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Have you had a rummage sale?
Old 06-23-2007, 11:39 PM   #1
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Have you had a rummage sale?

Because of how painful the moving process is, and because a lot of our household stuff can easily be replaced (or is unneccessary), I have been selling and giving away a lot of stuff. Through Craigslist I have now sold two motorcycles, a large rug, the dang bat house, metal camping dishes, two bicycles, and a LDC tv. What hasn't moved is furniture. I also haven't tried to sell a number of things on Craigslist because of the PITA factor. Clothes. Extra dishes. Boxes of little stuff. I have given some things to Goodwill. I am debating having a rummage sale to try to ditch a lot at once because we do have a fair amount to get rid of. But I am a bit hesitant. Years ago our old neighborhood had a massive rummage sale and I participated. I sold some stuff but didn't make much money. We lost money because during the sale (which was very crowded) someone stole a few things from our garage.

The last person I know who had a rummage sale was my sister in LA and her step daughter. The step daughter made about $300 and my sister made about $10. After each took a whole day off from work.

So, what are your experiences getting rid of stuff in a rummage sale?
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:47 AM   #2
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I've had a number of garage sales, and agree that they can be a major PITA, but on the other hand, can make some serious cash. I sold some tools, suits, and other big boy toys, along with a full complement of DD's smaller clothes, DW's clothes and knick Knacks, household goods, etc. By listing the tools and kids stuff at the head of the ad, we had a great response, and, in fact, had people knocking on the door at 6:30 AM, to get at the stuff. We also experienced some of the theft problems, but, learned to have additional friends/neighbors participating, so we had good coverage to watch what was going on.
Results, ranged from $700 to several thousand, depending on items, time of year, weather, and proximity to holidays (don't do it - no one comes).
Good Luck

It helps to make a party of it, with the friends/neighbors, and if you can get the neighborhood to make it a block sale, with several houses participating, you generate a lot of traffic, even though there is more competition..
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:57 AM   #3
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Hi Martha, I have held many rummage sales. I've done it 'solo' as well as participated in many multi-family rummage sales. Except out here on the west coast, we usually call them garage sales.

I've made between $100 - $900, depending on the quantity and quality of goods. I keep it simple -- sales start at 8am in the morning and goes no later than 3pm, 1 day only, usually Saturday when I don't have to take any time off of work. Anything not sold gets donated. Prices are set between 10% and 25% of original cost, depending on condition (unless unusual items like collector items or antiques are involved). I don't haggle much before lunch, but I cut a lot of price deals in the afternoon. I advertised mostly via signs posted around the neighborhood and an ad in the local penny saver newsletter.

Sorry to hear there have been so many problems with rummage sales in your neighborhood! I'd suggest you have a helper if possible to keep an eye on the cash box and goods. Also keep the garage door closed and put away anything in the front yard that isn't bolted down!

You probably won't make tons of money, but if done right, you should clear out tons of stuff. And that itself feels pretty darn good.
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Martha View Post
So, what are your experiences getting rid of stuff in a rummage sale?
We've quit garage sales in favor of Craigslist.

If Craigslist + photos hasn't caught on in your area, is there a cheap classified ad in the local paper or some other way of advertising used furniture?
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Old 06-24-2007, 02:38 AM   #5
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How much is your time worth? To me, forget about the sale, give it all to a charity (Goodwill, Salvation Army). You get a receipt for a tax deduction that would probably add up to more than you would actually make at a garage sale. Plus your GIVING to someone who really is in need. No need to price everything and sit around all day having people stare at you and your junk. That is a win, win, win situation all around.

Maybe sell some of the higher end stuff on Craigs or through other adds, but I save myself the hassel and a weekend.

We are getting ready to move across country currently and the Goodwill now knows us by name and we love the ease of dropping off our stuff, letting them sort it all out and do thier own pricing. It sure has taken a lot of the stress of moving away, and you can't put a price on that!!!
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:53 AM   #6
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You might be able to get a used furniture dealer to give you a quote and then come pick it up. You probably wouldn't get very much, but then it would be more than nothing (as opposed to donating it) and it would all be gone (as opposed to the outcome of a garage/rummage sale).

I've checked out Craigslist both here and in my probable retirement location, and it doesn't look promising. Nords is right - - its effectiveness may be very location dependent.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:58 AM   #7
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We haven't had good luck with garage sales. Lots of prep time, dragging stuff out for sale, people arriving waaaayyy before it starts, traffic blocked on the street. Hours of time. People bring their 6 kids and Grandma, not to mention the dog.

Most stuff goes for a song. Even if you end up with a couple hundred bucks, you need to decide it it's worth it.

We'd prefer Craigs List or Ebay, for item worth more than $25 or so, just bite the bullet and trash or donate the other stuff.

I have known people in the midwest who seem to really enjoy the haggling and hustle bustle, but it's been a pain for us.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:16 AM   #8
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I can think of many ways how I'd rather spend my time...

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Old 06-24-2007, 09:11 AM   #9
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I'd rather shoot myself in the foot than have another garage sale .
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:19 AM   #10
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A garage sale can be worth your time if it is held with others where you live and you price the stuff right.

I couldn't give my furniture away. So I left it - I was renting an apartment at the time. I think the cleaning staff appreciated it. It was good clean stuff too. Goodwill wouldn't come to pick it up.
After I was finished I was able to get all the physical things I owned into a 5x5 storage room. Then I was off in my RV.

