If You Love Garage Sales a Little Too Much

Courtesy: Frugal Cafe
Most tightwads love garage sales and thrift stores. It's really fun to shop them, but sometimes you bring home a "bargain" and wonder, "What was I thinking?" Unless you purge religiously, you probably can gather up several boxes of this stuff. You can donate it and get a tax deduction if you itemize, you can sell it at your own garage sale or Craigslist and maybe make a little something, or you can sell on eBay and make quite a bit.

The average person has no idea what to sell on eBay. In fact, if I showed you three photos of random items, you'd probably guess wrong on all of them. There's a Weird Al song about eBay my favorite line of which is, "The kind of stuff that you would throw away, I'll buy on eBay." This is true. Is it junky? It might not matter--I once sold a pair of very worn vintage whisk brooms from a trash pile for $41. Is it worthless and useless? I've sold an empty lip balm tin for $20. Is it obsolete? Probably not so obsolete no one will buy it (check out what Polaroid film goes for, and VCRs). What about your trash? Some of that sells, too! My point is that almost anything can be eBayable, and you won't know unless you check the prices.

To check prices on eBay, you need to sign in, put something into the search box, then click on "completed listings" in the left hand column. This way you will see what items have sold for, not just what the asking prices are. You can sort items from highest to lowest sale price, or vice versa. If you find you have something good, list it. If you don't know how, just dive in and figure it out as you go along. I started out knowing nothing, and now this is my family's main source of income. If you get hung up on trying to do everything "right," you'll never start, and never succeed.

The good thing about selling on eBay, aside from the obvious bonus of making money, is that once you work through selling the junk around your house, armed with your new-found knowledge of what sells and of what you like to sell, you can now go to thrift stores and garage sales with a new set of eyes,eyes that recognize what you can eBay. Now you can get your shopping fix and make money. But there's that saying, "Your eyes are bigger than your stomach," to chastise a person who has taken more than he or she could possibly eat. It's easy to do that while shopping for eBay fodder, too. Just have to be careful not to buy too much, because it will cut into your profit and clutter your home anew.

Ready to try it? Let me know what happens!

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