what I do

what I do

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cleaning out the garage

We had a garage driveway sale on Saturday. In a way I was dreading it. I had visions of mean people, a lot of work, and too little profit.  It was my daughter's idea (the one who is moving and about to have a baby) and I wanted to help her.

 We cannot have garage sales in our neighborhood. So we had to trek it all over to my mom's house; she generously let us use her driveway, and more generously let us store the stuff in her living room for a few days until the sale.  I so wish I had taken photos - really, you would not have believed it if you had not seen it in person - you could barely walk through the room it was so packed with stuff.

We spent Friday evening sorting and pricing most of it and came back early the next morning to start the sale. It started off with a bang. Literally. We had a crazy and unusual (and very loud) thunder storm complete with hail just as we were setting things out and the first crowd (yes, crowd) of people started to arrive. Thankfully we were under a covered carport.

The people were for the most part really, really nice. We undersold a lot of things but our goal to get everything sold (and out of our house) was successful. A bit after noon when things slowed down and we had very little left, we put up an "everything under $1" sign, waited a while and then packed up what was left and took it to the closest donation center. We were cleaned up and home by 2:00! We sold most of it and came away with much more profit than I could have imagined. All and all a good day. 

Here is what we would have done differently:

1. Have everything out and priced by 7:00 AM. Even though we put 8:00 AM as our starting time (we advertised on Craigslist and the Pennysaver) the professional garage-salers all come EARLY.

2. Get rid of the emotional attachment and just sell the stuff. We had offers for certain things we felt were too low at the beginning and wanted to hold out for higher prices. We ended up selling them later for even less.

3. Leave room for bartering. No one wants to pay the price you ask. Put a slightly higher price on the item so you can go down.

4. Research prices. We found out later that a few things we sold for a quarter were worth around $30 on Ebay - oops!

What we did right:

1. Make sure you are able to accommodate last minute weather changes

2. Just have fun and remember the goal is to get the stuff out of your garage! 

Happy Monday everyone!

cartoons via here, here and here


Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

That's so cool, Sherri!

I've never had a garage sale and I think I should! Maybe I'll do that when we sell this place. :-)

By the way, thank you so much for being such a sweetheart. I loved your comment!

Have a blessed week!


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Marianne said...

Look at you go! Garage sales are so much work, but if you can make money, it's better than just giving it away.

Town and Country Gals said...

It seems like you had a successful sale, all the hard work, and they are a lot of hard work, paid off!
The money is great but having empty space might even be better!

Unknown said...

Fantastic post! Great tips here. Thank you for sharing.

annie@mostlovelythings said...

I think everyone should have at least one garage or tag sale as they call it back east. Before we moved here i had a big one with two girlfriends. One knew nothing like me and the other was...shall we say an expert? We had no idea...Like you I was underselling everything. My friend walked around adding zeros to my tags...it was quite a day and we have never laughed so hard. Your advice is perfect!! Yes, they are a lot of work, but it is SUCH an experience!

Mary Ann Pickett said...

GREAT advice, Sherri. Glad you didn't have any mean buyers. Do you just love your garage now?

Unknown said...

Hi Mary Ann - ummm I wish I could say my garage is immaculate now ... it is definitely something to work on!

Jessie said...

Your garage sale sounds successful! All of your hard work certainly paid off. Thanks for your great tips.

Have a wonderful Sunday!