Yesterday I discussed whether or not garage sales are worth the time…particularly for my own situation at the present time. While thinking “out loud” writing the post, I pretty much decided that I would sell some of the nicer stuff on Facebook and donate the rest to Goodwill for the sake of time and space and reducing stress, in lieu of an actual garage sale this year.
I have had moments today, though, where I thought, “Faith would enjoy helping me this year…” or “Faith wanted to do a lemonade stand at this year’s sale”, and I am tempted to change my mind. But we can still figure out a time and place for a lemonade stand, and just because I don’t do one this year doesn’t mean I’ll never do one again. Things are just really busy right now and I need to prioritize where my time is best spent. If given the choice I’m sure she’d choose a fun day with Mom & Dad over a lemonade stand at a garage sale. 😉
So I started posting some things on Facebook this past week, and with a handful of listings for Faith’s outgrown clothes and some well-used bookshelves, I’m at almost $50 (and that was giving some good deals). I have barely begun to delve into the “garage sale pile”, and I have a feeling that the more I purge, sell and donate, the more I’ll be motivated to clear out even more.
Today I thought I’d share a few tips today that I’ve learned by selling on Facebook garage sale sites. I’m by no means an expert. I’ve only been doing this for a couple years or so, and not all the time (though as I decide to not keep the garage sale pile going I may do it more often). But I have learned a few tips and tricks along the way, so here you go!
My initial pricing (online or at a regular garage sale) starts at half the price of the original cost of the item IF it’s still in great (like new) shape. If there’s wear or fading, then you decrease the price accordingly. Likewise for out-dated items. And when it comes to listing on Facebook, I only spend the time to list the things I feel are “worth it” or would most likely sell.
Clothes are a little different. You can get more for kids’ clothes but adult clothes are tougher to move, so I take that into consideration when pricing, and though I have sold some adult clothes online, I’m not sure it’s worth the time (maybe I’ll try again and let you know how it goes). As a standard, if something’s still like new and especially if it’s a nicer name brand, I’ll go around $3 for a top, $3-5 for pants/jeans/skirts, $5 for dresses and jackets. If I bought something used (which is often the case with Faith’s clothes), I go a little lower. Keep in mind that even Goodwill prices most kids’ separates at $1.59 each!
You also need to consider how fast you want things to move, though, too. More on that in a bit…
Group to Get More Bang For Your Buck (and Save Time)
With Facebook selling you don’t have to spend time tagging and organizing tables or sitting out at a sale, but you will spend time taking photos, posting the item(s), and then in (Facebook messaging) conversation with potential buyers to negotiate price, finalize a sale and make arrangements for pick-up or meeting. (I make all my buyers come to pick up items because it’s not worth driving across town and spending my time for $5 worth of clothes. I’ve never had anyone argue when I nicely tell them that’s my policy. You can always move onto the next in line if they’re not willing to do that.) When you can group items to post and even to sell together as a “bundle” or “lot”, that will save time. For example, I posted four summer dresses together for $5 and sold as a grouping, as well as six summer separates for $5. I saved time by taking less photos, less time typing up descriptions, and it was more worth my time at pick-up to get rid of several things for $5 than to have to schedule multiple appointments at $1 or $2 each. Even though I priced things a tad lower than I may have normally for a garage sale, they moved really fast (spoken for within a couple hours and picked up within a day), so I didn’t have to spend even more time going back and bumping the post to keep it visible.
Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When to Fold ‘Em
As with any garage sale, online or in person, you have to know when to hold out on the price you want to get for something and when to let it go and take a lesser price. I don’t know if there’s a consistent “right” or “wrong” here and someone will always try to negotiate, so be prepared with your bottom-line (just don’t advertise it, because why would they pay higher if they’ll know you’ll go down?). When deciding things from pricing and listing to finalizing the sale, you have to take into consideration what’s realistic and if it’s worth possibly being stuck with something because you wouldn’t budge a few dollars. You also need to consider the time invested for what you’ll make (again where grouping comes in handy). Ultimately, remind yourself that the goal is to purge, clear the clutter and make a little money while you’re at it!!