By the time you read this we will be half way through our Big Purge Garage Sale. I’ve been so busy purging and documenting the purge that I haven’t had time to mention anything about how we are disposing of purged items. In short, we are trashing, recycling, donating, selling on eBay, selling on craigslist, or selling at a garage sale.
(Note, the post was written on Thursday and was supposed to go up on Friday, but I was so beat after the garage sale that I didn’t feel like getting on the computer to get it posted on the blog. I’ll be posting the results of the garage sale tomorrow.)
I’m excited about this garage sale. This is a big deal, because we are not garage sale people. We don’t enjoy going to garage sales and we have never ever hosted a garage sale. We’ve just never felt that it was worth our time to sell a few junky items. We usually just pack it up and take it to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Then we can get the tax deduction which is likely to be as much or more than we’d get at the garage sale anyway, and we do it with far less effort.
This time however, we have so much stuff to get rid of, that we decided to have a Garage Sale blowout. We’ve been storing all our purged items on my side of the garage, and we are soooo ready to get those items out of our house and out of our lives. We’ve already mentally parted with them, and now we are anxious to part with them physically.
One thing I’ve noticed about the few garage sales I’ve been to is that most items are overpriced. It always irks me to have to negotiate for an overpriced item at a garage sale. This stuff is obviously junk to the seller, so why do I have to go through the effort of haggling to get a good deal. You’re not running a retail store here; you are getting rid of your old junk. Price it like you want to get rid of it.
So, that’s what we are doing. We are pricing it like we want to get rid of it. I have tons of items that will be just $1, and a bunch more that are just $2. Then we have a few higher priced items that are deeply discounted over the retail price, in most cases less than a quarter of the original price.
I think the pricing issue can be a major sticking point to sellers. They feel their items still hold value. THEY DON’T. An item sitting unused in your home holds no value. The value of an item is based on the purpose it serves. If it is not being used, then it doesn’t serve a purpose in your life, thus it has no value.
The other day we were at my parents’ house for lunch and a visit. I mentioned the garage sale, which brought back memories of a recent mega huge community garage sale they had gone to a few months back. My dad bought a few items that appeared to be some type of old tools. He actually said these words, “I didn’t know what it was, but the price was too good to pass up.” He bought a useless item because it the price was low, in the dollar range I think.
He also mentioned that my cousin, who was participating in the sale sold her stuff way too cheap and could have gotten much more money for it. The thing is, she sold practically everything and brought out some more stuff the next day. She purged useless items from her life and made a little money from it. As a matter of fact, I’d be willing to be that those people that did price their items higher, didn’t sell as much, made less money, and had junk left over.
Now fast forward to last night. We were talking on the phone and he asked if I wanted them to bring over some of their old clothes. (side note: their closets are overflowing and many clothes are stored in boxes, the clothes they mentioned filled half of one kitchen sized garbage bag.) I told my dad that clothes aren’t typically fast selling items, and because of this we were pricing ours at $1 each. His response was something to the tune of, “that’s all, you could probably get more than that.”
I’m not sure if they will end up bringing that bag of clothes. If they do, I’ll price them at $1 each and take anything I’m offered.
That leads me to another thing. I have a hard time with haggling. I’ll sometimes haggle a craigslist item, but I always do it in the email upon first contact. I don’t like to generate false hopes of a full price sale and then haggle them down after I’m there. I know that’s the way to save money, but when I feel an item is offered for a good value I’ll pay the asking price. It’s really a win-win. I get a good deal and they get their asking price. Everyone feels good. That’s one of the reasons I hate it when people haggle me down on an already good price, and stuff at this garage sale are going to be priced super low already.
Even so, I realize garage salers love to haggle, so I’m likely going to sell most items at any price. If I feel a price is completely unreasonable, I may ask, “Do you feel that is a fair price?” That’s the only weapon I’m planning to use. My goal is to get rid of this stuff, not to make a fortune from my junk. So if someone thinks they are making a reasonable offer, I’ll go with it. I’m not up for the stress of haggling and arguing over price.
After the garage sale we will take any leftover items to Goodwill and Salvation Army. I’m hoping I can get that done on Sunday so that these items will be out of our lives forever and so that I can park my car in the garage again.
I’ll have a follow up post on Monday to share all the details of the garage sale.