Saturday, May 7, 2011

Garage Sales The Intersection of Truth!

Garage Sales

The Intersection of Truth

The great American humorist George Carlin once said, “How come my stuff is shit, and your shit is stuff?” This becomes apparent quite fast when having a garage sale. What I’m seeing is two things; As soon as the sign goes up, the cars follow. Everybody is looking for a deal. This is how garage sales have always been. But the financial landscape has changed and so have the buyers.

People go to garage sales for a few reasons; entertainment, to fill basic needs like tools, clothes, building materials, whatever? But I think it boils down to a feeling of control. In my own case I have bought almost everything you can think of including two Rembrandt Etchings (yes they’re real and worth a few hundred dollars each.) But often I will buy something that I don’t need because a perceived value, thinking “I can sell it later for much more than I’m paying.” And so we come to the big lie! The truth being that you most likely paid about what you can sell it for! The reason that it’s so cheap is that nobody has shown any interest in this item in the first place. Now maybe you’re so good at selling that you’re going to garner a huge profit, where others could not. But in general prices, like water, seek their own level.

What I’m seeing is the buyers are tighter than ever with their dollars, but still looking for something… anything, to buy at a huge discount. So you need to decide, do I want to hold out for that special buyer? In my case I do a combination of both; bargains and items that I’ll sell but only if I can get my price. The line for me is, do I need, or just want this. If so, I’ll sell it, but only if I can make a profit. Everything else is a function of profit and so, I drop the price. I always try to tie things together, if someone is looking at a piece of furniture and a few other little items I’ll throw in the little items, a few at a time, to get the buyer to make the deal!

Either way it’s still fun and you can make a few bucks while getting rid of some more of that clutter. I light the grill and start a outdoor project that I can chip away at while watching for buyers. All in all it’s a nice way to spend a spring day. Besides people are interesting and everybody has a story.

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