm saying "worth it" here!

Little Miss said...

I'm on the YES bandwagon as well- I really enjoy making sure that my "things" go to good homes, and at the end of the day you'll have a little more cash, less stuff, and then the rest goes to charity.

And most of us frequent such things as well, so you must keep the circle going!

(and thank you for turning me onto "This Young House"-- my work day just got MUCH more interesting!)

Anonymous said...

For the little nickel-and-dime stuff, I like giving it to charity-based thrift stores (you get a tax writeoff, and it's so much quicker than holding a garage sale).

Sherry said...

Just a little obsessed with your blog. Thanks so much for the link love! Of course I'd have to be in the go for it camp (seeing as I'm using pillows as pom poms in the driveway pic). But I think it's only worth doing every once in a long while when you have lots of crap. If you don't have enough stuff, it can be a lot like my taxes this year (a lot of work for not much of a return). And anything that doesn't sell should be banished (to Goodwill) so it doesn't rob you of more valuable closet space until the next time you peddle your wares to the a-holes who stand firm at 40 cents.

JJ said...

DIBS!

I am guessing that you are sooooo going to hate this "garage sale" thing.

There's is nothing less satisfying than arguing with someone who wants to give you a nickel for something you once loved.

Sarah's Fab Day said...

I agree with JJ, garage sales are for the birds. I don't have the patience to sit around and haggle with folks for some old piece of crap. I guess if you have lots of big stuff and the patience to go with it, it might be worth it, but if not just donate much easier.

Anonymous said...

In my city, there's a whole grim squad of professional garage-sale go'ers who show up like two hours before every garage sale, and park their cars and wait and glare at the other grim old people in their cars doing the same thing. They are like carrion beetles, waiting for an injured animal to breathe its last so they can start feasting on the corpse.

If the sale begins at 9:00 a.m., by 9:01 the whole thing is completely picked over by these people. They are that efficient and that scary.

visual vamp said...

It's worth it. And, um, what's your address? We do tag sales which keeps it easy. And have someone else to take cash (and have a cash box and change), while you work the floor.
And yeah as diana sez, take a cheap or free add in the paper, and get someone to write some snappy copy like: Garage Sale-Good Stuff Only From Obessive Collector. No ugly clothes, No microwaves, No crockpots...oh yeah, you have a way with words :-) If you use Decorno in the ad you'll have 10,000 people. It's your call LOL Have it printed? posted? - just a day or two before the sale. Call the liquor store and pre-order a few cases of Lillet to be delvered Monday morning.

dewyjune said...

My husband tries to pay me NOT to have them.... i think you are so going to hate it.

Abe said...

I voting "No" on the ol' GS. It is goin to be miserably hot. I almost wish I was having open-heart surgery so that my chest cavity could be packed with ice. Damn, it's hot!

Ruth Ferguson said...

OK I am in Dallas, Texas - please explain what is HOT in Seattle??? LOL.

Abe said...

While you have been basking in the mid-70s in Dallas, we've been sweatin' to the oldies in Portland. 101 yesterday and 96 today! Nasty humidity on top of that.

I used to live in Dallas where everyone moves between their meat locker-like houses, cars, and offices. Not the case here.

Anonymous said...

I say nope. Isn't life too short for that kind of thing? Drive it all to a great charity, take a modest tax receipt and then just kick back and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Laura said...

I have to say...I haven't had much luck as the "host" of yard sales (I treasure my weekends, and hurling out of bed at 6 a.m. to haggle with the masses does not rock my socks). HOWEVER...I've scored some really, really good swag at yard sales for a fraction of the cost I'd pay at "antique stores" (I don't know when "antique store" became = to "yard sale" + 100% mark up. Antique seems to be a pretty broad term these days!) so they've served me well. P.S. Jealous of your weather. It's *still* hovering around 50 degrees in NJ (I wish I were kidding).

Ruth Ferguson said...

WOW it really is hotter there - well our little respite in Dallas is scheduled to end and these are probably the last cool days we will have until October.

I am not a garage sale pro first of all if I am on the internet at 3AM it is a safe bet I won't be at the sales early AM.

The few good times I have had - were at sales I found via craigslist. It helped to know there was stuff I was really interested in.

So off to bed and hope there are a few good things when I wake up and make it out there in the morning.

birdy said...

About once a year, I suggest having a GS to my husband. He shudders, says something along the lines of "when did you start to hate me?" and we instead drop our useless shit off at Goodwill and then write it off at tax-time.

So, so much easier. And as a thrift-store addict, I like doing my part to keep their inventories topped up.

Anonymous said...

"I like doing my part to keep their inventories topped up."

I feel the same way! I donate good shit, and I like to imagine a younger, poorer version of me coming across it, and getting all happy.

(god I'm vain.)

Anonymous said...

Life is too short. I got royally p'd off with some customers at the one I had years ago. So much so that I now I'm embarrassed to attend them myself lest I unknowingly behave in as obnoxious a fashion as some of my attendees. I don't mind behaving poorly on my own terms, though.

Anyway, quibbling makes me uncomfortable. Strangely, haggling seems more "sporting".

studiolo2 said...

Garage sales: Yish! Don't bother. Sell furniture or valuables on Craig's list; give the rest to Good Will or whatever.