Every single time I have ever comitted myself to a garage sale, I have finished it feeling violated. Defeated.
And with a promise to never, ever put myself in that position again.
Yet, here I was. On a blistering hot, record-breaking June weekend in the Midwest, watching people mill about, fondling items that used to be in my home – some former treasures, some brand-new-still-in-thebox.
And I was reminded anew.
Ahhh yes – what was I thinking? So, I put together this quick-reference, handy list lest you find yourself pondering the garage sale route.
5 Reasons eBay is Better Than A Garage Sale
1) You don’t have to brave the weather
At 7pm, as I was setting up for our garage sale on a Friday night, it was 102 degrees. Let’s be clear…. that is miserable. Sure, people wandered by as I was getting things situated, but they were sweating, I was sweating. It wasn’t fun. At 8am on Saturday morning, it was equally as sweltering – AND – YEAH!!! The sun was actually shining IN to the garage. I have also worn gloves and down coats during garage sales. The weather is unpredictable and can affect your turnout.
2) Negotiating -on eBay you just don’t have to deal with someone offering you $1 for THREE articles of kid’s clothing when you were only asking for $1 each
When you post an item on eBay – you aren’t faced with the repetive insult of one person after another trying to cut your price in half. Yes, someone may message you to ask if you would be willing to take a little less, but a) not on EVERY item and b) you aren’t faced with one attempt after another to cut every price in half to save $1
3) Manual Labor
On eBay there is no lugging of boxes, setting up of tables, or making sure that your items are displayed ‘just right’. And when it is all over – there is no decision to be made: should you donate it? Try to sell it somewhere else? Should you have let that woman have it for 50 cents instead of $3? And now you have to pack up all of the remaining items and DO WHAT with them?
4) Fair Market Value
On eBay you have the benefit of searching for similar items. You can see if that watch, that toy or that jacket have recently sold and what they are going for. And when you list yours, you can reasonably expect to be in the same range. Not so much at the garage sale. Anything listed above $4 is considered highway robbery. Expecting $2 for an article of designer clothing is ‘absurd’ – and even the people who *might* have considered purchasing from you will walk out if you offend their ‘garage sale’ sensiblities.
5) Time investment
Consider the hours culling through your home, lugging everything outside, setting it up, sitting while strangers lift and sift, barter and dig through their coin purses. And then the mental effort you invest into the ‘no, of course, I don’t want to give that to you for $1!!….. but I really don’t want to pack it up again, so I guess *shrugs*….ok….$1 is fine”. And I haven’t even touched on the packing up of everything that DOESN’T sell…..
And on eBay, I can list in minutes on the mobile app? MINUTES? Is there even a contest?
To be clear… yes, I am aware that eBay has fees and some garage sales don’t (but did you advertise? *fee*). I’m also aware I have to ship and head to the post office. Yes, that takes time out of my day, but hopefully, I planned well and can be shipping multiple items at the same time maximizing my trip and time investment.
Overall – the time, physical and mental energy invested in a garage sale isn’t worth it. In fact, it is exhausting – compared to the minutes you spend listing things on eBay and walking away. If something doesn’t sell, you don’t pay – AND, I simply plan to list (and hopefully sell) items around the same time so trips to the post office all coincide.
Disclosure: I am working with ebay on their ebay Parent Panel and am compensated as such. As you know by now…. all opinions shared by me on this site are my own.