If you made a pros and cons list of an online garage sale vs a traditional garage sale, the list of pros for an online garage sale would be exponentially longer. While each type of garage sale garners the same result—sales, the online garage sale is hands down easier to prepare and manage than its fraternal twin, the good, old Saturday garage sale.
Having an online garage sale is popular these days. They’re a fun and smart way to make easy money conveniently, selling no longer-needed items piling up in your house and garage. In addition to being fun and smart, there’s a garage full of reasons to switch to an online garage sale.
Skip the Signage
Creating many signs to place throughout the neighborhood to lure thrifty shoppers—at the crack of dawn—is often the least favorite thing about having a live garage sale. Not only do you have to have a stash of Sharpies and posterboard to make them, you have to put them up in high-trafficked areas. Plus, you must also be a good community steward and remove the signs when the sale ends. By having an online garage sale, you trade making and hanging signs for social media posts. Easier, right? No more getting up before dawn to place signs! Plus, you reach a much larger audience with social media, meaning more people will peruse your online garage sale items at their convenience. An online garage sale is easier for you and the thrifty buyers!
If you’ve had garage sales at your home before, you know the drill: get up before dawn to tag, sort, and arrange every item in an easy-to-browse fashion, have more change on hand than a bank, remember the plastic bags, be prepared for those thrifty door-busters who arrive an hour early, put on your haggling chops, and pray for a sunny day! That’s a long list, one that can be easily eliminated with an online garage sale.
Avoid Rain Delays
Nothing makes your blood pressure rise as fast as rain on your garage sale day. Do you get out the umbrella or reschedule? Rain is NEVER an issue with an online garage sale, in fact it could garner more traffic because people tend to stay home more when the weather is uncooperative. Plenty of time for browsing your cache of items for sale. Plus, who says your online garage sale has to be one day? With an online garage sale, it can last for weeks until every last item is sold.
Even if you decide to go through with the live garage sale despite the rain, there will be fewer people attending. This typically means you will not sell all your stuff, and you’ll need to find space to store it. Or give it away for free and lose money, or plan another live garage sale on a sunnier day. Wouldn’t an online garage sale that is rain agnostic be a better option?
Yep, the weather will never be an issue for an online garage sale. The digital equivalence to weather ruining a live garage sale is having a buyer’s internet connection stutter or stop for a few seconds, which is really not an issue at all.
The good news about that is, barring a catastrophic event such as a tsunami, Mother Earth has no bearing on the success of your online garage sale. If your internet goes down, you may have to reboot your router, and your online garage sale will be back online in a few seconds unless you didn’t pay your internet bill! Even if thrifty buyers brave the rain to rummage through all your deals, it still means your garage sale results will be spotty at best.
Keep Snoopy Strangers Away
While having a garage sale, have you ever had a snoopy shopper start looking at items in your garage, such as your mower, prized bicycle, or even your car? With an online garage sale, you’ll never have to shoo away an errant shopper.
Yep, you can finally get rid of your JNCO jeans, Heelys from high school, and your husband’s annoying, wall-mounted Billy Bass singing, flapping fish. But beware of the idiom, “turnabout is fair play,” as you might find your Dr. Martens walking away on someone else’s feet!
CharityAuctionsToday has enjoyed serving fundraising auctions for thousands of nonprofits and schools over the years. People also use the software to hold online garage sales. CharityAuctionToday’s platform makes creating an auction a breeze—and an online garage sale even breezier!
What to Sell at your Online Garage Sale
These nine top categories provide plenty of ideas for your next online garage sale:
- Done with having babies? Time to pass on the baby equipment to lucky families who can finally afford to buy gently used baby stuff at deeply discounted prices.
- Are your toddlers done toddling? Make money on his or her clothing, toys, and furniture.
- Tweens are too cool for their once-prized stuff. Go ahead and take what you want because tweens don’t care—they have friends to call and see and stuff. (Sad but true, right?)
- Kid away to college? Time to transform their room into your very own man or girl cave that you’ve been dreaming about for years. Thank goodness for higher education!
- No one is using the exercise equipment everyone promised to use (You knew this was coming when you bought it.
Be Careful What You Sell!
