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Getting the Most from a Garage Sale

Garage sales and yard sales are a great way to get rid of stuff you don't want. But when shoppers are expecting prices in cents rather than dollars, it's tough to make any money off of them. But if you're going to all the trouble, why not try to turn a profit too? Check out this list of tips on how to make money off of your garage or yard sale (via Charles and Hudson).

Some of the advice is a bit too cheap even for my bargain-hunting self; I'm sorry, but I just don't see myself buying box lots at auction so I can sell the individual items at a garage sale. But there are also some good pointers here, so

  • Sell things whose value has appreciated since you bought them. By selling older furniture and accent pieces that could almost be classified as antique, you can charge higher prices than people expect to pay for new furniture and make money in the process.
  • Add value before selling. Don't just toss your junk out on a table; instead, make it more user-friendly. For instance, if you have a bolt of fabric, cut it up and sell it as tablecloths, and you'll get more money for it.
  • Do your own yard-sale shopping. This will give you a good sense of how people are pricing things in your city. If you see something that seems underpriced, snatch it up to sell at your next event. If you can use something for a year and resell it at the same price, you're coming out ahead.


Join The Conversation
emmy-doo emmy-doo 9 years
Thanks. Now that you mention it, I purchased a gloMinerals foundation and the applicator sponge was not what I'm used to from buying at the doctor's office or spa. The mirror had also come loose in the compact. Hmmm? I really only saved about 30%, not enough to risk getting a fake. I'll definitely be more careful both buying AND selling.
Punk-Glam-Queen Punk-Glam-Queen 9 years
Most people don't think about it, but eBay has been cracking down on various things like this lately. A new thing that they've really been enforcing lately is cosmetic sales of "samples" -- certain companies such as Mac and BE have actively gone after sellers breaking up jars of loose pigments and minerals into smaller sample sizes. (On a related note, you'll also find a huge market in fake cosmetics on eBay -- buyer beware!) I don't have personal experience with any of this on eBay, but I'm an author/writer and I have been the victim of plagiarism on the web. One experience I did have on eBay... I have been buying and selling vintage clothing for over 30 years and had a listing pulled because I compared a suit to the iconic vintage Chanel style suit. I was told I couldn't use the Chanel name unless I would vouch for the authenticity of the item, regardless of the fact that I wasn't misleading in the least, simply made a feature by feature comparison. I have no idea how the seller's of fakes get away with it if they jumped on accusing me -- literally, within minutes of posting the listing -- of selling a fake when I was doing no such thing! Good luck, stick with your own pics, you're much safer!
emmy-doo emmy-doo 9 years
Thanks! You are right, but I guess I never thought about it b/c so many other sellers use the original pictures from online shopping sites. I do use my own pictures as well, I guess I should just stick to those. Do you have personal experience with this sort of thing?
Punk-Glam-Queen Punk-Glam-Queen 9 years
emmy-doo, its great that you are selling your clothes on eBay but be aware that using the images from other websites could get you banned from selling. Photographs are copyrighted by the companies and/ or the photographers and you must have permission to use them. Get a cheap digital and take your own photos so you won't get your account suspended. Big designers especially have been going after eBay sales and listings get pulled all the time. I'd hate to see someone like you get hurt unknowingly.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
good tips!
chancleta chancleta 9 years
great tips everyone! from both casa and the commentors!
emmy-doo emmy-doo 9 years
I sell all of my old clothes on ebay. I just started a few months ago, but it's been pretty profitable for me. Plus, people pay DOLLARS not CENTS. Now, I try to buy brands that I know are popular on ebay and I save the picture from the brand's website so I can use the professional photos in my listings. I'm also trying to sell early - you know, before stuff goes out of style.
Lorrie30 Lorrie30 9 years
awesome sign.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
My husband often goes to auctions and buys boxes of things for $1 or so. Then he sells the items individually on Ebay. So far, we've made quite a nice haul. One time he bought a 50 wire labelers for $30. He sold each one for $200+ on Ebay. So yeah, you can make some decent money if you know where the deals are!
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