Preparing for a Garage Sale

Learn why June Fingulin decided to have a garage sale and how her tips can help you prepare for your own successful garage sale.


| May/June 1971



Garage Sale

Garage sales are a great way to make money by selling things you do not use.


PHOTO: FOTOLIA/BRAD PICT

Since the term was coined shortly after World War II, "Garage Sale" has come to mean many things to many people. Originally, I believe, it meant cleaning out your garage and inviting the neighbors in to see if they would like to buy the things you were going to throw out anyhow. This was found to be so lucrative that the idea (as good ideas will) has spread and garage sales have become a part of our culture.

Knowing that such a sale can be successful and having one pay off for you can be two different things, however . . . and a lot of folks continue to pass up some easy "recycled" money just because they mistakenly believe that "nobody would be interested in my junk." We felt the same way . . . until a recent long distance move forced us into holding our first garage sale. Wonder of wonders! . . . it was so successful that we plan to have many more and we'd like to tell you all the "trade secrets" we learned from that first experience.

As we prepared for our crosscountry move we quickly realized that—with today's high cost of shipping—we couldn't afford to take one bit of dead weight with us. Unfortunately we literally had a garage full of the commodity: the beat-up end table I had planned to refinish for over five years; an old utility cabinet that should have been thrown out long before my mother-in-law gave it to us; the record stand with a cracked top; a toy tractor and red wagon our youngster no longer played with; assorted fruit jars; a lamp retrieved in the dim past from some dismantled office . . . and this was only a partial list.

My economical soul wouldn't tolerate paying someone to haul our mountain of memories to the dump so my first thought was to sell the whole mess at once to a second-hand furniture dealer. Several phone calls, however, soon taught me that the dealers were interested in only a few of our pieces . . . and willing to pay precious little for those.

One trader was finally honest enough to tell me, "The only way you can make any money on that stuff is by selling it yourself." Well, I at least had an idea of what the second-hand market for various items both was and wasn't.

Armed with that new knowledge, my husband and I decided to sell the accumulated "treasures and trash" ourselves . . . and we ran a garage sale ad in the local paper. This bit of experience was rather costly since we paid about $5.00 for the ad . . . and it brought practically no response at all.





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