I did a fabulously successful one-day garage sale a few years ago. The key: teaming up with a bunch of friends and making a party out of it. We each brought stuff we wanted to sell to my house (which happened to be the best location for foot traffic). We organized clothing by theme and displayed jewelry on a screen door we found in the garage. We even made a cute changing area with mirrors to encourage people to try stuff on.
And then we offered cookies and coffee (and later, mixed micheladas just for ourselves), blasted music and hung out all day. It was actually pretty fun because we turned it into a social event. And since I had a few higher ticket items (a couch and a rug), I walked away with about $500! Definitely worth the time.
However, if you're just selling clothes, books or a hodgepodge of junk nobody really wants (I'm looking at you, VHS tapes!), will the potential income make the time investment worth your while? You won't sell everything, and most things you'll sell will be purchased at half-price.
What's your time worth? Figure out how many hours you'll put into the sale, then really think about how much you'll potentially make. Is $7 an hour worth the stress? What about $20/hr? $40/hr?
Do you not really care, so long as you're drinking bloody marys and hanging out with your friends? That's perfectly fine, too.
6. Clothing Swap.
I arranged one last winter and it was so, so fun. The gist: invite a bunch of friends over for snacks, wine. Ask them to bring clothes that they like, but don't wear anymore.
My friend Kate suggested we each do a show-and-tell with all of our stuff-- why you love a certain piece of clothing, but don't want it anymore (example: I always loved this dress, but haven't worn it since having a baby; I love how this sweater fits, but I think it's itchy). I thought it was a weird idea, but ended up being rather helpful in seeing potential in what would've been just a big ass pile of clothes on the floor.
As the party host, I offered to bring all unwanted items to Goodwill... which means our casted off goods are probably smashed into a cube somewhere in Detroit right now. :(
Listing things on eBay or Craigslist takes time, but can be great for higher ticket or specialty items. I know it's obvious, but always list Craigslist items with photos and only accept cash payments. Oh, and extra obviously, be careful who you're meeting from Craigslist. Make sure you're not home alone when they check out your Bjornskoog shelf from Ikea (totally made up that Ikea name, but it probably exists).
For eBay, you'll probably be able to get a higher price (you're reading a global vs local audience), just remember you'll need to ship the item, so add in appropriate shipping costs.
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I know a lot of you are apprehensive to get rid of things because of how much they cost or the fact that your donated goods might end up in a landfill. I totally, 100-percent get that.
However, I will leave you with this:
So let's say you drop off a bunch of stuff at Goodwill and it ends up as rags, or shipped around the world where it might just end up as garbage. That sucks. But does it suck more than having it sit at your house, unused, taking up space UNTIL you eventually throw it away?
And who cares how much something cost if you aren't using it? Sell it to someone who will use it and get it the heck out of your face. If no one will buy it, get rid of it anyway.
Sort of related story, I have an uncle who used to eat ALLLL of the leftovers because he didn't like to see food "wasted," even if he didn't want to eat it or was already full. Even if it had been sitting out all day and had mayo in it. At that point, what's the difference between throwing it away and eating it? I will tell you: one makes you fat/gives you food poisoning and the other doesn't.
So... How do you get rid of your crap?
PS Here's how I got rid of a bunch of books, plus check out my awesome before & after closet makeover.
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