Monday, September 22, 2008

Garage Sale

Right after we moved into our new home we had a garage sale at the old house. It was a tough decision: Yard sale or Garage Sale.

I chose Garage sale because I ultimately felt that more people would be attracted to buying my garage then they would my yard. I mean really, who couldn’t use an extra garage? Our first one is filled with all the crap we can’t cram into the actual house.

Garages are free square footage when you purchase home. Everyone knows that. Even the rich don’t use their garage. They have warehouses to store their fancy collector cars.

The yard is a much tougher sell. First of all, most people can’t keep up with their own yard much less trying to take on another one. Second of all, it’s just much messier trying to sell your yard. And how deep does the sale go? Do they also get the skeletal remains of that old obnoxious neighbor that suddenly “moved away”?

But seriously, the notion of garage sales is a bizarre one. Why should I really go to so much trouble? It’s a lot of damn work for them. Isn’t it easier, more noble, and even worth more to give them to charity and claim it as a tax write off? It probably is but there is just something about having cold hard cash in hand at the end of it all that seems to say it was ok to sell of grandmas priceless heirloom for $7.50.

In having a garage sale, I must say that there is a single letter difference between “Garage” and “Garbage” for a reason. I cannot believe what people will sell or buy at these things. At one point there was a slight lull in people and so I took my own personal box of wires, connectors, and other odd things like that and sorted them out to wrap neatly back up. People started offering me money for them. They were asking for obscure connectors to things even the Smithsonian wouldn’t have anymore!

At one point this gentlemen saw me throwing a bunch of electronic junk into our garbage box. After I explained to him that was the garbage he convinced me to have him take the whole thing. “But there’s real garbage at the bottom,” I warned him. It didn’t matter…he wanted our garbage because it was free!

At the end of it all we sold almost everything we had out. It was amazing. We made almost $1,000 on it and that was just for a single 8-4 Saturday only sale!!!! Never mind that we probably paid 20 times that at retail though...Doh!

52 comments:

Memarie Lane said...

When we moved from Oregon we had neither a yard nor a garage so we set up right in front of our door. My husband is evil, he talked all comers into paying at least as much as we paid for the stuff new. One guy paid $25 for a $10 tool box containing one wrench and half a tube of Kwik-Tite.

Matt-Man said...

I miss having a house and thusly holding garage sales. I used to fire up the grill, fill the cooler, and sell hot dogs and pop while selling my garbage.

Man, so many hot babes frequent Garage Sales. Maybe that's why I'm divorced and no longer have a house.

Frickin' Garage Sales... Cheers!!

Kurt said...

You gave away a box of electrical junk for free! Man I wish I'd been there.

Sarah said...

I guess I will stop teasing my mother about her impending garage sale. I think she is going to try to sell my old walkman.

ChrisEldin said...

Hi Ve,

While I'm procrastinating in my writing, and laughing my head off at grandma's heirloom, I want to make a blogger love-connection.

Go visit Blogless Troll at:
http://bloglesstroll.blogspot.com/

You two have a similar sense of humor. I'm going to point him over here as well.

My other two blogger love-connections have worked out very well. I have high hopes for this relationship as well.

;-)

VE said...

marie - Well, see, there's the problem...you moved from Oregon! Look at all the rain you've been missing! I'm impressed that your hubby can make people pay more for garage sale items though...

matt-man - Ha! I think selling your hot dog to hot garage sale babes is illegal in most states! Cheers!

kurt - Sorry man. I'll be sure to save up another box of crap electrical wires I don't what they connect to just for you!

sarah - Not the walkman! It's gonna be a collectors item selling for BIG money on ebay in 7.5 years. Just hold on....

chris - But what will the wife think? Ok, I'll check them out.

lime said...

i'm shocked you never considered a rummage sale. shocked i tell you.

The Incredible Woody said...

Estate sale is the way to go. Or even a tag sale. Makes it sound like you are selling priceless treasures instead of junk! I saw an ad once for one that charged admission!!

GC (God's Child) said...

you still made more than throwing it out
once we threw out our bathtub and somebody came along and took it and sold it
we felt dumb

Jeff said...

$1000 is pretty good. You must have had a lot of crap!

Anette said...

