The Labor Day weekend is upon us! The holiday is considered the unofficial end of summer and for me, the beginning of prime-time garage sale season! It's now a twelve week dash that concludes around the Thanksgiving weekend. Throughout Saturdays in the fall, I try to accumulate boo-coo inventory to carry me through the off-season. Hopefully, I'll find some good scores to pass along to you.
Speaking of Labor Day weekend, I found only one neighborhood yard sale on Saturday. Initially it showed some promise. It was located in a nice suburban neighborhood with lot's of young families. Young families means kid's toys, like the aforementioned Bumbo seats, American Girl dolls, Lego's and more! However there were a couple problems with this sale. Upon arrival, I realized the neighborhood just hosted a big yard sale back in the Spring. Worse yet, it seemed like the same houses were participating! That's not to say you can't get lucky at a repeat sale, but how much good stuff could these folks have left? In most cases, you're dealing with the crummy leftovers from the previous Spring garage sale. So the odds were not looking very good!
The second headache I faced was the enormous crowd that came to the sale. Since it was the only neighborhood sale for miles around, everyone and their uncle seemed to show up. On a normal fall weekend, this same crowd of pickers would be dispersed all over town. Instead, everyone had converged in this one neighborhood! I knew it was going to be bad when, pulling into the neighborhood, I spotted a fellow picker who apparently beat me to a nice jogging stroller. It was taunting me from the back of his truck! I can normally count on flipping a jogging stroller for $50 to $75 dollars. But in this case, all I could do was groan and wonder how much profit I missed out on? That stroller turned out to be an omen-I came home with absolutely nothing!
With this kind of poor quality garage sales taking place in August, I figured I might just as well hold my own. So a few Saturdays ago, we did just that. It was a great opportunity to clean out my "Hoarders" basement. Plus it's always fun mingling with neighbors and like-minded pickers. Our total profit for the day was $180 dollars-not a bad morning's work! But once the sale was over, Mrs. Dude grew exasperated with all the unsold clutter left in the garage. She strongly encouraged me to haul the leftovers down to the local Goodwill collection center. The center is five minutes from my house. It's a former gas station converted to a "collection only" operation by Goodwill. Located at a busy intersection, the place rakes in an incredible amount of donations. Saturdays are particularly busy, as people seem to clean house and drop stuff off all day long. One of these days I intend to take an early morning photo of the place, followed by an evening photo later that same day. You'll be amazed at the accumulation of stuff that piles up in just eight hours!
Recognizing that Goodwill isn't in dire need of my garage sale leftovers, I decided to hold off on making a donation. I still had one more trick up my sleeve to squeeze a few more dollars out of the stuff. With the garage sale over, I tossed the remaining items in the back of my truck. This included books, framed pictures, VHS tapes, toys and lots more. Once in the back of the truck, I took a few digital photos of the collective heap. I then posted an ad on Craigslist with the title, "Truckload of house contents for sale." Notice that I didn't use a pejorative title like, "Leftover Yard Sale items"? That would surely be the kiss of death-nobody is interested in leftovers. So instead, I use the intriguing "house contents" title. Hey, I am not lying...it's all "contents" that came from inside my house! Sounds much more enticing that way, doesn't it?
My "house contents" ad was posted just hours after the close of our garage sale. Feeling the pressure from Mrs. Dude, I needed the stuff sold ASAP! My starting price was $40 dollars, and while I got few nibbles, no buyers showed up on my doorstep. Several days went by with no sale, so I lowered the price down to $25. Boom!....that must have been the correct "price point" because e-mails began rolling in. The very next day, a women showed up and we crammed the "house contents" into the back of her Honda CRV. She left a happy lady and I was $25 dollars richer! In the grand scheme of things, who knows what great stuff that extra $25 bucks might buy me?
So the garage sale and it's aftermath worked out pretty well. How about you? Do you have any tricks to squeeze out a few more dollars out of garage sale? Give us your ideas below....
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