Ask the Readers: To Garage Sale or Not? (Chance to win $20)

By Linsey Knerl on 18 May 2010 122 comments
Photo: besighyawn

**Congrats to our winners! **

  • Kate - I think they can be really fun. And, I really appreciate the idea of recycling old items rather than just throwing things away. But it's true that I do sometimes walk away with things that I bought on impulse and never use again.  I try to find ones that are in my neighborhood and use each sale as a stop to break up a long walk and motivate me to keep going. It also keeps me from buying things that are too large for my small apartment.
  • @dopeymouse05  I'm all about garage sales. I found a great shoe rack for $5, so now our shoes are off the floor, and it's really nice!    

It's that time of year again! Garage sales (or yard sales) are booming, giving families and chance to clear out their clutter, earn some extra cash, and provide some low-cost goods to the rest of the community. But is this tradition dangerous for some? Do those yard sale junkies actually end up bringing home "junk" that they don't need? Is impulse-buying guaranteed? Or is it all in good fun, and a great way to find exactly what you're looking for at a price that fits your super-tight budget?

We want to know what you think of garage sales. Do you hold them? Shop them? Avoid them like a flu? Give us your honest experiences and opinions, and you'll be entered to win one of two $20 Amazon gift cards!

Feel free to link to a blog post, if you're written on this topic! We'll include it in our post upon the conclusion of our giveaway!

Win one of two $20 Amazon gift cards:

We're doing two giveaways — one for random comments, and another one for random tweets.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Tweet your answer. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, May 24th at 11:59 pm CST. Winners will be announced after May 24th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter both drawings — once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets that contain both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)

Good luck!

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Guest's picture

I love garage sale shopping! It's a great way to get that one of a kind thing that's been on your list for years. They always bring back great memories, both with the walking of them and the items found!

Speaking of lists - I always take one with me! It's like grocery shopping. Why buy something on impulse that will just end up in your own garage sale?

Guest's picture
Lynda

I'm actually holding a garage sale this saturday!! It's my first time and I'm looking forward to it!

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Kristin

I find that while you can occasionally find treasures for cheap, I end up taking some stuff I don't really need/want...so I don't go out of my way to shop at them. I also make a point to only buy something I was planning to buy anyway.

Guest's picture
Marcus

Great timing on this, as I just held my very first garage sale over the weekend. Here are some of my thoughts on the experience...

In terms of prep, we spent probably 2-3 weeks just occasionally collecting items around the house we could live without. These all just went into boxes in the spare room. A couple days before the garage sale, we hauled it all out to the garage, where we had set up folding tables to display everything. We spent $2 on pre-priced garage sale stickers at Staples, and just started slapping prices on everything. Nothing was over $20, save for an antique dresser priced at $50.

In the end, we moved a lot of "junk" and made just over $200. But also in the end, we were left with a garage full of the junk that didn't sell. I've turned to Craigslist to sell some of the larger items, and I've been fairly successful moving a few items that way. Books and CDs went to Half Price Books where they handed us about $40 cash. The rest will go to Goodwill.

Was it worth it? I dunno. A couple hundred bucks is nice, but we also spent hours collecting, organizing, pricing items, not to mention sitting in our driveway for 7 hours straight on a sunny Saturday. So I guess you have to weigh the potential profit against the time spent. I don't know that we'll be doing it again anytime soon.

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Lisa

I LOVE garage sales. I get most of my son's clothes that way (he's 2 and I imagine it will get harder as he gets older). Lots of toys are cheap, and I occasionally find things for me or the house. I'm holding my first garage sale this weekend, so I can't say yet how well I do selling stuff.

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Jenna

I avoid them like the plague. When the price is so low, i find myself picking up more than i need. I can barely keep up with my own clutter, and do not need help from bargain sales!

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Kristy

It can be kind of fun to shop them, at least in certain neighborhoods, but oh, is it a beating to host them.

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Jessica Y

I'm too lazy to have them, but I do love shopping at them.

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Luke

You can find huge deals at rummage sales if you know what you are looking for!!! I avoid some things (cassette tapes and floppy disks will never come back) But you can pick up decent things. I got a lawn mower at one for $5 (it was flooded, but after a good cleaning lasted us 7 years) bikes for super cheap, and furniture too. Little bit of elbow greese and a coat of paint or stain / finnish and its better then new!

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Samantha

They're good for kid stuff but I find myself way too tempted to buy junk when I go to them.

