A garage sale can be a great way to earn some much-needed extra cash. On the other hand, it could be a colossal waste of time. Our family has had garage sales where we made some decent money; and we’ve have a few were the money we make has been nowhere near worth the amount of effort we’ve put in.
To help you decide whether or not it’s worthwhile to have a garage sale, here are a few items you might consider when doing your cost analysis.
Enough to make it worthwhile
Sometimes we just don’t have enough stuff – or enough big-ticket items – to make having a garage sale worthwhile. During our last garage sale cost analysis, when going through our items, most of our sale stuff was kid toys and clothing. While such items typically sell at our garage sales, they aren’t big sellers and don’t bring in much money when they do. We didn’t have any furniture, tools, sports equipment or home goods that tend to sell better in our area and allow for higher sales prices; therefore, we decided it wasn’t worth the time and effort it would take to have a sale.
Set up and advertising costs
We had a garage sale years ago in which we paired with another family member. That family member was in charge of placing the newspaper advertisement for our sale. She ended up spending almost as much on the ad as we made on the sale itself.
Buying posters and signs, price tags, a newspaper or other ad, and similar expenses involved in preparing for and advertising a garage sale can add significantly to the costs of having such a sale. This could be one of the biggest factors in deciding whether it’s worth having a garage sale or not.
Would sale items earn more elsewhere?
Sometimes it’s worthwhile considering whether the items you’re planning to have in your garage sale might be better utilized elsewhere. New or unused items might be used as gifts, saving you money on holiday, wedding or birthday gifts. Other items might be worth listing in online sales or taking to consignment shops. Still other items might be in lightly used or unused condition and could be taken to resale shops where they would pay you for such things. And still other items might not be worth selling and would be better off being donated to a charitable organization, which might allow you to take the charitable donation tax deduction.
Considering these options before having a garage sale could leave you making the most efficient use of your sale items while limiting the amount of time and effort that goes into have a garage sale.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.