Thursday, June 18, 2009

eBay vs. Garage Sales

I've never been much of a believer in getting rich having a garage sale. I've had a few of them but the cash I made was never even close to paying for my time and effort.

There are just too many disadvantages:

*deciding what to charge on each item
*making price tags for them
*spending two days in my garage

The longest time we've ever lived in one house was 13 years. When we decided to move, I had a gigantic garage sale and gathered things from every corner of the house. I decided that whatever didn't sell, I would haul off to an agency that would help others. I didn't want it back in my house and didn't want to move it to another state.

I sold an entire dining room and everything I thought I could live without and don't think I even made $500.

(Discover the other side of the coin by reading Garage Sale Survival TipsHow to Avoid Yard Sale Junk, My Junk Your Treasure, Turning Trash Into Cash, Yard Sale Etiquette, and Yard Sales: Money Makers & Savers)  

We have now lived in our present house for 12 years. In the past 10 years I have contributed to the annual church garage sale because all I had to do was put things in boxes and let someone else do all the work. It forced me to find things to get rid of and helped the scouts, so I was happy to do it.

Two years ago I participated in two garage sales with my daughter, and loaded up my Yukon XL about five times. I probably made a total of $200 from both sales and still hauled off one entire carload to the women's shelter. The best thing about all that was sharing the experience with my daughter!

Then someone introduced me to eBay. I have a pig cookie jar that was given to my parents when I was born, so I decided to do a search on "pig cookie jar." I couldn't believe it when my own little pig showed up in an auction for about $100. I printed off the information and tucked it inside the pig so that my kids would not NOT to throw it away after my funeral!

I recently reviewed a program to help people reduce their debt and find "multiple income streams," at home. The first thing they discussed was selling on eBay. They recommend that you start out by elminating unwanted things you have at home and discovering your niche.

Maybe you're into computers or antique glassware. Find out where your interests lie and earn money on it from home.

To read more of this article go to eBay vs. Garage Sales on

To see more frugal ideas, visit Thrifty Thursdays.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent advice here! I have actually had great success with both! I love selling on ebay, I sell my kids' excellent condition name brand clothing and other more valuable items. These do bring more money on ebay than at a garage sale.
    I also have had great success with my garage sales! I sell everything that's left at the garage sale. I won't disagree that it is a lot of work, I am a work at home mom, so I have the time to prepare and price. I made $1300 at my last sale and that is worth the effort to me! Take a peek at my blog for useful garage sale tips:)