Guest's picture
Kate

I definitely love going to garage sales! It's a fun way to spend some time, and you never know what you might find. However, you have to be careful to discipline yourself so that you don't buy a lot of stuff you don't really need! I agree with the previous commenter who suggested going with a list of things you're looking for.

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Jill

I love shopping at garage sales but hate organizing to have one!

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Chris K.

Garage sales can be cool, but stay away from the sketchy neighborhoods!! Overall ok.

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Kris

We just held our first garage sale. It was great. Took us about a week to pull it all together and even though the weather was pretty crummy, we got a pretty good turn out. For us, it wasn't so much about making money, but clearing out the clutter. The money we made was a nice bonus. ;)

Here's my blog post about it: http://suddenlyroutine.com/?p=2633

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Dimmie

I don't often shop at garage/yard sales, but every now and then I'll stop by one and find a book I wanted to read or a cute skirt or some other little treasure.

I typically don't hold yard sales myself because a) the apartments I've lived in for the last three years haven't had the nicest or most convenient space available for one, and b) I work on weekends, so I don't really have the time. What I plan to do this spring is split my To Sell stuff up between the yard sale that my mom is having at her place, and the one my dad and stepmom are having at theirs.

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Therese

I hate having garage sales (too much work for too little money), but I love going to garage sales-it is like a treasure hunt :)

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Angela

We shop garage sales but do not host them. It takes forever to get everything tagged, organized and in some cases cleaned. It's just not worth it! If we have something of value, we put it on ebay, amazon or craigslist.

Guest's picture
Justin Hollender

I love them. My wife and I are frequent garage salers and sellers. Sometimes you can find great deals on stuff - It's true that one man's trash is another man's treasure! My wife has been on this shabby chic, country, rustic style lately and it's much cheaper than buying stuff brand new.

Guest's picture
Meg

Having a garage sale is great when you have a lot of stuff to get rid of fairly quickly, like if you're downsizing and/or moving. However, I don't think regular garage sales are usually a good idea. Even if you enjoy selling things, garage sale shoppers expect the lowest prices of just about anyone I've sold to. And you also have to have enough items. Plus, if you have to have frequent garage sales because you just buy so much stuff you don't need, then perhaps that's an issue better dressed directly.

I've had a few good garage sales in the past, but now I prefer to either sell higher priced items other ways and donate the stuff that's not worth my time to sell individually.

And also, something I've learned is that the first garage sale usually goes pretty well but second garage sales of the remaining items are usually pretty weak unless you just timed the first one wrong (the first Saturday of the month is usually the best yard sale day since many people just got their paychecks or SS checks). So, after your first yard sale is over, consider donating the rest to charity.

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Dan

I suppose I don't participate fairly... I hold at least one garage sale with my extended family every year, but I refuse to shop at them. I'm trying to simplify my life, and it happens at the expense (pun intended) of the shoppers in my area.

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gt0163c

I don't hold garage sales myself, prefering to donate any items I'm ready to get rid of to my church for their yearly garage sale to raise money for summer mission trips. But I do enjoy garage sale shopping as long as the sale is well organized, the items are relatively clean and items are clearly priced. If I don't see prices I walk away quickly.

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Christine

I'm getting ready to host a yard sale this weekend. There is an annual Block Sale in my neighborhood and I'm hoping it draws a crowd.

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Sushi

I hosted my first garage sale last year, and it was so much effort for only $60 made. Cleaning my house, going through old stuff, making sure everything still worked, advertising... For some reason I'm still thinking of doing it again this year.

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Janet

I like the end result of a garage sale, seeing all of the hard work put in to it having paid off. I haven't held a garage sale in quite awhile, but I recently posted about it on my community's website: first to announce the sale, http://orleans.homefronthappenings.com/annual-orleans-neighborhood-garag... and then to provide some tips, http://orleans.homefronthappenings.com/tips-for-a-successful-garage-sale/.
It was almost as much work advertising the sale as it was to prepare for actually selling!

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Welmoed

I love going to yard sales (and estate sales) and have found some amazing deals (like a $1200 sewing machine in a cabinet for only $125!). I've also held a few sales (the last one returned about $700). One big help is to word the ad correctly so you stand out: for our sale, I called it an "Eclectic Sale" (which it was -- lots of weird things). So many people use variations of "large", and after a while those just get meaningless.
It also helps to have the sale in a visible location with easy parking. We live on a main road, so it was easy to attract attention. Our signs were also large and had LARGE PRINT done with very thick letters so people could read them from far away. So many signs I see look like they're done in pencil and are totally unreadable unless you're a few feet away... certainly not easy to read from a moving vehicle!

