Garage sale items can be one person’s garbage but another person’s treasure.
You may often drive by a garage sale and not even consider going to it. But did you know there are thousands of people in North America who go to garage sales to find unique items?
They will either keep the items or sell them to make a profit. But why do people go to garage sales to buy and sell products? Is there really money in this kind of business?
I found garage and estate sales are an easy and simple way to make more money.
Where to Find Items
There are a few places you can go if you are interested in buying and selling garage sale items.
You can start by checking Verage Sales, Craig’s List, Kijiji, Local New Papers, Thrift Stores, find Salvaged Items and look to Insurance claim items.
Many people today go online to sell their unwanted items. Go to Verage Sale, Craig’s List, Kijiji or to your local paper to see the sales people are having weekly.
You can find some great deals since most people are looking to sell items rather quickly. You can make offers to get the items at a low price than listed.
The less you pay for the items the more of a margin you can gain if you resale the products.
If you are going to a thrift store, I have found it better to go look in the morning. It is also a benefit to go on different days as new items are always coming in.
Many time thrift stores may offer discounts. The may have sales on certain days of the week. You can also go shopping with a senior. Many stores offer discounts and this would be a way to get the items for less money.
I have not bought and sold salvaged items. When I was working in the insurance industry, many people would come in to ensure vehicles that had been salvaged. They would have the insurance on the vehicle just long enough to sell the vehicle.
We were asked to keep an eye out on people who were curbing vehicles, there is not much you can do when someone replaces a vehicle on their policy every 4-6 months.
When a policy holder makes an insurance claim on fire, theft, vandalism ect, they will be paid out according to the details of their policy.
The insurance company will make the payout and then take ownership of the damaged items.
My experience with insurance claims came form of being to bid on a Channel Hand Bag, Paintings, a loose Diamond and various brands of sunglasses.
I won the bid on the hand bag and different glasses.
In the case of the hand bag, it had nail polish spilled on it. I won the bid at work. I carefully cleaned the bad with nail polish remover and then sold it on eBay for 3 times the price I bought it for.
As for the glasses, I got 4 pairs for $10 each and sold them for $100 each as they were Ray Bands and Maui Jim’s. They did not even have a scratch on them.
Going to A Garage Sale
Before You Head Out
My experience comes from going to various garage sales over the years and find items to buys and sell.
There were a few things my wife and I did before we went:We planned, the day before, which garage sales we wanted to go to. We would go to area’s of town that could have better items and we took batteries and a small tool kit with us.
- Most people who have a garage sale will start early, and so did we. Some days we would be out the house by 7am.
- We would take about $100 with us in small bills and change.
At the Garage Sale
When you get to the garage sale greet the person hosting the sale. Look around and be careful. You don’t want to break anything.
- My wife and I, looked for items that were new, barely used, expensive to buy in the stores, collectables, rare or looked interesting.
- Before making an offer on a product inspect it and make sure the quality is up to your liking. Also make sure you will be able to sell it. The last thing you want to do is go home and notice that the item you purchased is broken.
- Always make an offer on an item at garage sales. I believe the price is flexible. You may need to use some sales techniques to get over some price and value. If a product was $20, we would take out $10. Hold it in one hand. Hold the product you are interested in the other hand and ask if they would accept the deal.
- Ask the host of the garage sale if they have sales often. If they do, you can get their direct number. This may be an advantage to you if they have good items for sale.
- Watch out for people who have many garage sales. This is their business and they are selling their goods to make the highest margins. They usually don’t discount a lot.
- When you are leaving the garage sale, make sure you thank the host for having the garage sale.
What to Look For
Below is a list of times we looked for or purchased.
- New Kitchen Appliance that were small and easy to carry.
- Any items that say Disney are a good seller. Look at the quality including wear and tear.
- We looked at education toys that people may consider for kids around Christmas.
- We looked for popular toys or video games that people are looking for.
- I did not purchase shoes or boots. Although, if you find a pair of fancy, brand name and expensive shoes for a good deal and feel you can resell them quickly, you can consider it.
- When it came to sports equipment we did not purchase any although if you can find equipment that is in great condition for a great deal consider it as new equipment costs a lot and people may consider lightly used.
- When the Toronto Blue Jays were hot a few years back we pick up some $1-2 items and we sold them for $15-20 on Kijiji.
- We did not purchase any clothes for resale but if you are can find some high-end brands for a good deal. You can look to the resale market.
- Women’s accessories are easy to come by. Although we did not purchase any of these items, I caution you to make sure you purchase the real thing versus a brand knock off.
- Since we only took a total of $100 we did not purchase office equipment but you can make some good money selling them pre-owned.
- Although we never bought any cosmetic’s or perfumes we did come across some vintage bottles.
- Tools are always a good buy. Look for good brands that are sort after by professionals.
- Collectibles such as coins, Coke memorabilia, antiques, watches, eyewear, toys, art, minerals, statues, comics, sports cards and anything unique is what we kept our eyes out for.
When you buy and sell garage sale items, you will notice many people are selling the same common goods. What you are looking for is unique items people would pay more money for to own.
Selling Items After Purchase
Now that you have purchased the garage sale goods it is time to sell them. I would recommend cleaning all the items the best you can. Do some research on what the value and details of the item are. Preferably you checked the value before you purchased the item.
Once you have done this you can take pictures and post them on social media, Craig’s list, Kijiji, Verage sale or any even your own website.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you are listing and selling on eBay:
- If you are going to be shipping the product remember the post office in may charge the shipping cost based on size and weight of the package.
- For any of the items that are larger or have detail take a few close-ups showcasing the workmanship of the item.
- After you have send the package, stay in contact with the buyer and ask them to leave feedback. This will help future sales.
- In the description of the product make sure you include detail of the product and any important measurement.
- If you are interested in keep track of what you are buying and how much you are selling it for, you can make a simple spread sheet keeping track of your inventory.
For my wife and I, going to garage sales started as a hobby. Going to garage sales was a great way for us to get to know each other after we got married. It is a tip I would recommend to any newly married couple.
It also became a way for us to make some extra income.
We used the income to pay for a few trips over the years. Trips to Cuba, Panama and Dominican Republic.
We encountered come interesting people who would tell us able the items and their history. We also found you can find some amazing items at estate sales.
Have you gone to a garage sale recently? What was your experience and what did you purchase?
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Maveen has built his career in Banking, Insurance, Home and Automobile Sales. Providing exceptional customer service is his passion. Writing is a way to share his knowledge and help change the lives of million of people. Like the Facebook Page to support him.