Monday, February 8, 2010

To Yard Sale or Not to Yard Sale?

This is an old stroller for Handy Boy that we sold last year. Handy Boy is 8 now. I have no idea why we kept it around for that long. I think that we sold this stroller on Craigslist...

One thing that people think about when decluttering is "Should I have a yard sale?" The answer to this isn't always simple. Let me tell you what we've done, in the past:

When we lived in our first and second house (this is our third house), we had yard sales. The first house was in an old neighborhood with many houses close together. When looking in the newspaper at yard sale notices, we saw that there were many, many yard sales in the neighborhoods right around our home. We decided to try a yard sale, and sold a TON of stuff! I think we made over $500 at the first yard sale, and had one each summer the next two summers. 

There were hardly any items leftover from each sale. All we did was put an ad in the paper, and Handy Man put signs on the telephone poles at each end of our road, directing people towards our sale.

Eventually, we moved to our second home in a town just 15 minutes away. We still seemed to have a big pile of "stuff" to get rid of, even though I tried to declutter before moving. That home was in a part of town where people didn't drive through very often. Also, people tended to go to the previous town where we lived for yard sales, since there were many more sales clustered together there. 

We did make $300, but Handy Man sold two items for about $100 each. Not as many people stopped by that yard sale. Those who did complained about "how far out" we were from the main town. Well, excuuuuuse us!

We moved to this house in late 2005. We tried a yard sale in the summer of 2007, and it had the worst turnout out of all our sales. We live in a neighborhood where houses aren't very close together, and our area of town (and our town) is kind of off the beaten path. We made about $200, and that was after selling one item for $100! We had a lot of stuff leftover after that yard sale. At that point, we swore off yard sales...but thankfully, we didn't have much left to declutter at that point.

Bottom line: Yard sales can be great, but they are a LOT of work for little money. It took us a lot of time to sort, clean, price and set everything up. I think its more worthwhile to have a yard sale only if you live in an area that historically hosts a lot of sales. 

Plus, people always try to get the lowest price possible. We tried to mark items for almost nothing, but there are still people who tried to get our "stuff" for nothing! You must be OK with marking your stuff way, wayyyyy down, and haggling with people over prices.

I'm not against yard sales. However, if you have a lot of clutter you need to get rid of, and it's making you feel overwhelmed, yard sales may not be your best bet. Put your things that are still in good condition into bags and take them to Goodwill, etc. You can also investigate getting your items picked up, as some donation centers will do pick-ups, especially for larger items like furniture.

Have you ever had a yard sale? How did it work out?


Kristin said...

Funny, we've been debating this very thing! I have a lot of stuff in this house that is "valuable" and I have hesitated to just send it off to the thrift store like I usually do. Well, now we are in the process of cleaning out the basement and garage (as it is being converted into living space) and it is all GOING! It's too much stuff to store and all the work of a yard sale is just not WORTH it. I would rather bless the thrift stores and other people by giving it away for free -- Lord knows, I've gotten my share of deals. :)

larsinnh said...

Sometimes it IS just better to donate it! With a renovation coming up, and how busy you are, I can't imagine taking the time to sort and price and have the sale, then get rid of the leftovers after! Donate, I say. Not worth the hassle.

Kristin said...

OK, I'm doing it -- I am even ready to send a bunch of really nice dresses off (that I know I could have made a little $$ at a yard sale) Still -- not worth it! Bye-bye clutter!! :D

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