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Rich

I love garage sales, it's where I get most of my furniture. But I won't be holding my own sale any time soon: the best days to hold your own garage sale happen to be the best days to go looking for other garage sales. Instead I sell my own stuff online.

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twblues

I like to browse, but rarely buy. It's too much work to host. I think I will try to sell my stuff on craigslist, if it's worth more than $20, otherwise all my clutter goes to Goodwill.

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Karen

I am an avid garage sale girl. During times when finances were extremely low it is a way to get my shopping fix in while having some time to myself. I've been unemployed for almost one year. I have found the best items that I have in my home at garage sales. All of my kitchen gadgets, plates, glasses, wine racks and even lap blankets come from these great sales. People get tired of their things, so people like me can put them to good use and treasure them. Give me a roll of quarters and a garage sale and I am in heaven.

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sarah

my condo association has a tag sale every september. individual units handle their own stuff, but the association does the advertising. it is a great way to clean out storage units. we usually get a big dumpster the week after so everyone can toss the junk (err, quality stuff) that doesn't sell. everyone wins!

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Mavis

I think yard sales are great! Sometimes I go to estate sales too. It's a great way to be nosey. :-) I am an attorney who lives in the South. So, I really enjoy observing the negotiations taking place at a yard sale. Mind you being a negotiator in this context is more of a challenge- all that charm and Southern sweetness.

I have hosted some yard sales in the past. In fact I hosted one a month ago. It was not successful at all. I find that people in the South tend to look for antiques and very cheap furniture and clothes. I had mostly art supplies and kitchen goods.

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Fxtrtsand

I love going to garage sales. Just this weekend, I found outdoor Christmas trees I had been looking for for $2 each, a nice knit top that I can wear to work this summer for $1, a bowl I had been needing for our sea shells we picked up on our last vacation (50 cents), 10 fern plants for 50 cents each (needed for edging around yard/woods) and 4 CD's for $2 each. It was a community-wide yard sale a short distance from us and I spent about 3 hours going to them. I ran into some old friends, chatted with the elderly gentleman about flowers while he was digging up the ferns and laughed at some of the kids when they would find their "treasure." All in all, it was a good way to spend a Saturday morning and it sure beat watching DH and his friend pour concrete for our patio.

Guest's picture
p

To be or not to be, that is the question....

My answer: TO BE!

Benefits:
1) De-clutter your life
2) Practice business skills such as marketing, salesmanship, negotiating, event planning, etc
3) Reconnect with your neighbors
4) Earn extra cash
5) Tax deductions when you donate unsold items to charity

Cons:
1) Shoplifters (however, you can combine your sale with family, neighbors, and friends for more coverage)
2) Aggressive cheapskates whose over-negotiations will wear you down (yes, this has happened)
3) Poor marketing (but this is a opportunity to learn how to do better next time)
4) Rain (again, another learning experience)

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Nicholas

Garage sales can be good for finding the cheapest price for pre-owned items. I only tend to go to family or friends garage sales because I get to hang out with people I know and possibly pick something up that they had which I wanted. As for other people's sales... I tend to stay away from them. I really don't like hosting them because it is just too much work. I would rather try to sell the items through ads, craigslist, amazon, etc. Anything else that does not sell gets donated.

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kecb

We're getting ready for one. LOTS of work for what is sometimes too little of a return. I'm really in purge-mode now, bigtime so I hope we make some decent $. I do love to shop, too, but only when I'm feeling strong enough to restrain myself from unnecessary deals. Our biggest problem is that our driveway is really steep. So we haul everything to the bottom. If it rains, we can't really put it in the garage - nobody could see it or would bother walking up the driveway. :-(

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Lindsay Dinkins

I grew up on yard sale-ing (both ends). We've had numerous ones in which my family would plan weeks in advance before hand to make sure everything was dusted and clean. I'm actually planning one in a couple of weeks.

I don't shop at them much anymore. I think people have now shifted into it being about getting rid of broken or out-of-date things with an inch of dust atop. But it never fails to see my grandmother out doing her "shopping" and bringing my mom along. I will never complain of them though. Most of my condo is decorated with adorable one of a kind things that they have found treasure hunting.

It's just sad that even with these pieces of unique decor I'm showered with that I still feel as though most aren't even worth it. I mean, who is really going to pay $20 for your 1995 "like new" television? Some things are meant to be donated.

