Sunday, May 17, 2009

Donations down, Garage Sales up - my personal observation

I advertised on Craigs List and we sold about $500 worth of stuff - a refrigerator, a weight machine and a couch - before we had our garage sale.

The garage sale went very well and we sold another $500 worth of stuff - about half our household items - dining room table and chairs, china hutch, dresser, clothes, tools, etc.

A couple things we learned: people found our garage sale by their routine driving through the area each weekend looking for garage sale signs. I paid $12 to our local newspaper for 2 days - a ripoff - and about $7 to the local Pennysaver. I asked people who came to our garage sale how they found us and everyone said they saw the one sign we placed at the corner.

The other thing I learned is that there are more than a couple people who make their living by buying furniture and other household items at garage sales and then load them onto semis and truck them down to Mexico - Cabo San Lucas to be exact. They then resell them at a higher profit. Its business, nothing wrong with that. But some of our buyers were a little irked because they said they see the same truck each weekend just buying up all the goood stuff from people who need the cash. I think they're irked because they have a competitor on the weekends. These buyers think of garage sales as a hobby, something to do at their leisure on the weekends. Now they must compete with people who make buying at garage sales into a business.

Reflection of the state of our economy: I talked to the guy from Mexico and asked him about his business. He said the reason why he goes to garage sales more now than in the past is because he used to buy his stuff from the Goodwill and other charity stores but there's not much available these days because people have cut back on their donated items. So now he finds his stuff - furniture, bicycles, tools, mostly hard stuff (no clothing) - at garage sales. Because people are trying to get money for things they would have otherwise donated in a good economy - like me.

Well, we're up over a $1000 bucks so I'm happy.

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