Jun 18 2012

My first (and probably last!) yard sale

On Saturday, I helped my grandma with a yard sale and I also included some items to sell. I thought it would be good to clear out some things and maybe earn a few bucks.

I picked up a case of water for cheap, with the intent to sell it to yard sale…patrons? $0.50/bottle sounded fair to me. I also bought a 12-pack of Pepsi and sold those for $0.75/can.

Good gravy. After the tally at the end of the sale, I made  like $15. What. I sold 4 Pepsis and 0 waters. Had to cart a bunch of items home.

Some things I’ll try to list on eBay.

The rest of the cast-offs I’ll just donate. I’m not sure if we’ll have enough deductions this year to itemize, but if we can deduct those things — great! And if not, at least it’s out of my house and adding to someone else’s life (in theory).

Ugh. It was a lot of work for such a small payout. Grandma made like $70, but when you subtract her share of the neighborhood’s ad in the paper and the time involved, it just plain wasn’t worth it.

I think I’ll just stick to going to yard sales instead of having my own. How ’bout you?

14 Responses to “My first (and probably last!) yard sale”

  1. The last few years I’ve gone in with about 6 families on a garage sale that is part of city-wide sales. This year, I didn’t do as well as last year, but it was still worth my time. (The socializing with family is pretty great too!)

    I found that I did better than many of the people at our sale because I had a lot of kids toys and clothing. Others who had more household stuff didn’t do as well.

  2. I’ve always wanted to do a yard sale, but I never could when I lived in an apartment, and now I live on a dead end with only three other houses, so I don’t think I’d get enough foot traffic to make a yard sale worthwhile.

    You said it was a neighborhood sale, so I’m really surprised you didn’t do well! I guess it depends on your neighborhood. My friend lives in a big subdivision right off a major road, so she got a lot of foot traffic from people stopping to check things out when her neighborhood had a big sale.

    I would say for big items like furniture and stuff, you’re better off Craigslisting it. But for little items like kids’ clothes and toys, a nice big neighborhood sale in a big subdivision off a major road can be a success.

    Oh, and I have friends who swear by consigning. There are lots of kids sales where you can sell your clothes and toys, and you might have more success with that because so many people come looking for those specific items.

    I’ve still never gotten the motivation to actually get stuff together for a yard sale or a consignment sale, though. Maybe someday. Pfft.

  3. I did well on a garage sale with big ticket items (Baby stuff-pack and play, walker, highchair, etc) about 4 years ago.

    I’ve done maybe 3 since and made nothing. It’s not worth my time or the hassle so we just donate to Goodwill and lately, I’ve been selling again on CL and the FB local swap sites. Doing well there!

  4. I was going to do a yard sale a year or two ago. I emailed a few people and asked for pricing help, since I don’t usually get up early enough on Saturday mornings to actually attend yard sales. I was a little surprised at what they told me, and I went through all my stuff and realized that I would not be making enough to make it worth the $25 license, the supplies, and the effort to sit in the sun for two days. I decided to skip it.

    I’d be curious to hear from people who think yard sales are worth it.

  5. I didn’t have any children’s goods in the sale — still using it, or saving it for a maybe baby, or I’ll put it in a kids’ consignment sale since those seem to do better.

    Ashley, a license?!?! good gravy.

  6. I’ve had 2 yard sales in 5 years. We made about $100 each time, plus sold a beater truck for $200 at the last one. Both times they were 1 day neighborhood sales. I’d say it’s worth it, if you can count it as a fun outside day, where you get to meet some neighbors and chat with random strangers. We didn’t have to pay for licenses or advertising, so that helped with the bottom line. I’ve done 2 children’s consignment sales in the last year and I find those much more worthwhile if you have lots of kids stuff to clear out. I’ve made $125 at both those sales and sold 50-70% of what I brought.

  7. It’s just to make sure you take down your signs – you get it back afterwards, but still money you gotta put up at the beginning. I think it’s also to keep people from having perpetual yard sales to avoid paying tax. :-)

  8. Almost every time I’ve had a yard sale it’s been worth my time, I usually make $1000-$1500 for a 2 day sale. My worst one was $300. I only have 1 every couple of years, so I tend to have a lot of stuff. Yard sales are a lot of work and I won’t have one unless it’s worth my time and effort. I’ve found that participating in a community yard sale garners far less sales than if I were to have my own at another time. My friend taught me to hold yard sales at the beginning of the month, because that’s when people receive their SS/govt checks. She compared her sales with 1st of month vs. mid-month and sure enough, the 1st was always much busier! I did my first kids consignment sale this spring and make about $750. Can be worth it if you have enough items to offset the percentage they keep (15%-40%).

  9. Sorry you had such a lousy day. We just spent a few weeks cleaning out and had a yard sale with my mom Saturday. It went pretty well. We made close to $200 total, and $50 of it was my mom’s. I think location and signage is much more important than an ad in the paper. Those ads cost way too much and they usually screw it up somehow anyway. I did a Craigslist ad for free, and posted about it in a couple of facebook groups where people sell stuff. The location of my mom’s house and the fact that it was an awesome yard sale day were in our favor. We are mostly drop-it-at-Goodwillers, but every three years or so we do a deep decluttering and try to make a little extra money!

  10. After the last garage sale I said “never again”. Give me a break, if it is marked 25c and u want it for less? One man stole a bunch of the expensive things and refused to open his trunk!!! Everything is given to charity.

  11. I agree. I gave up participating in the neighborhood yard sales about 4 years ago. So much work pulling everything out, pricing it all and dragging it all outside. People basically want you to take whatever it is and put it into a bag and give it to them. No matter how low something is priced, they want it for less. I agree with JD, I had items marked 25c and they wanted it for a dime. Very frustrating. Wasting so many hours and walking away with maybe 30 bucks. NOT WORTH IT!!!!

  12. One lady at our sale wanted something priced at a quarter for a dime, and we’re like ok whatever…and then she hands us a quarter and wants change. Come ON. Where else can you get xyz thing for a quarter?

    I don’t haggle at yard sales. I figure people price it for what they want and if the price isn’t worth it to me, I just don’t buy it.

  13. Ugh! We just had a yard sell and it was definitely the last one. Just too much time and too much effort! Hate to throw things away so next time I’ll call the Salvation Army as I have heard they will come and take things away at no charge.

  14. I have never had a yard sale (or garage sale as we call them in Australia) as an adult. But as a child I remember we used to join forces with a few other families. The hosting family lived opposite the local primary school, and we always held the garage sale on election/voting day. It was a very successful way to do it, that’s for sure!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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