Monday, May 9, 2011

Garage Sale Results

We had our our 2nd ever garage sale on Saturday morning. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I am happy to report that it was a success!


We started with a whole garage full of crap treasures…




I’d say that we sold half of it.  (I forgot to take after pictures.  We were ready to get the remainder loaded up and taken to the Salvation Army…before I decided that I needed to keep any of it.)  Not horrible for as much stuff as we had.

How much money did we make?

  • Nate and I:
    • $170.00 (We had some large old laptop, 2 bikes, bathroom faucets a papasan chair..the rest was clothes or household items.)
  • My brother (who was an awesome garage sale assistant):
    • $15.35 (childhood toys..broke my heart a little.  My little brother is growing up…at the age of 26. :) )
  • Nate’s mom:
    • $48.00  (household items)
  • My mom:
    • $2.25 (all clothes)

How much time did we invest?

  • We had our last garage sale 2 years ago.  We usually go through our house about twice a year and throw everything we haven’t used in the past 6 months in our basement storage room.  We did make a quick run through (probably about 20 minutes) for final items.
  • We separated the items by category and marked them: 1 hour
  • Setting up tables/carrying items from the basement to the garage/final marking: 2 hours
  • Selling items:  4.5 hours
  • Packing up/hauling items to the Salvation Army: 45 minutes

Things we learned/tips:

  • We held our garage sale on the week-end of our town-wide garage sales.  We live about 10 miles outside of the Quad Cities and town-wide garage sales usually draw pretty good traffic in Iowa.
  • Having a full garage helps attract potential “customers.”
  • Placing large items outside (if it’s nice) also draws in “customers.”
  • Marking items “cheap” will help you sell more and probably make more of a profit than prices items higher and hoping they will sell at that price.
    • I had at least 6 large garbage bags full of clothes (don’t judge).  We sold all clothes for $0.25.  We ended with 1 1/2 large bags.
  • Be willing to negotiate.  We had the laptop marked at $50 but took $45.  We may have been able to sell it on-line for $70-80 but the garage sale was much easier. We had 2 faucets at $25 a piece and took $30.
  • Keep the signs you make for garage sales in the future….just be sure to spell garage right…


It’s amazing how far pharmacy school gets you.  This picture was from our sale 2 years ago.  We kept all of the correctly spelled signs for our sale this year.  It was nice to not have to to go through this embarrassment again.  Check out my Motorola Razr phone…oh getting old…

My brother and I did sneak away for about 30 minutes to see if we could find any treasures. We walked away pretty empty handed.  I did purchase this table for my niece for $0.50. 


Nate’s sister had been looking for a small table for our niece’s room and I didn’t think I could go wrong for $0.50.  Stay tuned for it’s make-over!

What are your thoughts on garage sales?  Awesome way to clean house?  Too much hassle?  Do my messy garage shelves make you want to organize them?…yeah, me too…


  1. My husband's been wanting to do a garage sale before we move next month, but I'm worried it would just be too much work, especially since all our stuff is garbage (or, if you prefer, garbge) anyway. And is it creepy that I want to drive by your house now that I know the address and I only live like 10 miles away from you? ;-) Don't worry, I won't coast past real slow with my binoculars in hand to peek through your windows, I PROMISE.

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

  2. Glad it was a success. I like to have one every few years as a way to purge but I can't say I enjoy them.

  3. I done several garage sales, and found that while I've done OK, it doesn't always pay for my time to do one. I have found that doing one with a friend is much more fun!

    Looks like you did great on your sale... congrats!
    Dee Dee

  4. Now I'm thinking I should follow your example - I usually just take things to good will because I'm too lazy to do anything else.

  5. wow .50! Can't beat that, the table has great lines too, i bet it will look great with a coat of paint!

  6. That picture of you with the sign had me laughing out loud! Too funny!

    Glad it was a success!

  7. LOL @ "Garge sale!" I happen to love "garge" sales, as long as people aren't wacky about their prices. That $.50 table is totally my kind of yard sale find. We also have fun sometimes just marveling over the stuff people will try to sell as though someone would actually buy it (like crocheted rabbits with old food crusted on them). Glad you had a nice weekend for your sale! :)

  8. You are hilarious. Sounds like it went well :)

  9. I love having yard sales, one more thing you always need to keep in mind also is that 1 mans trash is another mans treasure, and if you want it to go then yes you have to price it low. Nice to see you did well and had a good time, here in Phoenix, we are already almost out of yardsale season, but this past few weeks they have been going on like crazy out here.

  10. Worst thing I saw on this weekend's garge :) sales around here was OLD tattered bras for $2.00 each! Seriously! I can't say I've ever put one on a garge sale but maybe I'm just thinking wrong?

  11. We had our first garage sale last fall and it rained all day but we totally landed $250. It was the same way- some of the stuff we never should have sold so cheap but at least it was gone and I didn't have to try to hoard it back after it was over.

    I'm itching to sell EVERYTHING in my house now and start fresh, but you can't do that on a garage sale dime because you would only be able to buy half a chair after all is said and done. Too bad.

  12. YAY! I can't wait to see the table makeover!!!!! I've been stalking craigslist to look for my next gift for somebody!

  13. I love yard sales. Unfortunately I live in an apartment building and there really isn't a way for me to have one of my I just donate directly to goodwill, it would be nice to have the chance to get some money back on a few things from time to time, though.

    That was a great score on that little table, looks like it has tons of potential!


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