It's garage sale season and signs can be spotted in almost every neighborhood. Although it's a great way to get rid of excess clutter, is it the right move for your family?
Some neighborhoods and even cities do not allow them. Do your research. If you get the legal green light, here are some other things to consider.
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The upside of garage sales
The obvious advantage of a garage sale is that you can make some quick cash, and you don’t have to worry about shipping anything.
Knowing you are having the sale might inspire you to declutter and get rid of items that are no longer necessary in your life.
You can inspire your children to get involved by allowing them to keep the profits from the sale of their old toys or donate it to a cause that is meaningful to them.
Garage sales also have a distinct social aspect. They can be a fun way to get to know your neighbors or meet interesting people.
The downside of garage sales
One of the largest downsides is that people set aside things for a garage sale and then never have one. The unwanted items continue to take up space in their homes and create a mountain of clutter that can often become a fire hazard.
Another significant downside is that a garage sale is a lot of work. Successful garage sales involve (and require) a lot of preparation like making signs, placing ads, getting permits, pricing items, and getting up before dawn on the day of the sale to set everything up. Don’t forget the post-sale work, too—taking down those signs and disposing of anything that didn’t sell.
While you can certainly make money through a garage sale, it may be less than you expect. Garage sale shoppers are looking for bargains and will haggle over your prices, even if they were very low already.
And if you have bad weather, you might get fewer shoppers and make much less money than expected.
To avoid garage sale regrets, you might want to estimate your probable profits, using realistic estimates on what is likely to sell and at what prices. (Visiting other garage sales in your area could help with this.) Then you can decide if you feel that amount of money is worth the time and effort the sale will require.