Sounds very clever indeed!
Since we have never tried this, cause we can't really get around to do it, we'll rather pay someone to take our rubbage or make a fire and burn it... your way sounds so much more better and rewarding!!!
Bet those money felt good in your hand!

VE said...

lime - Just what the hell IS rummage? I have to know what rummage is before I sell it. I might end up selling the kids by accident. Wait...that might not be a bad idea...

incredible woody - I thought about the estate sale. I just didn't have quite enough junk to have it proliferated throughout the old house and though I wanted to trash the house with those kind of people going through it (it was a rental), I did happen to like my landlord so I opted out of that one. Now tag sale...I have no idea what that is. I was too lazy to tag things and I'm too old to play tag (besides, they'd just steal me blind if I were playing tag while holding this sale).

gc - Well, at least you got rid of the tub! I don't have a lot of time to be selling all these things that could be sold...

VE said...

jeff - Yes, a lot of crap! You should have seen the fight over a leather sofa for $20! Good entertainment. I was surprised how few VHS movies sold for 50 cents though. I had about a 100 of them; good titles too. Guess that era of media is truly over...

anette - The money did feel good. It was a giant wad of cash too! Not very often I get to walk around with a giant wad of cash. I recommend everyone do that at some point!

MJ said...

Garage sales are great at attracting impulse buyers. Those people will buy anything!!

bitchlet said...

We regularly sell newspapers by the kilo for fast cash or a cadbury.

Quickroute said...

Anyway to clear some space and get rid of some crap is fine by me - $1000 is a bonus!

VE said...

mj - You're right about that whereas I've got some pretty nice expensive furniture out on Craigs List and it's not doing a thing. It seems Craigs List is just inundated with junk too. It's hard to sell quality stuff even at reasonable prices. Now crap though...it practically flies out of the garage!

VE said...

quickroute - That's what I said, at that point in the move I might have almost paid that much not to have to deal with all of that stuff!

VE said...

bitchlet - Mmmmm Cadbury. Now that's worth pursuing!!!

Sornie said...

While the money making aspect of garage sales is a motivator, the time and effort to set the crap up and put it away is what makes me run in the opposite direction after our attempt at selling our crap this year.

Evil Genius said...

Perfect time of year for a garbage...er, garage....sale. Hmmmm...maybe I should start gathering up some crap we don't use and get my own sale going!!

GC (God's Child) said...

and there I was thinking you were going to make a bathwater crack somehow

sprinkle4 said...

I was gonna have a garage/yard sale once....then I realized I would just be too embarassed to put all my crap out there for the world to see...better to bury it with the skeletal remains of the previous owner who "moved away".

padraig said...

You're supposed to announce these sorts of things to your friends, first... before you go to the trouble of foisting them off on the general public.

I have neither a yard nor a garage and I would have gladly taken both off of your hands!

Roy Scribner said...

My time is too valuable (okay, not really - but it makes me sound important) for garbage sales. I prefer to wrap my junk up, like a Christmas Present, and leave it by the front door for one of the neighbor kids to steal.

VE said...

sornie - It is a pain. We spent three evenings organizing it and then the full day selling it. Still, a thousand bucks isn't something to ignore...

evil genius - Maybe we should start tracking all this crap to see where it comes and goes like they do some dollar bills. It would be funny to watch as it moves from one scavenger's home to another!

gc - You mean it still had bath water in it? You mean your grandmother was still in there?? Wow...that would make one feel kinda dumb! ;)

sprinkle4 - Not to worry. When faced with an embarrasing situation its best to use the neighbors yard while they are out of town and just tell everyone its their crap and you agreed to fill in and sell it for them...

padraig - Sorry dude. Next time I roll up the yard to sell you'll be the first one I call...

roy - Now that's the ingenious underhanded trick I admire. Way to use reverse psychology and solve a problem! Ha ha ha

Jacki said...

You know, here in the Northern Virginia area people do not do well with garage or yard sales. We get people that won't pay more than a quarter for stuff, so it really isn't worth it. Thus, they are not popular anymore. I take all of our stuff to the local thrift shop, or sell it at a childrens consignment shop.

Meg said...

I think the best part of garage sales are the cookies and lemonade the kids usually sell.

angie said...

