Friday, August 1, 2008

Garage Sale vs eBay - What is the best way to sell your junk?

Passive Family Income asked if I thought I could have sold items for more using eBay or CraigsList than I did at the garage sale. For me, the answer would be "not really." Most of my items were priced at $2.00 and below. I had a few larger items, but not many. One of my "hot sellers" was the boxes of clothing my sister donated to the cause. She had expensive brand name clothes that she wanted sold, so I marked them all $2.00 a piece or 6 for $10.00. To sell each individual piece would have been a pain, and almost all of them had been worn, so I felt this was the best way to do it.

As a side note... a young lady came to sale and was having fun checking out the clothes. She bought a couple of sweatshirts but didn't have the $10 cash on her for the shirts and skirts she picked out. She was sweet and chatting with us, and I was more than happy to hold her things while she ran home to get more money. When she got back, she said her boyfriend said she didn't need that many and to only pick out two things. What could I do? I gave her all 6 items for $4.00. She was shocked and it was fun making her day.

While there were probably some items at the sale that could have perhaps benefited from CraigsList or eBay, you have to consider the time you are willing to spend. If you sell it on CraigsList you have to make an appointment to meet with someone to pick it up. That makes sense if you are selling something that is fairly expensive, but not as much for $1.00 vase. Same thing with eBay really. In order for me to sell it on eBay, I would want it to be something that will stand out, that for some reason would appeal to an online shopper. (Plus you have to be willing to go through the trouble of mailing it.) I listed a book light I had twice with eBay, with no success, but I sold it at the garage sale!

I will say that there were a few items of my sister's that I held back for eBay. There were some name brand Christmas ornaments, for example. I think I can get more than $2.00 for them, so I will post them. I also chose to list a bunch of books my mom wanted sold on Half and Amazon, rather than putting them out with the garage sale books.

My friends and I also have some things that were at the garage sale but didn't sell, that I will try to sell on eBay. Kate has a couple of wedding dresses that I will post, and Catie left me a bunch of candle molds, cake pans and DVDs. I already sold one of the DVDs I posted last night!

For me it just kind of depends on the item - a quick break down would be:

Collectible, Vintage, Antique - eBay

Media (books/cds/dvds) - or Amazon

Large expensive item - CraigsList (Especially if it is something you don't want to mail!)

Small inexpensive items you might otherwise give to the mission - garage sale

Small inexpensive items that I don't want to deal with selling - a local mission

Broken or oddball items that otherwise might end up in the trash - Freecycle

EDIT: Looking for more information on online book selling? I am compiling all my articles about my experiences in one place. Check them out at The Online Bookseller.


The Family CEO said...

I like your breakdown and I agree. It's pretty easy to research if something will sell well on eBay and, if not, then I just donate it and take the writeoff.

Dawn said...

I am finding that with books too - some are worth selling and others are best to be donated.