I’ve never thought that having a garage sale was worth my time. I’ve seen many family members and friends do it many times and even though they may make $300 in a day I just don’t see how that’s worth the time and energy. In my opinion garage sales benefit the buyers more than the sellers.
There are a lot of things I know I need to get rid of, but the list of items I have still have good value in my opinion. For instance, I need to thin out my Longaberger basket collection and if I sold them at a garage sale they would maybe go for $5 or less no matter the condition. There are so many other things that I think hold value and can’t bring myself to sell at garage sale prices. So with that said I’ve tuned to Ebay and it’s been successful.
I don’t bother selling clothes, but rather pass by boys’ clothes to a friend for her son or donate the boys and my clothes to a battered womens’ shelter. Old bikes are perfect for a garage sale or any other big bulky toy, so I send it to my sister-in-laws when her neighborhood has a garage sale. The main things that I see that hold value are:
- Longaberger baskets
- Kids electronics (Nintendo DS, DS games, Wii games, etc)
- Electronics that you’ve used minimal times and it’s to late to return to the store.
- Accessories to an electronic. I just washed my Fitbit, but I sold the accessories on Ebay and got $45.
- Kids movies in bundles/series.
- Unopened cosmetics (Mary Kay, Rodan Fields, etc.) ~ I buy more than one at a time and when I change my regimen then I’m stuck with the items I stocked up on. If the brand is popular and your cosmetic is unopened see if you can get a bite on an Ebay auction.
- Decorative Figurines (Precious Moments, etc) ~ I plan to start purging mine soon.
The bottom line for me is anything I can get $4.99 or more for small items & 19.99 or more for bitter items is worth my time and effort. Ebay’s smartphone app makes it so easy, especially if your item has a barcode on it. Within seconds I can have an auction up and live. Here are some things I’ve learned about Ebay auctions:
- Start your auction late afternoon on Sunday. That gives it a week of visibility and the following weekend for a bidding war prior to the 7 day auction closing.
- Buy your postage through Ebay. You get a discount and a tracking number. Buyers love that!
- Ebay will push “free shipping” on your auctions. It’s not necessary. I charge shipping on all my auctions and they sell just fine.
- Get the Ebay app for your Smartphone. It’s great to start auctions, keep and eye on them in case a buyer question comes up, and is useful when you’re shipping as well. I LOVE THE APP!!
- When entering the info for the auction be honest and genuine in the description. For instance in the extra cosmetics that I have sold I just let them know that I changed my regimen, the product is unopened and “new in the box/new in package” (NIB/NIP).
- Also when entering the info for the auction be sure to request “auto relist” in case it doesn’t sell the first or second time. Ebay will relist it two more times if it doesn’t sell. Don’t worry if this happens. Sometimes the right buyer doesn’t come along the first seven days. (see picture above)
- If it’s an item that could smell smokey if in a smoking home then make sure you state in the description that it’s from a “smoke free home.” Buyers will ask if it’s not stated.
- As far as the pictures for the auction the more the better. You don’t need to be a professional photographer. I just put the items on the floor and take pictures, or a hold it up against the wall with my hand. The simplest way to add pictures is though the smartphone app. That way you don’t have to download from your phone to your computer/laptop and then upload to Ebay.
- Last but not least. Each buyer or seller has an Ebay rating. If you haven’t been on Ebay before buy some things so sellers can rate you. Buyers won’t buy if your rating is low. This way buyers will feel more comfortable if you have a decent rating showing that others have vouched for your trustworthiness.
I put all my items through two rounds of 3 auctions before I decide what to do with it. If it’s something I think will sell I’ll keep it and try again another time. If it’s not, then I’ll donate it to Goodwill.
I hope this post helps in either getting you started. Happy selling!