I'm right behind you on this one. I'm hoping to make $100. :)

VE said...

jacki - What a bunch of cheapskates! Tell them they're 'collectibles' and charge twice their value. That should do it...

meg - I hope those kids have a food license! ;)

angie - I was hoping to make $300-400 and made almost a $1000 so it's always a pleasant surprise when you make more. That's my motto...always lower your standards to the lowest and you'll never be disappointed!

Serena said...

I've had a few yard sales. I never made $1000 a pop, though. You must have had some pretty good junk!

VE said...

serena - Yeah, it helped to have sold a couch, a stand up telescope, some high end bounce boots, and a whole lot of speakers and stereo equipment I guess...

Michelle Ann said...

I can't stand the idea of having strangers anywhere near my home bargaining with me over crap I don't want. I usually give everything away...it's less work.

Besides, I keep the really good stuff for myself.

VE said...

michelle ann - That's always been my motto too but having merged households we had two of a lot of things and it actually still would have been a lot of work to give it to a charity. Many are selective, they have huge lead times for pickup, drop offs aren't convenient or they require and inventoried item. The garage sale was actually easier in this case.

colbymarshall said...

Once when I lived in apt., we had a parking lot sale. That was pretty nifty.

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

Oh, yes. Many people should call their garage sales garbage sales!! I buy the majority of my kid's toys at garage sales since they're a rip off to buy at retail. I don't like to have garage sales though. I do, but I don't. I like meeting people and talking them into buying my crap, but I can think of many other things I'd rather do on a saturday! lol!

Megan said...

Just moved, and I couldn't face a garage sale on top of everything else, so if we didn't want it, we either threw it away or boxed it up and brought it with us anyhow...

VE said...

colby - Wow...who could afford to buy an entire parking lot? Jay Leno?

arizona - That is the big dilema isn't it? I hate giving up a nice Saturday. But I probably won't have one again for 20 to 30 years and by then I'll be too senile to know

megan - It was a bit to pile onto everything else but the thought of not having to move it and put it somewhere was also nice. A trade off for sure...

Bee said...

I'm great at selling other people's junk! I stand there like a ring master at a freak show making people come over and check out their crap... you know what? I should get commission!

VE said...

bee - I knew I should have hired you to take over my garage sale. I could have retired! ha ha ha

C said...

Oh, wow! You did pretty well! Then again, the sad thing with garage sales is when you think of how much that stuff cost you in the first place!

Around here, garage sales are popular. It's so funny to see everyone go garage sale hopping! I guess one man's garbage is another man's treasure!

VE said...

c - Yeah, I saw the people that know what they can turn over again for a profit and those that buy out of necessity. A wide range...

Alex L said...

You let him get away with your important garbage for free... amatuer mistake.

Dee said...

awesome ! way to sell, now you can give me back my card since you have all that mula!

blogless troll said...

I was actually going to have a yard sale this weekend, but now I see the folly. Garage sale it is.

VE said...

alex - I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy...

dee - Aw come on, just let me put the lazy boy chair on it. It's only 175 easy payments...

blogless troll - Welcome. Selling the garage is much easier. Just attach chain and drag away. The great part is that there really won't be anything left to deal with by the time you drag it home. Less work that way...

leelee said...

"there is a single letter difference between “Garage” and “Garbage” for a reason."

Love that!! so true.

Hey way to go selling your garbage..er..I mean garage for $1000.

HUGS!

VE said...

leelee - And its a lot of fun going to the bank with a giant wad of greenbacks too! I think that gal was wondering just what I had done to create such a large pile of mostly one dollar bills! ha ha

Maureen said...

$ 1000! Holy crap, that's alot of crap!

I loathe garage sales now. We had a few, but the pain in the ass they created with people haggling over 10 cents, shoplifting and parking on the lawn are not worth it.

I give away our stuff to Goodwill now.

VE said...

I would have personally arrested the garage sale shoplifters and put them in my pit in the basement ala Silence of the Lambs. What fun!!!

Carla said...

It's that garbage that we can't bare to throw out, but feel good about having someone else take. Seems yours was pretty profitable. You must have had some real treasures in there.

Mrs. R said...

$1K? Nice. I will never understand people who shop garage sales. My favorite are the ones who look in your house or garage and make offers on items that are not for sale.