Now that I'm in a house I'm still looking for things to get rid of. (Yes I do have furniture!)
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:38 AM   #11
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How much is your time worth? To me, forget about the sale, give it all to a charity (Goodwill, Salvation Army). You get a receipt for a tax deduction that would probably add up to more than you would actually make at a garage sale. Plus your GIVING to someone who really is in need. No need to price everything and sit around all day having people stare at you and your junk. That is a win, win, win situation all around.

Maybe sell some of the higher end stuff on Craigs or through other adds, but I save myself the hassel and a weekend.

We are getting ready to move across country currently and the Goodwill now knows us by name and we love the ease of dropping off our stuff, letting them sort it all out and do thier own pricing. It sure has taken a lot of the stress of moving away, and you can't put a price on that!!!
Donate. Absolutely (except perhaps for larger, more expensive items where Craigslist or e-bay can work well). Not only is it a fraction of the difficulty, but you can help out a good organization and, if itemizing, very well may have a better financial outcome than from a rummage/garage sale.
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:39 AM   #12
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We've had good experiences, and made about $250 from our last sale.

But remember: It's not about making money, it's about getting rid of stuff. This is especially true when you're moving. For every item you sell, you save the amount that it would have cost to move it. Don't forget to sell stuff that the moving company won't move: paints, liquids, etc.

Put an ad for the garage sale in craigslist as well as the local paper.

Here are some tips from a thread in another forum.
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:49 AM   #13
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I had my siblings over to pick through for anything they wanted.

I think for the next couple of weeks I'll keep on doing the Craigslist thing. I really am not too thrilled with doing a rummage/garage sale as it is so much work and I question how much money we'll actually see out of it. Especially as we don't have kids stuff, which really seems to be what sells.



Keep the stories coming!
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:40 AM   #14
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We've done garbage garage and rubbish rummage sales over the years, but they were a PITA. Now we just donate most of the stuff we no longer want or need to one of the resale/thrift shop in town. They're happy to get it....and we're happier to get rid of it!!!

If we were moving or just wanted to get rid of most of our furniture, appliances, tools, nick-nacks, and other assorted junk....we'd have an auction! That way you can get rid of EVERYTHING quick & easy. The auctioneers do the advertising, come in and move everything out into the yard and/or onto wagons, auction it off (ALL of it!!!), handle the money collection, take care of clean up (mostly), and then give you your money (minus THEIR cut of course!)

If it's a small estate, around here they'll haul everything to there auction barn, and combine it with other small estates, for one LARGE sale. They keep track of the money for each of the estates involved, so there's no problems getting the proper amount of money back to each estate.

I've w*rked for auctioneers at lots of "estate" auctions, and have seen people buy JUNK that I'd be embarrassed to put out for the trash man!!! It's like a feeding frenzy in the piranha tank! Some people will buy anything...and pay top dollar for it!

At one 'estate' auction I watched a lady buy a washer and a dryer...auctioned separately....for over twice the price of new units!!! The auctioneer stopped about 3 times to ask if she understood that she was bidding on ONLY one appliance...NOT the pair! She said "yes!" He talked to her family members in attendance, and they said she was doing OK! This was about 15 years ago, and she paid about $2000 for a VERY used washer and dryer combo! A garage sale might have netted $50 a piece around here!
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:51 PM   #15
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I'll be in a similar situation in about a year. I knew my move to Texas would be somewhat temporary (7 years), so I haven't accumulated too much, and I either brought stuff I didn't want to come back east (I kept my place in Virginia) or bought inexpensive stuff. I've been wrestling with the garage sale vs. donate. I'll have to look into the auctioning. I guess it depends if I unload the w/d and fridge with the house, or need to get rid of it. I kind of dread dealing with a garage sale, whereas Goodwill is just 1/2 mile from me.
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:59 PM   #16
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As Al says, it is not so much a money thing, but a get rid of stuff thing. Part of my Goodwill resistance is just getting all the stuff to Goodwill. And they don't help you unload. If we can get it there, we might as well move it to the new place. I want someone to come to me and take it away.
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Old 06-24-2007, 02:14 PM   #17
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I've had a number of garage sales, but, honestly, I just bit the bullet and gave everything away when I sold my house. However, when I was in innercity Chicago (a city with no parking, might I mention, which means you get diehards) a couple years ago, I paid to have someone be there with me in the huge apartment. Since I sold a number of "antiques" and put that word first in my ad, I had dealers show up and made a profit of $750 (after paying the help). Sounds good? Considering I sold things to them for $40-60-100 that they could resell for up to $250...uh...not so good. But I had to get rid of things, and this is the only way I could guarantee they would walk off.
If you have tons of small things, clothes and toys, just give them away unless you have the days and time to mark it all. Garage/Estate/Apartment sales are tons of physical labor, so I hope you are in shape if you do decide to do it...or you will feel it for a few days afterward. It's work, pure and simple.
To me...it just is not worth the time to make less than $1,000. Ugh.
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Old 06-24-2007, 02:19 PM   #18
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If you have a house full of good stuff and the normal accumulation of crap, see if your area has a company that will come and mark/sell for you. I think they take something like 40%, but that would be worth it.
Auctions are always a last resort if your area does not do Craigslist (like mine doesn't). You usually end up with an item costing $75 and, after the auctioneer takes his cut, you get a whopping $17...however, better than zero, I guess. This one is from experience.
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Old 06-24-2007, 02:27 PM   #19
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In this area, Salvation Army will pickup larger items. I even donated an old Apache popup camper once. Guy came by, hitched 'er up, and viola*, camper gone!!

* Pronounced "vy-oh-luh" here in Texas...
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Old 06-24-2007, 02:45 PM   #20
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When my father -in -law died we had a company come in and take everything and they gave us a set price not great money but soo worth the hassle.
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