Doing a garage sale during the pandemic: Tips and observations from someone who has done one recently

 

Garage Sale!

My wife and I recently sold our home during the pandemic and had to figure out whether or not to do a garage sale to get rid of our belongings.  We had decided to retire early, so starting around June 2020, we decided to downsize to get rid of about 90% of our stuff.  We weren’t going to be living permanently elsewhere.  Instead, we were planning to travel and spend time with our family.  This meant we needed to downsize and do it in a hurry within about 2 months!

This is our story about us getting rid of our stuff we had accrued over the 14 years we’ve lived in Pennsylvania.  Included are our observations, tips, and know-how of doing a garage sale during the pandemic.

Once we hired a real estate agent around mid-June, we set about exploring options to downsize within the next two months.  We had done a garage sale few years ago and it was a moderate success.  We managed to make about $220. 

For this garage sale, we needed to get rid of much more stuff, so we ended up doing it for two days over a weekend.  

Here are a list of things we had for sale that weekend:

  • Futon
  • Clothes
  • CD’s, DVD’s, and books
  • Tools (drills, power washer, steam vacuum, hammers, wrenches, etc.)
  • Smaller appliances (fans, space heater, mixers, etc.)
  • Kitchen stuff (shot glasses, wine sets, mugs, etc.)
  • Sofa bed
  • Decorative items (Christmas stuff, bird feeders, paintings, etc.)
  • Small furniture (foyer small table, tv stand, etc.)
  • *I’m probably missing some other stuff, but you get the idea...
We put up garage sale signs at the entrance to our townhome community.  It worked last time we did one, so we did the same signs again.

We started early, at around 8:00 am.  Immediately, we had a buyer stopping by (our neighbor from the community).  We noticed majority of our sales that day were from our neighbors rather than those coming from outside of our community.  We were really thankful!

We started around the same time the next day, but that day would be much less productive.  Much less people came by that Sunday, possibly because it was such a gorgeous day.  We had much less prospective buyers coming by versus Saturday.

We ended up giving away most of what remained.  We donated most of CD’s, DVD’s, and books to a military veteran who was helping out fellow soldiers to cope with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).  He mentioned those soldiers use music and books to relieve stress.  We were happy to donate!

Most people who stopped by came by wearing face masks, so we weren’t too worried.  The military veteran was the only one who didn’t wear one, but he said he recently tested negative.  He was also the only person who we met who was COVID-19 positive few months prior.

We washed our hands often and used liquid hand sanitizer each time we handled money.  We were actually a bit surprised that many people were out there shopping at garage sales!

The haul for both days:  $300

We expected more but that’s just how it was...We realized after doing two garage sales, that most cute stuff/CD’s/DVD’S/books were not easy sells.  These were obviously things we paid good money when we bought them...Lesson learned from these garage sales:  Stop buying things anymore, especially if they’re wants and not needs!

We actually did better selling our furniture through a friend of our neighbor.  We managed to sell most of bedroom furniture and one set of tv/DVD player and tv stand for $1100.

We were grateful for our neighbor who hooked us up with his friend.  The friend and his family came by to pick up these furniture, and I helped load these to their truck/trailer.

See our tips on doing a garage sale during the pandemic:

Tip:  Use websites like ‘NextDoor.com’ or ‘Facebook marketplace’.  We sold our exercise equipment, our sectional sofa, ottoman, grille, and living room TV set this way.  It took about a week to sell all these...We made $600 on these.

Tip:  Expect to get very little for CD’s, DVD’s, and books.  When we tried selling DVD’s at $2, no one bought them.  $1 seemed to be the right price.  Same for CD’s and books...Cute things and decorations were also not fetching good prices.  Expect to get about a dollar for most of these...

Tip:  Give away something for free.  Gather items you know you can’t sell, then offer anyone visiting to take them.  Believe me, it’ll be easier than bringing all of these to a donation center!  We made 5 separate trips to a donation center to get rid of remaining items.  Less you have left, the less work you’ll do.

Tip:  It’s good to do bulk sales.  For example, do something like 7 books for $5.  Or, buy 2 items, get one free.  This worked for us.  We got rid of more stuff and buyer was happy.  Win win!

Tip: We found Saturday to be a better selling day than Sunday.  We thought we could just get it done on the same weekend, but it didn’t work out too well...

Tip:  Use hand sanitizer after handling cash.  Wash hands often.

We hope these tips and observations helps someone who’s thinking of doing a garage sale.  We thank you for reading!

Jake

Wandering Money Pig 



If you missed the post ‘What’s it like to hand in your resignation...’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘How to retire early...’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘We sold our home during the pandemic...’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘What is the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement...’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Magic of compounding interest...’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Our minimalist update…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Dangers of entitlement on your path to happiness…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Get rid of debt to reach your goal of financial independence…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Thinking of moving to Pennsylvania…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Learn to say enough to be happy on your path to financial independence and to retire early…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Why is downsizing/minimalism so difficult…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Is America still a land of opportunity…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Learn a skill that pays you well to retire early…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Invest and not save for retirement…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Learn to enjoy the moment for life and for FIRE…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘The correlation between consumerism and early retirement…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Retire on $200,000 (200k)…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Adapting to change for life and for FIRE…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Thinking of moving to Hawaii…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Tough childhood leads to success in later life…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Thinking of moving to New York City…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Importance of finding purpose in early retirement…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘What is the rule of 72…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Retire on $100,000 (100k)…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘The importance of a significant other’s role in your path to FIRE…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Save for retirement or pay off debt…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘How much do I need to retire…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Early Retirement Manifesto…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Pros and cons of early retirement…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘How to save money when traveling…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘What is the average 401k balance…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Doing a garage sale during the pandemic…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘First few months after early retirement…’, please click here.

If you missed the post ‘Not caring too much equals happiness…’, please click here.


Please check out our YouTube channel ‘Wandering Money Pig’ showcasing our travels and our Pomeranian dog! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3kl9f4W9sfNG5h1l-x6nHw


Popular posts from this blog

AirBNB horror story: How we got a refund from AirBNB due to a noisy neighbor…

Review of Vdara Hotel, Las Vegas, NV (Nevada): Pros and Cons

Review of Fiore Suite and classic room at the Borgata, Atlantic City, NJ (New Jersey)