Our Garage Sale 2008

Last year, we had an enormous garage sale. We had everything - furniture, clothes, household goods, nick-nacks, you name it. And we sold a lot! We cleared over $700 and got rid of a ton of stuff. It's always crazy to watch what sells. That box-o-junk that you contemplated throwing out disappears like you wouldn't believe. All those quarters add up!

This year's sale is now in the books (sort of), and thus far we've netted $200. Not terrible. It's $200 that we didn't have, plus we still have some large items that folks are getting back to us on. The same thing happened at the '07 sale - the big stuff didn't move until after the sale was over. If these go at a good price, then we'll net more that last year.

This year, we made a few observations vs. last year's sale:

  • Return customers. We run a nice sale and have good, clean items. People remembered that and came back this year. Mrs. NtJS noticed a lot of those folks on the first day of the sale.
  • Less traffic overall. Friday was barely worth being open. Saturday saw little traffic until mid-day and the afternoon when we were swamped.
  • Few early birds, lots of late comers. There were no rushes when we'd open, but yet so many came after we were technically 'closed' (it's kinda tough to turn folks away and say, "sorry we're closed" when all the stuff is still out).
  • Advertised items had less play. We always make it a point to ask if they are looking for something specific. The items that were listed in our newspaper ad didn't come up.
  • Piggy-back sales. You put an ad in the paper, put your signs out to lead the customers off the main roads and through the neighborhood, only to have someone else put signs out and have a sale on a whim, effectively leeching traffic off of you. You'll always have these, but there seemed to be more this year.
  • Less impulse shopping. We had a couple ladies clear out some serious clutter on the last day, but they were definitely abnormal. Most bought only what they were needing.
We know that higher gas prices have changed the way we garage sale shop. We are far less likely to veer off course to chase down sales that are not on the list. Could this be true for others?

Have you noticed any of these same observations? Have you changed the way you garage sale shop this year? What has caused the change?


Twinsmom said...

Our yard sale the first weekend of June was just awful. I didn't even recoup the cost of the newspaper ad! It was bad enough that it will be a very long while before we do it again. We had very little traffic despite the paid newspaper ads, free radio and internet ads and signs posted. Traffic was down considerably from our sale of several years ago, no opening rush and, as you had, several "post closing" sales. I have also noticed here that there seem to be less sales going on overall. I haven't gone to many this year myself because of gas prices but do watch the ads in the paper in case there is something mentioned on my "looking for" list. I also asked if people were looking for something specific, and most were "just browsing." I'm glad you had a relatively successful sale and hope your big items sell quickly.

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