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Bobbi

I do not go to them, but I have had a few. They are fun actually. I liked doing mine. I gave out banan bread and that helped with sales. :)

Guest's picture
Kate

I think they can be really fun. And, I really appreciate the idea of recycling old items rather than just throwing things away. But it's true that I do sometimes walk away with things that I bought on impulse and never use again.

I try to find ones that are in my neighborhood and use each sale as a stop to break up a long walk and motivate me to keep going. It also keeps me from buying things that are too large for my small apartment.

Guest's picture
plowe

We do one every year. Usually late-spring, early-summer. Make about $50. Good for a family night out at the local diner. Plus you get to talk to some interesting people sometimes. Along with the occasional fool that wants to haggle over a 25c ash tray :)

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Leigh

I used to shop garage sales all the time, but as I am now an empty-nester and trying to pare down, I avoid all but a select few.
It's easy to get carried away and bring home things you don't need, because they are such good deals, so if you are an impulse shopper it's a good idea to have a list, or to take someone with you to help you choose wisely. After all, is it a deal if it's not going to be used?
I have had a garage sale or two in my life also and they are a lot of work, but a great way to get rid of a lot of stuff in a short amount of time. I prefer now to just donate everything that can be used by others to worthy organizations.

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AJ

I love going to and holding garage sales.

I am really good at resisting impulse buying--I rarely go unless I'm looking for a few this in specific. Because of having a baby recently, I have even more motivation to shop them. Before I would just go to "window shop" and maybe find a steal. Now I have things like clothing, toys, and equipment I need for the little one.

As for having them, we always do really well. We make sure we have good signage, plenty of goods, and great prices to move the stuff.

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Beth

HATE holding them. Did that once, and will never do it again. I do occasionally stop at one, but since we live in a working class neighborhood, most of the stuff is trash.

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Carolyn

I used to garage sale shop every weekend. My house got so cluttered that I had to stop. Last year I discovered Freecycle and Craigslist and have unloaded a lot of stuff I just don't need. It's fun and I enjoy reading the comments from the receivers.

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O_Leery

I LOVE going to garage sales, but not the ones where the sellers think their items are collectibles. I like the cheap kind! However I HATE having garage sales. I intensely dislike someone asking me if they can have two shirts for 25 cents instead of just one. I price my stuff to sell, so don't try to get even more off of me! I make more money by itemizing what I take to the goodwill.

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Teresa

I like to hold garage sales to clear out clutter and make a little cash. Only allowed twice a year by our Home Owner's Association, which is just enough by me.

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cwaltz

I love yard sales. It's a great way to pick up stuff inexpensively. Unfortunately, our area is pretty stringent with regards to rules on having them Only twice per year, signage islimited etc,etc, so I don't see myself throwing orfrequenting them nearly as much as I did before Virginia.

Christine
dazed1821@aol.com

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Donna

I like going to garage sales and often find stuff that is in great condition that I am looking for anyway. I don't like having them. So much trouble putting it together. On the other hand, you meet some neighbors you may not otherwise meet.

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Ernest S.

I'm not a fan of buying things at garage sales, but I did enjoy selling things the last time my neighbors organized one.

I think my problem is that I end up buying a lot things that I don't need. I much prefer the eBay approach when buying things used, where I can look for specific item and compare prices. With garage sales, I end up browsing a lot of items without any real vision of what I actually need.

Guest's picture

Ever since I discovered freecycle, I have given up on having yard sales. It is so much more freeing to just give the stuff away. Though next summer I am planning the biggest baby yard sale ever. This is our last baby, so everything goes. I am also inviting other friends to join who are in the same boat.
I love to shop them though. Especially kids clothes, and winter stuff.

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Lisa B.

I don't shop garage sales; I prefer church rummage sales because you get more bang for your buck in terms of selection and price, and it's one-stop shopping. No wasting gas and brake pads driving around the neighborhood.

I will be holding a garage sale sometime this summer. My 9 year-old son likes to sell his own stuff so that he can earn money to buy something else. This summer he'll be selling some of his stuff in order to get a bike. We'll be getting rid of some junk that we probably got at a church rummage sale somewhere. And selling pop and cookies!

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Lisa

I have one garage sale a year and the kids get to take care of their own tables. They handle their own money and negotiations. I handle all of my own stuff. The kids get a nice chunk of change from it and are happy to help me set up and tear down. They even advertise for me (they dress up in a halloween costume and wave people in). We have a good time.

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Daniel

It's a great way to get rid of items before you move. My wife and I try to have one right before we move, and we use the money from the proceeds to pay for the moving truck and expenses. Whatever we do not sell, we donate to Goodwill. That way we have less stuff to pack and move when we switch apartments, plus make an extra few bucks in the meantime.

