Garage sales way down this year

debodunNovember 24, 2013

I found this year was very dismal for my garage sale. I made half as much as last year. My neighbor has sales also and I was talking to him and he said that it wasn't that they were stopping and not buying - they just aren't stopping. And it isn't for lack of traffic by our homes. Also, the ones that do stop seem to be very fussy - they want thing to be in "like new" condition and for prices that you practically have to pay them to take it. Some people might believe the economy has a lot to do with it, but you'd think if that were the case, people would be even more likely to be looking for bargains at garage sales. Yet the Wal-Mart parking lot is full of cars of people shopping at retail prices. I wanted to get some feedback from others as to why suddenly people have stopped going to tag sales.

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Maybe it makes them feel a little richer that they are able to buy new at the retail/big box stores, not realizing that often the quality just isn't there. Their answer is "But hey, it's new.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 5:57PM
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It seems to me that if people aren't stopping at garage sales, it's because they can't afford to spend *any* money.

Economists could diagnose the health of the economy a lot more quickly if they'd stop doing research & just check the garage sales!

'Yet the Wal-Mart parking lot is full of cars of people shopping at retail prices.'

& what they're buying is particle board & plastic from China.


or maybe they're just buying groceries because that's all anybody can afford any more.

or maybe they're putting purchases on their credit cards.

edited to add:

When did you have your sale?

If it was recently, the impending holidays probably affected it.

From early to mid-November until after January 1, Thanksgiving & Christmas & parties & shopping really put a damper on a lot of other activities, including shopping at garage sales.

This post was edited by sylviatexas on Tue, Nov 26, 13 at 16:09

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 4:06PM
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I have 4 to 5 sales a year starting in the middle of May and ending, depending on the weather, around the middle of October. The first sale is always the best and each subsequent one the attendees are less and less. At the last one, absolutely nobody stopped. I am trying to liquidate both my mother's and aunt's estates and have a lot of items to sell, but I am at a loss to know what to do about selling Christmas decorations. No one is thinking about that during the summer and after Labor Day, nobody stops. I've also tried eBay Classifieds, Craig's List, Facebook's Online Garage Sale and a regional classified ad magazine. Maybe you're right, people just don't have money to spend on trinkets and dust catchers. Here a photo of a sale I had this year; there were a lot more items up on the porch, also.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 6:35AM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

I have four of those chairs with the red seat. I pulled them off the neighbor's burn pile. They were in terrible shape and I ended up painting them.

Here in north Iowa the consignment shops are doing a booming business. I didn't get to many sales this past summer. Inertia more than anything. I am of an age that I don't NEED anything; I already have 3 of everything but I am looking for the vintage stuff. I want my childhood back! Unfortunately, everyone else wants it, too. The prices here are realistic there just isn't much left I want. Your stuff looks clean. Some of the things I've seen for sale are too dirty to pick up.

As for Christmas decorations. The right person will buy them. You might look at

Here is a link that might be useful: Our tutorial and 30+ tips to make your own vintage Christmas ornament wreath

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 5:13PM
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Hi Deb, I would say if you advertise in the same place, and you are having 4 to 5 sales in 6 months, I would feel after the first sale , all the good stuff is gone and everything is picked over..I have been to a sale where I caught on that every year, the folks open the garage door and its the same stuff form YEARS ago, nothing new added...When I see they have the sale again, why bother been, there, seen it all...Maybe say in your ad , new items????

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 10:00PM
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It could be that you just need friends and neighbors standing out there. Feed them and just talk. No one seems to stop unless there are two other people looking. Once I get more than 4 the cars start to pull over. Some people just want to see quantity before they will walk over. You could have great stuff but if it looks like just a few things people won't get out and look.

It seems to me that thrift store prices are up but the quality is less. No one is parting with anything nice or else they sold or gave it all away already and are making due with what they have left. Right after the holidays is a good time to go looking when people have traded out their items for the new ones they got as gifts.

If you think you have a friend or two to have a bigger sale with that might help. At least it puts a few more people out there to attract attention.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 1:56AM
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I am trying to liquidate both my mother's and aunt's estates and have a lot of items to sell, but I am at a loss to know what to do about selling Christmas decorations.

I had to liquidate an estate last year, the auction company wasn't even interested in Christmas items. They said every estate has that kind of thing and it just doesn't sell for them. Ended up donating much of it. (IMHO, the only exception might be sought after collectible ornaments or more valuable/unique items that could be sold on ebay.)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 10:34AM
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Craigslist. I no longer use my gas and time to go to chase after items at garage sales when I can shop for what I want at my own convenience at home.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 12:44AM
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I feel your frustration at the full lots at the big box stores - people paying too much for stuff that wont last the year - so they will be back - viscous cycle!

I prefer to shop trift, flea markets and tag sales for durable goods - money goes back closer to home and so often vintage/used goods are better quality/value than those in the big boxes

I agree with the above mentioned craigslist and would pump you sale as much as possible there - being specific about what you are selling and descriptive as possible - dates, makers markers etc - even on fairly banal things this gets people's attention when they search

also when people shop the boxes they generally think they are buying necessities where yard sales feel impulsive - less discretionary even if that's not true.

an empty yard sale feels awkward to browse sometimes too i agree with the poster above

maybe more people together makes it feel bigger - and more exciting - your neighborhood looks attractive and walkable so that should be a benefit

My neighborhood is very low income and most of the yard sales are absolute junk -never will find anything like the $50 Ethan Allen dining table I posted about in furniture forum there - I love treasure hunts!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 12:58PM
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