Trust me I can understand why it is such a daunting task, and because of some much needed renovations to my home and a "suggestion" from my contractor I was put in a position that either A. this garage sale I'd been planning needed to happen or B. My garbage men and neighbors were about to hit the jackpot!
I still couldn't see myself spending a week pulling everything I didn't want out to get prepared for the garage sale, and than spend an entire day trying to sell it with my son underfoot. I looked into the Ebay store route but it still involved packing it all up in my car and taking it to the store for them to sell it. Even doing normal Ebay, than I would be going out and having to ship and weigh everything and than pay for it to be advertised on the site whether it sold or not.
After a bit of brainstorming, I realized that I could have a "Virtual Garage Sale" with a little bit of help of Facebook, Craigslist, & EBay. It would be a garage sale everyday for as long as I wanted, plus it would cost me minimal time and effort plus I would sell alot more in 3 months than doing a 1 day garage sale.
Here are the steps to making your "Virtual Garage Sale" successful !
- The first step is of course deciding where your storage area for your items will be. If your like me there is not 1 area of the house to put everything you don't want or need anymore and be able to navigate thru it on a daily basis, I unfortunately do not have a basement. If you are lucky enough to have one than that will usually make your life a bit easier. I borrowed some fold out tables from friends and families and decided to set shop up in my garage lining the garage walls with the tables.
- The next step is deciding what you are going to sell in order to make the most of your time, you don't necessarily want to put 50 different items online because maintaining the ad can become time consuming and you will stop keeping up with it because it will become tiresome. Instead you will want to consider starting with something like 10 ads with 3 or 4 different categories, or think about grouping them so they cross advertise one another. If your selling things like DVD's your best bet will be to sell them in bulk, putting up the full list of what you have available and sell them in lots of 5 letting the buyers choose which 5.
- You will want to decide what the best kind of site you want to advertise on. An Online Ebay Store was a bit much for me to undertake, so I opted for the Craigslist route. When you use Ebay you will need to decide if you want someone to be able bid or buy immediately with their Buy It Now feature, you will also need to set up a PayPal Account in order to receive payment. Ebay also allow you to re-list without having to redo the entire ad week after week, but they do charge you to advertise on their website whether the items sells or not.
- Another option is Craigslist, which is the route which I chose because I was more comfortable not having to be responsibility of making sure the items got delivered. The upside to Craigslist is the fact that you are not charged per ad, but the downside is you will get quite a few bogus buyers who have no intention of buying. This site also allows you to simple renew your ad with one simple click, bringing you back up to the top of the list.
- You will want to share what your selling, you never know who knows someone looking for items for cheap. I created an entire facebook album where I have what I am selling, and I have sold a few things to friends of friends because of it.
- Once you have your area set up, and your ads are running you simply sit back and collect your profits ! Because your only running a handful of ads, after you have items sold simply put up whatever you would like to sell next.
Now, there is some safety & privacy precautions you will want to take if your using Craigslist, which is usually best for large or heavy items.
- Never believe anyone who offers you a money order because they are "out of the country" or "buying for a relative", they are scams !
- Never allow someone to go into your home when they come to pick up the item unless it is absolutely necessary .
- Always have someone in the house with you, or offer to meet them in an area that you know during the daytime!
- Do not put your actual home address in the "location" area, just put the town, and never give them your home phone number always use your cell !
I've been doing my Virtual Garage Sale, via CraigsList for about 2 weeks and I've sold about $200 worth of items with less than 3 hours worth of work to get it done, and the only reason it took that long was because I had alot of small items I need to sort and group before posting my ads. I've sold things from an old microwave for $10 to $75 for a old video game system ! Happy Selling !