Spring has arrived when garage sales signs are on every intersection. This cathartic time of year is a chance for people to do some spring cleaning and display odds and ends that are worth something, but not worth dealing with Ebay or Craigslist. Shipping or showing the items may be the largest drawback. Prime garage sale wares include furniture, clothing, household goods, books, toys and sporting goods. In and of themselves the items may not be worth much, but owners cannot throw them away and are making a last ditch effort to get some money rather than a tax write off by sending them to Goodwill.
This offers a prime opportunity for folks with more time than money. They can peruse a lot of items really quickly and go from zero to a pretty functional household for under $500. I still own a dresser, night stands, coffee table, ski jacket, and numerous other items purchased from yard sales. I have a hard time not stopping for yard sales. Unfortunately my life has become sufficiently hectic that cruising yard sales makes absolutely no sense.
As my kids get older and we are in the market for more gently used items, it will be time to start hitting the yard sales again. As opposed to Ebay and Craigslist, you have eyes on the item and are not driving around town to see specific items. Better prices can be had as well.
In another sense, garage sales provide an opportunity to meet the neighbors and bring communities together a little bit. Growing up we frequented a lot of garage sales. When multi-family and neighborhood sales took off it was like going to a festival or a flea market. I remember buying bicycles and other sporting goods.
I have hosted a garage sale as well. This was just before I moved to Colorado. I sold about $150 worth of stuff and made some people happy. I am not sure if I will host another sale. I think I would be better off just sending items to Goodwill.