Monday, August 30, 2010

Garage sales: find everything from clothes to toys to furniture. Are you a fan?

Garage sales (also called yard sales, depending on which area of the country you live in) seem to be one of those things that people are either really excited about... or won't go near.

To those of us in the pro-garage sale category, the fact that you can sometimes find the deal of the century for a quarter more than makes up for the idea that it has been used. Toss the clothes in the washing machine, give the toys a bleach bath or scrub down outdoor furniture - once your finds are cleaned up and ready to go, you can sit back and revel in the amount of money that you've saved.

For those that aren't fans of garage sales, I've found that it might be possible to bring you over to the other side of the debate. My sister-in-law was very anti-used items until I talked her into coming along to a few sales to see some prices... as well as showed her the full playroom of toys that we were quickly accumulating for the tiniest fraction of what it would have cost new. A year later she was fully converted into a garage sale junkie.

Then there is the other side of the equation: do you host your own garage sales?

Having recently held one, I do admit that the hours and hours of moving, organizing and pricing really did add up to an awful lot of work. I then had to spend full days out there chatting with people about the possible benefits of one baby sling over another or how well an old set of bedroom furniture might fit in their house. I'm not sure if you need that set of kitchen bowls, do you have too many already? I don't know if your baby will love that certain set of blocks, do they enjoy that sort of thing?

Yes, there were hagglers, but not an exorbitant amount (I was most interested in clearing out the clutter so I had set my prices very reasonable in the first place). There were also some extremely nice people as well, particularly a few moms-to-be who made me wonder how I've already gotten to the point where all of my newborn and infant items were getting shooed out of the house. Where did my little babies go?

In the end, quite a few items were cleared out (including that bedroom furniture!) and I ended up with money in my pocket, so who am I to complain? In fact, we have already come across new piles of things that could have been sold and I've started planning next year's sale... so it looks like my status as a Garage Sale Fan is here to stay.

What about you? Do you run your own garage sales? Do you shop at them? If so, is there one great find or amazing deal that made your day?

19 comments:

Sippy Cup Mom said...

LOVE Garage Sales and recently have started loving Goodwill. I go when the Target shipment gets dropped off! ;-) I have only had one garage sake and like you said it was a lot of work, very exhausting. I keep wanting to have another one but I don't know...

The Bosleys said...

I'm definitely a yard sale fan... can't beat the prices! (and just an aside... in New England they call them "tag sales") I got a brand new Dora backpack, Elmo backpack, Backpack backpack, plus a bag full of undies (they shouldn't have diseases at 3, right?) and clothes for $5... can't beat it!
On the other hand, after having my own yard sale last weekend (and just keeping it on the porch for 5 more days for a self-serve sale), it's a pain in the butt and I would much rather shop one than have one! I'm also a huge fan of thrift stores, especially on discount days. Downside to buying cheap stuff, buy too much of it!

Jenny said...

I've seen them called both garage sales and yard sales here. I used to be anti-used as well, but I started selling my daughter's clothing on ebay years ago and found some good deals could be had in the used category.

I started going to garage sales and thrift stores to buy specific brands of clothes to resell. I didn't make a living out of it, but it was fun and I did make money.

It's been awhile since I did that, but I still enjoy garage sales. There are some things I won't buy used, but I have gotten great deals on books, toys, simple decor, etc.

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Anonymous said...

I love both having garage sales & going to them! My sister, mom & I have one every year and it is great for purging the house. There are so many great things you can get from garage sales!

Trudy

Nichol said...

I love garage sales! Every Saturday I pack up Zoe and off we go. I'm having a sale next Spring, as I have accumulated way to many things, we are getting new furniture at tax time, and the old stuff will have to go. I'm not a huge fan at buying toys at sales though, as you never know if it's a recalled item, that stuff makes me nervous.

Vic said...

I love them to pieces but they barely ever have any here in SW FL. New York had a shit load:) i miss em!:)

mommy2luke2008 said...

My sister in law and I have one every labor day weekend. It is a lot of work, we spent two whole weekends gathering and pricing and this weekend we will be holding it. I love to shop at yard sales! I get a high from finding a great deal. The best deal I've ever found was an almost new jogging stroller for $15, I asked her if it was for sale, she said and and $15 and I said sold!!

yonca said...

Great review Xenia! I love garage sales too.Look for decorative stuff mostly..Shop4furnutire has beautiful sofas;) Love them!

dannyscotland said...

I loooove yard/garage sales! I seem to have the hardest time actually getting to them, though, between waiting for hubby to get up and taking care of my little girl. But I do love going. Now as far as hosting them, I don't do my own. But I do help do one for my church's youth group, and this is one seriously huge yard sale. I actually talked about it on my blog, so here are two links to two posts, one before that explains what it is for and one after with pictures so you can see how crazy it really is!

http://daydreamingofclothdiapers.blogspot.com/2010/07/yard-sale-days.html

http://daydreamingofclothdiapers.blogspot.com/2010/07/some-yard-sale-pics.html

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Happy Tuesday!

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Emily said...

I am a yard sale fan, but I can't manage to get out that early on a regular basis (and if I am up, about the only person I like to talk to at that hour is my Squishy man) (aka I am not a morning person) and I hate organizing, so I haven't yet had my own sale, but I do love a good deal... okay I am rambling - sorry. Glad you had a good sale!!
EM

Cheryl said...

I've sometimes held my own yard sale, and at times, my sister held it. It's always a family-event, but oh yeah...the prep-work involved is overwhelming and time consuming!

Showcase Sisters is following you from Moms Review 4 You blog hop!

Molly said...

my development does a garage sale Mother's Day weekend, it's so insane that they sell food and have music! I try to get rid of stuff, but I think the most I've sold is $150, not bad!

Thanks for your comment on my long run post!! I can't believe my training is coming to an end. As it happens, I pulled my hamstring the other day, but still have high hopes that I can run on 9/12!

Have a great Labor Day weekend!!

Esther - TTByM said...

Love love love garage sales!

following you via blog hop! check out my kids friendly giveaways.

have a nice day!

Jennifer V. said...

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Jennie
http://www.sweeptight.com

katklaw777 said...

Been sailing for over 30yrs...My Hubby bought me a bumper sticker that reads "Caution: this vehicle stops at ALL garage sales."
Need I say more!?!

joyfilled said...

I love garage sales! I love having them and shopping at them. I haven't been to many lately just because I'm not a fan of loading kids in/out of the car a bazillion times a day, but I LOVE finding yard sale "steals"!!