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katie

I love garage sales but foe some reason I never go to them.

Guest's picture

I shop garage sales only when I need something specific--which means I don't always buy anything. Ideally, I should get a list running of things I'll need in the future (purchases I'll have to make that I want to avoid buying new) and go more regularly.

But I have to admit, online options like Craigslist can be a much quicker way of finding what you need.

Guest's picture
blueeyedcat

I love garage sales! I have been successful at selling stuff at garage sales and also like them for one of a kind furniture items. I generally get my books at garage sales.

I don't particluarly like having them at my own place, but if you do, please consider the following:
a. lock your house doors and access to backyard and only have the stuff in your driveway. This keeps some not so honest indivudals from accessing your house and stealing. I had someone try and get in my front door (door was up two flights of stairs and sale was in the driveway down stairs..when confronted as to what they were doing they took off).

b. Keep the cash on you and not in a box.

c. Do not allow people to use your bathroom

d. mark items to avoid too much haggling

e. clean things so that you can get more money for it

f. have change, calculator and bags on hand to

I no longer have them at my place, but I participate in the local Navy housing post garage sale, which is great as they are really well organized, provide food, port a potties and security and they do the advertising...not me. I just show-up, put some tables up and set everything out and spend a few hours selling and then when done they have a Goodwill truck nearby to drop everything off. I participate as a civilian and pay $20 for the space.

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Patricia

I love Yard/Garage Sales! Great way to save money. I hardly ever pay full price for books or anything else for that matter. My house is decorated with yard sale finds, and I am always complimented on having a welcoming, lovely home. As for having sales of my own, they are a lot of work! Only if I really need the money, other wise I donate. I must say this, I have a bad habit of buying things because they are a good buy and someone else can use it if I can't. Not a good idea, in most cases. I am trying to only buy just what I really need or want.

Guest's picture
Sara Colby

I have 3 yearly multi-family (13+ people) yard sales...Memorial, 4th of July and Labor Day weekends. I usually do pretty good and since I am the one that sets up, runs and takes care of, I make a little extra!

I have people from downstate PA who come every year. I have done this for at least the last 10 years...if not longer!

Guest's picture
Eric

I've never really lived anywhere that's had a garage. :-)

But I love going to them! I did a fair amount of furnishing my apartment through yard sales. I totally believe in the power of recycling things. Who needs to spend a ton of money on things like dining room tables and toasters?

Guest's picture
Guest

I've participated twice in neighborhood/community yard sales and tend to think those are the best way to go- also more attractive to "outsiders" (people outside the neighborhood) since they can hit multiple households without tons of driving.

I love yard sales but only got lucky once when I picked up an awesome 10 speed bike for $15 that i used all during grad school. Otherwise, I am kind of SOL because I want to buy big(ger) pieces of furniture or large paintings but am single and drive a Corolla. Ha ha.

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Diasdiem

Most of the stuff at garage sales is crap, but you do find a few gems now and then. I think the best I did was a 4-drawer lateral file cabinet for $10. A new one of those will cost you around $500. Also got some really nice paintings for cheap, including a really large landscape the guy sold me for $3!

Guest's picture
Tina

I enjoy going to select garage sales. You can find some real bargains and a few treasures. I've even picked up a few items and resold them for a small return. I DO NOT enjoy having garage sales! I would much rather donate my unwanted goods.

Guest's picture
Smythe

After college I went to a ton of yard sales trying to firnish my new appartment on the cheap. Turned out that after 4 weekends of yard saleing hitting ~10 per weekend I only bought a coffee table that I had to refinish. I would have been better off going to a junk yard, I would have found the same quality stuff and saved gas money.

Now I know you can find nice used furniture, but the only furniture that was nice enough for me to want in my house was still far over priced.

My suggestion would be to search craigslist, prices are quickly normalized by the low ballers and the ability to see what other are selling for similar items. And you don't waste gas and time driving from yard sale to yard sale only to find nothing.

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lynn

I adore garage sales!! I love shopping at them and having them. My husband hates them and never wanted to be involved. He's been out of work for 8 long months so he decided to help with a sale of our own. I keep things stored in banana boxes just for sales and ebay. We cleaned out the garage, hauled stuff, put it in general area's for pricing-1 dollar table, 2 dollar table, etc. and advertised everywhere we could. We ended up making 850.00. My husband is a convert!

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DEBBIE

I would rather give my stuff away to Goodwill or to a rummage sale at my temple.

