Garage Sales, Yard Sales, Estate Sales

Garage Sales Gain Appeal in Recession

Check out this article from The Wichita Eagle.

Pam McCutcheon has a garage sale every spring, part of her annual pledge to purge unnecessary clutter. This year’s sale drew more shoppers than ever, she said. They were looking for basics at bargain prices. “I definitely think it’s the economy,” said McCutcheon, owner of the Clutter Cutter, a professional organizing business in Wichita. “Way more shoppers, and they’re buying things like clothes and shoes, not the decorative things.”

Garage sale season is getting under way, and in yet another sign of the recession, many families are holding sales out of necessity, hoping to earn extra money to make up for wage cuts or pay bills. Meanwhile, some buyers are new to the yard sale circuit.

“I believe that this year will see more garage sales than ever before,” said Bruce Littlefield, author of the 2007 book “Garage Sale America.” “The recession sort of shook us a little bit and made us realize we all have more than we really need. That includes big-ticket items.”

Littlefield, who maintains a blog about garage sales, said they are good for both sides. “The win for the seller is that they are getting rid of things that they no longer need or want, and they are getting some pocket change,” he said. “For the buyer, they are going to get things for dimes on the dollar, and they are going to discover that spending a little cash money is a lot easier at the end of the month when the credit card bill comes.”

Over the last year, garage sale postings on Craigslist have increased by 80 percent nationwide. The site has seen a “strong uptick” in garage sale postings as users “de-clutter their homes and make a few spare dollars to pad their wallets,” said spokeswoman Susan MacTavish Best. Applications for garage sale permits in Wichita are up as well. Officials report 339 applications from January through March this year, compared with 196 for the same period last year.

At a citywide garage sale in Maize last weekend, Chad Jones of Colwich looked for bargains for his daughter. “I’d rather put my money into other people’s pockets than give it to the big companies,” he said. Jones was laid off from ICM about six months ago. He has found another job but says he “took about a half a pay cut.” “I think after the experience, I’ll be a little smarter with my money,” Jones said. “The layoff was definitely a learning experience.” He was accompanied by his mother, Donna Jones of Halstead, who picked up a car seat for one of her grandchildren. An older grandchild bought a $150 pair of shoes for $5 at a garage sale. “Even my grandchildren are doing it,” she said of shopping garage sales. “They know Mom and Dad can’t afford $150 shoes.”

Joann Westphal, who participated in the Maize citywide sale Saturday, said business was brisk. “Oh, my goodness! Yesterday, we weren’t even supposed to be open, and we did a land-office business,” she said as she rearranged merchandise. “Just more activity. And if it’s not a bargain, they’re not buying.”

What was selling?

“Furniture. Men’s stuff…. Tools. Hand tools. The practical stuff,” she said. “The bric-a-brac’s not selling very well.” Some sellers say that in the past, they donated belongings they no longer wanted. Now it’s different. In lieu of a tax write-off, they’re looking for some extra cash. “It’s great to make a little money off of stuff you don’t even need,” said McCutcheon, the professional organizer.

“And for shoppers, it’s great. You can’t get it any cheaper than a garage sale.”

It’s Time to Think Garage Sales!

Found this article today, expressed my thoughts exactly ;)

Why have a garage sale?
OK, so why bother? First and foremost – money. What better reason than that?

Well, there are a few more reasons to have one. If you aren’t sure if you want to bother having your own maybe one of these will decide you.

  • Space – Running out of room for stuff? Or maybe you would love a new shelf, but that old chipped thing hanging on the wall is in the way?

Maybe you don’t have the money for a new shelf, but you would if you sold that old chipped thing.  There is no better or more efficient way to clean out all the clutter in your life than a garage sale.  If you can’t bear to throw things away, which can seem like such a waste, nothing motivates to get rid of junk than the promise of some money, which means new things.

  • Contacts – It may sound strange to some of you, but many contacts can be made from having a garage sale.

One woman used to set up a stand at garage sales for her make-up business.  She got a lot of home parties that way.  At another garage sale, a woman gave out note pads for free that had her husband’s rug cleaning business advertised on them.  This really can work. You can also find people to baby-sit for, clean house, house sit, do odd jobs, sell crafts to, and almost everything.

  • Real Junk – Get rid of your garbage. How about that broken chair you would otherwise have to pay to have hauled away? Give it away for free. There’s nothing better at a sale than free stuff. Maybe you think it’s hopeless, but someone else may know exactly how to fix it.

Maybe they have the same chair with a different part broken. If you put the two together, you have a chair good as new.  This works, really, although sometimes the garbage people take away from a garage sale can surprise even the most experienced seller.  You have nothing to lose but a houseful of items you no longer want, and the chance to put some cash into your pocket. What could be better?