It occurred to me this past weekend, as I sifted through the disaster zone that is my closet, that garage sales are rapidly becoming not only inefficient but inconvenient. In an age of Amazon, eBay, and craigslist, I would never consider holding a garage sale. There is a place on the internet for the sale of nearly everything. Not only can things be listed from the comfort of your own home, but often you simply mail out the sale item. The ease of this process is undeniable, and for some people it has made the hassle of organizing a garage sale a waste of time.
Another factor working against the garage sale is the potential value of the items. In my experience, things at garage sales sell for seriously marked down prices (a matter of cents for books, perhaps dollars for larger items). For example, a book that might sell for 25 or 50 cents at a garage sale can be sold for $2, $5, or more. That’s quite an increase in profit! There are exceptions of course (many ‘Used’ books go for just 1 cent on Amazon), but a used book in perfect condition (I tend to take very good care of my books) can be sold as ‘New.’ Textbooks, in my experience, have also sold for at the very least 200% the buy-back price of school and local bookstores. Larger items (like the $70 hockey skates I just bought for $20) can be sold on your local craigslist for higher prices than would be purchased at a garage sale. They can also be sold on eBay, which has even greater potential for a higher sale price (but often includes a shipping cost).
I’ve made several hundred dollars using online sites to sell personal items and books. It has been an additional source of revenue for me over the years, and while it doesn’t inflate my bank account much, any extra money helps! I also recently read this post by Amanda over at Grad Meets World about adding additional streams of revenue to your income. In the same day I came across this post at Lifehacker. Check it out and maybe you’ll get rich just a little bit quicker!
No longer is the garage sale a necessary way to sell things for profit. You heard it here first, I am officially abandoning it for the online marketplace! You are dead to me, garage sale.
Anyone else sell things online? What do you like/dislike about garage sales?