I don't like looking at other's people's junk so I don't go to yard sales.

Guest's picture
Guest

I choose to donate items rather than garage sale for the simple fact that unless I have big ticket items (furniture, etc.) I don't earn enough $$$ for my time. A 'successful' garage sale requires a time investment to advertise, set up, organize, and clean up. Hours and hours of work to make $100 (or less) on small items and clothes doesn't seem worth it!

Guest's picture
Coupon

I love garage sales, with 3 kids it is a great way to outfit them in nice, even brand-name, clothes for cheap. I am not a brand snob at ALL but recognize that some brands are higher quality and I'll take 'em if I can find them at great prices. I think the key is to know what you are looking for ahead of time. For instance, I am on the lookout for clothes for my 5-year-old daughter. So I will look through the classifieds and circle rummage sales that list girl clothes. A good rule of thumb is don't buy something unless it's at least 75% off what you would pay in a store. Because I can shop the clearance section and buy new otherwise. Nicer neighborhoods are often good places to start. Sometimes they think their junk is better than other people's junk so they overprice, but a lot of times I've found that better-off families don't care about making money so much as getting rid of it. The best time to go is when a city has a city-wide garage sale, you can hit lots of sales in a short amount of time.

Guest's picture

I wrote a whole blog post about why I love garage sales. Check it out: http://www.waterwatereverywhere.net/2010/05/garage-sale-tales.html

Guest's picture
Diane

I don't shop garage sales, but I do have them sometimes. When my sons were younger and outgrowing clothes & toys regularly we had one every year. Now we only have one every few years when we have enough to make it worthwhile. We've made anywhere from $150 - $600 on each sale, depending on what we were selling. A lot of work... but a good way to clear things out and make a little cash.

Guest's picture
Hallowsboys

I am an avid garage sale consumer and retailer! This weekend I had the last of my garage sales...one at one house and one at another! I made over $700 on stuff that I first bought at a garage sale/thrift store/clearance rack, used for years, months, etc. then resold at about the same cost as I purchased it for! Now to me that is a no brainer....my time spent was about 15 hours total....I have an ongoing garage sale pile in my storage room that I contribute to all year long (as I have a sale each spring), so its not a huge deal to gather my stuff, set out on a table, in my garage and be ready for the 4 hour sale on Saturday morning(s). When I am done...it all goes to charity for a tax deduction. My 15 hours comes from doing it twice not once, in two different cities (with my best friend) so we get different clientle who want different things..its weird but it works!

As a consumer..I use garage sales to find things I NEED for my own use and families. If I won't use it even though its a great deal, I don't buy it UNLESS, I know that I can resell it on EBAY or Craigslist for a profit with little effort! I am an accumulater during the summer and all winter long and season appropriate I sell what I find at garage sales for 100% and UP profit. Its a strange hobby but one that makes me feel like I am contributing financially to our finances, is the thrill of the hunt, its a way to shop frugally, as its one of my favorite ways to destress!

So in my opinion...GARAGE SALES- YES

Guest's picture
Renee

I love the IDEA of garage sales, but unfortunately my daughter's soccer games and lazy Saturday mornings compete with my ability to regularly shop them. I would love to have them, but the location of my home isn't really conducive to lots of traffic. I do much better donating my stuff to a local charity. Donated items are sold at a thrift store which supports a shelter for women who are fleeing domestic violence. I also shop there when I go to drop off my stuff - always being careful to bring home much less than I took.

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MitchJ

I avoid garage sales. I've hosted one and hated the experience.

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coll

I WOULD have a garage sale, if our condo association allowed us to. I like going to garage sales. I think the important thing to think about when you purchase is "Do I really need this item?" since a lot of garage sales purchases are impulse items. I always try and think of a place in my home where the item will go, so I am not increasing clutter.

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Rylie

I don't host them, I prefer aution sites like ebay or even craigslist.
BUT on warm weekends in the spring and summer I get the classifieds and hit up all the garage sale locations. I only take $50 so I have a limit. I've gotten some great cheap stuff from the bike I ride ($10! perfect condition) to all my gardening tools for dirt cheap. Who needs to spend $20 on new garden tools? I find all i need at garage sales. It's easy to spend on junk though, so I've tried to limit what I buy at these things to tools.

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Eileen

I go to the nice neighborhoods in my area. They usually have good quality items that hold their value over time: cookware, for example, and decorative vases and such.

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Guest

I go to the rich neighborhoods for the yard sales.

