Feb 16, 2010

Are Garage Sales Worth It?

This isn't an idle question on my part -- having just bought and moved into a new house with almost no advance planning, I've got piles of things that seem just a little too valuable to drop off at Goodwill (where I've already taken carloads of stuff).

So, I'll probably give them a try on Craiglist, and then have a garage sale one of these Sundays -- knowing full well that I'll probably get no more than $10 for any of the items in question.

If I work out how many hours I'll likely spend, first on posting the items online, answering emails or calls, meeting potential buyers, and then, for the garage sale,  attaching price tags, setting up, sitting outside in hopes of customers, and finally cleaning up afterwards, it's probably not worth the time at all. A savvy friend of mine likes to say that anything you can't sell for at least $50 bucks isn't worth the hours of effort (and sometimes aggravation) you'll put in. Probably sound advice -- which for some reason I probably won't take.

At least a garage sale might be a fun way to meet the new neighbors! And a few extra dollars wouldn't hurt right now, either.

In the meantime, I was interested to see Kiplinger's magazine provide a list -- in its March, 2010 issue -- of what items that might be sitting around in people's attics are selling best these days (particularly on eBay or Kovels.com).

According to them, boys' toys from the '50s and '60s are a good bet, along with art pottery, sterling silver from famous makers, Griswold cast-iron skillets and other kitchen ware from the '30s to '50s. But don't try selling Hummel or Royal Doulton figurines -- the market is saturated.

Wouldn't you know it? The only one of those things that I own is a Hummel figurine.