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Carmen

We just held a garage sale two weeks ago. Between the four families we earned $300. Not a lot, but then again we only held it one day. I've heard that Thursdays are now the "hot" day to hold your sales, followed by Fridays. Saturdays are popular days for having one, but apparently not so much for shopping.

I don't go to garage sales very often - but I will be this summer. We just found out we're expecting our first child, so we have nothing in the way of supplies and clothing. Kids clothes are awesome buys because they normally outgrown them before they have a change to wear them out (just watch for stains!)

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Steph

I don't go out of my way to find garage sales, but, if we're out walking the dog & come across one, I definitely check it out. Generally we're not carrying any cash, and I've not seen anything for which we've gone home to get cash & returned.

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Guest Lisa

I used to hold garage sales twice a year in conjunction with my subdivision's community sale. I stopped doing it because no matter how low you priced your stuff, people basically expected you to just put it in a bag and give it to them. I had a 3 pc suit for $4.00 and a lady wanted to give me $1.00 for it. After all the hard work, pricing and staying up all night to have it, it wasn't worth it. Now, I just go to yard sales.

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rvkma

I think they are totally worth it to do, if you have enough stuff.
I just did a garage sale this weekend - mostly stuff I would have given away to Goodwill for free anyhow, and I made $180! Sweet!
I also like to shop them - mainly for kid's clothes. I usually don't even look at adult's clothing or most household stuff. But if I see a garage sale with kid's stuff, I'll stop to check it out.

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Angela

I used to shop them a lot when my kids were babies/toddlers, but not so much now. As for having one, I've had a couple, but I'm not convinced yet that they've been a good use of my time. I actually have some "stuff" that I want to get rid of, and am contemplating a garage sale. Just haven't pulled the trigger yet.

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thatmikeguy

I garage sale as a 2nd job, and for fun. Me and my dad make a great deal of money during the summer going to garage sales, then cleaning things up and selling at resale shops. The trick is simple, get there first! In most of the garage sales around here, by the time the sale was supposed to actually start, everything useful or cheap is gone. Some people will post "no earlybirds" and such, but money talks. There are different types of sales we attend, and because of the get there first rule there is an order of priority. Moving/Estate sales that are not done by professionals are #1, this is because they frequently sell "everything", because they are on a fixed time limit and they will have to deal with anything left over. #2 Subdivision sales, 1 hour before they start, just because you can get to more sales in less time. #3 Moving/Estate sales last day of sale, because even if done by professionals, everything is at least 50% off.

Almost everything in my house, and 90% of my clothing (some things are difficult to find in tall sizes, but I have), and everything in my yard has come from garage/estate/moving sales. It's not all used things also. Especially after a divorce! Some Gals will give away everything their husbands had, new or not. So I have items with their original tags on them that are new. You know that country song, "Give it Away", well they do! Last week I got 8 polo shirts and a remote control semi this one http://www.trendtimes.com/remote-control-tractor-trailer-semi-truck.html for 90 cents, because it started raining. I can sell what I don't want at any time, so I just change out things I like better, and sell them.

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saudade

I love garage sales for one-offs of vintage dishware, and for costume jewelry. As a seasoned thrift store shopper, I've really learned to hone my impulse to buy buy buy, so I really enjoy it. Holding a garage sale, on the other hand, is a big pain. I've only held them when I've moved.

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Guest

I will check out a yard sale if I happen to be within walking distance, but I would never hold one because my time is more valuable than that. Frankly, I'm shocked that any household that itemizes income tax deductions in the 21st century still bothers to hold yard sales, when it would be a more efficient use of time (and more cost-effective) to donate goods worth <$50 to charity, and sell more expensive items on eBay or through Craigslist.

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redace

Garage sales are amazing. because these are cheap , good and quality gems. Take a look at the garage sales before going retail.
P.S. "Batman" from kickass is a nice touch

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Guest

Garage sales are the best! I only go when I am looking for a specific item - then you can really save a bundle. We bought a table and chairs for our patio that probably cost 300 dollars for 10 bucks. what isn't to love about that?

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cynthia rafler

Garage sales I love to hold them and go to them. In this ecomomy you can get some good - second hand deals.
Its a great way to de-hoard your house room by room. Pass on funiture, clothes, kitchen items and toys nolonger of use. What doesn't get sold, give away to charity.
Going to a garage sale you must go early to get the best deals. People will haggle with you.
Also if you are holding one and still have good stuff to sale, wait til sundown to close, there are the few strays that might pull up or the passer-bys.

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I love yard sales--both for earning extra income (I usually make $400-500 on items I pick up free at drugstores/grocery stores) and for buying good quality used items for my home. I've bought furniture and refinished it, picked up years of board games and puzzles, and more. I always shop with a list--to avoid overspending and impulse buys. Yard sales are also great for seasonal items (winter boots X 3 kids, sleds, etc.), sports equipment and barely used hobby items--like cleats from the kid who quit after one season.

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gina

I don't generally go to garage sales, but I have had a few of my own!

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Kate

Nope, no yard sale. Not enough foot or street traffic in the suburbs, and no space in the city. I'd rather Craigslist it for free knowing that it will go to good use for someone else.

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I would shop them ,but never have one.

The people that want a discount on a shirt that you have priced for 50 cents drive me up a wall!

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ABMC

I love the idea of treasure hunting at garage sales but usually find that I don't have the time or patience to really dedicate to it. Every summer I think "ooh, I bet I can pick up X, Y, and Z at tag sales" and usually by the season's end I'm still stuck with N and O luck.

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Gil

My wife and I have lived in our home for 8 years and in that time have had two kids and collected a lot of stuff. Unfortunately, our HOA won't allow us to have garage sales so we take advantage of the community garage sales held at the different high schools during the sping and fall. My wife handles the pricing of the items and seeks new community garage sales. I handle the loading/unloading of the items and treasurer. Thus far we've had two very successful sales this year with plenty of stuff available for the next one in the fall. By then we'll have plenty of items to take to the next sale. Quite frankly, we enjoy the little work it takes and the big rewards at the end of the day. We've even considered how we can turn this into a business.

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Yard sales are great for items like used books and children's clothes and toys, but I'm not a big fan of them. It can take an awful long time to leaf through all of the junk in an effort to find a few treasures.

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Ann

We're a homeschooling family in Illinois and we hold garage sales every year and we shop them every year. There are two annual all-town garage sale days here, where almost everyone does their spring and fall cleaning by getting rid of things they don't need.

We've gotten some of our nicest furniture at garage sales, we're gotten a brand new $800 Proform Treadmill that someone bought and never used, sold it to us for $40! My son has gotten a weight bench and about $400 of weights and equipment for $30. We save a lot of money by shopping garage sales. My daugter's clothing is mostly from families who can buy brand new clothing, wear it a few times and then sell it for two or three dollars at a garage sale. As a single mom, I rely on garage sales to help stock up on clothing, gifts, and books for cheap.

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Mariel

We usually sell to other family members. I have an aunt, who is always reselling almost everything anyone can have/find... I like that idea, but I think that most of the time, for most articles, you are actually loosing money and time (clothes, shoes)... Sometimes however, it is ok (electrical stuff, apliances, etc).

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Jill

I love to garage sale. I live in Southwest Iowa and there are some really good neighborhood ones and some small town nearby have city-wide garage sales. I only will garage sale with a list so I do not come home with a lot of junk.
For example, I have a 7 month old son and I am currently looking for clothes for him size 9-18 months to last through the winter. Baby clothes are the best to get at garage sales because they only wear things a couple of times!

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Ryan

I think that for the most part garage sales are full of a lot of useless crap, but you can occasionally get some good deals on useful stuff if you're lucky. I'm not a big fan of hosting them because its a bit of a pain in the ass, but after my baby is a bit older, I plan to organize a block wide sale to try to make some money off of all my generous friends and their numerous shower gifts.

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Michelle F.

I usually go to flea markets instead of garage sales. There's a giant flea market and festival at the end of July that I always go to and people living nearby have garage sales, but I usually just go to the flea market part.

I had a yard sale once but no one bought hardly anything. It wasn't worth it really. I swear I probably only made $5.00 or $10.00 Someone wanted my walkie talkies and wanted me to throw in a Barbie doll, too. People really want steals.

I would look for books if I went to a garage sale.

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kristy

I like yard sales. It's fun to get out of the house and look around. You never know what you may find

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I love garage sales. Yes...I've probably brought home things I don't need in the past. Then got to where I'd just buy clothes or dishes that we needed. Haven't been in a while now though...no money.

@bctripletmom

bctripletmom at gmail dot com

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Jill

I LOVE garage sales. I grew up going to them with my Mom and Dad and have held several myself, although that's not as fun 'cause it's a lot of work.

My Dad is gone now and when I go to garage sales, I miss him being with us, but I have passed the tradition down to my son and we both have a great time together spending a Saturday garage saleing even if we don't find any treasures.

Thanks for your great chats! And congrats on your new baby due soon!

@jillyrh on twitter