A funny story told by one of our users involves a parent of a tween selling the tween’s new-ish and pricey but rarely-used bike at their yard sale. Three years later, the tween, now a full-fledged teen, reported to her mom that her bike had been stolen. Three years!
6 Good luck, but you can try to convince your spouse or special person to sell his or her beer stein collection that has been growing since high school.
7. You’ve replaced your old sporting equipment over the years—time to sell the Bobby Riggs tennis racquet and Ben Hogan beginner golf clubs, right? And those old bikes—a size for every age and ability takes up a lot of garage space. Who will ever ride them?
8. Considering redecorating a room or rooms? Cha-ching! Sell that old stuff that you used to think was cool, like paintings on velvet. You might make enough to get your popcorn ceilings removed!!
9. Sure, you could donate dated stuff taking up real estate in your home to a nonprofit thrift store or even toss them, but why not make money on your aging treasures? What’s the adage, “Your junk is someone else’s treasure?”
Who Should Have an Online Garage Sale?
Anyone who has items they no longer need should consider an online garage sale. This includes people who are decluttering their homes, moving, or simply trying to make some extra money.
Psychology Today says it well, “Clear your home, clear your mind. Decluttering increases self-worth, creates healthy habits, and boosts productivity. A clean and tidy home can also improve sleep, boost mood, and promote relaxation.”
If you’re an empty nester, you’re a prime candidates to have an online garage sale. When the kids move out, they tend to leave heaps of unwanted items behind for their understanding parents to manage. And the understanding parents can pocket the money made at the online garage sale!
Graduating college students have much to look forward in their next chapter of life. Having an online garage sale helps them begin their new lives with money in their pockets.
Online garage sales are easy to manage, which is a huge reason businesses choose them to eliminate no longer needed equipment and merchandise. Businesses can benefit more than most online garage sale factions.
Most businesses, being open for the better part of a day, have staff who manage handing-off sold items to buyers, with little effort. Often businesses move locations and have excess furniture and computer equipment, or redecorate and need to get rid of furniture and other items that no longer represent the new decor.
Some businesses find themselves with excess or dated merchandise that can be easily sold via an online garage sale. Why throw unwanted items away when you can make a lot of money selling them? We know one company that uses the money made from their online garage sale to host an annual company party!
Online garage sales are a great way to get rid of unwanted items quickly and easily. You can literally make money in your sleep! Seriously, you can make money easily and have fun doing it.
How to Manage an Online Garage Sale:
- Choose the right platform. There are many different platforms that you can use to host an online garage sale, such as CharityAuctionsToday, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Craigslist. Do some research to find the platform that has the most utility for selling your treasures online.
You didn’t ask for our advice, butCharityAuctionToday’s platform can accommodate hundreds of items. Social media users’ attention spans are limited as they aren’t online specifically to shop, whereas an online garage sale platform is visited with the intention to buy. Something to consider.
- Take good photos. This is one of the most important things you can do to make your online garage sale successful. Make sure to take clear, well-lit photos of all of your items.
- Write detailed descriptions. In addition to photos, you’ll also need to write detailed descriptions of your items. Include information such as the item’s condition, the brand, the size, and other relevant details to help make a buying decision.
- Set low prices for used items. Typically, when selling something online, you ask for a fair price. Not with garage sales! Many people use the 10% rule—sell used items for 10% of what you paid. Of course, consider the condition of the item. If it’s brand new, never been used, well, that’s a different story. You don’t want to price items too high, either. Online garage sales tend to garner higher prices because there is no haggling unless you make your garage sale an auction or set certain items to be bid upon, like collectors’ items or new, still-in-the-unopened box items! Use our platform, and we’ll guide you through this process!
- Respond to inquiries promptly. When someone asks a question about one of your items, respond promptly. This will show potential buyers that you are serious about selling your items.
- Offer multiple payment options. Offer multiple payment options to make it easier for buyers to purchase your items. The more options, the better.
- Ship items promptly. Once an item has sold, be sure to make pick-up arrangements. This will show buyers that you are reliable.
- Provide excellent customer service. Even if something goes wrong with a sale, it’s important to provide excellent customer service. This will build goodwill.
Why Choose an Online Garage Sale Instead of a Traditional One?
There are many reasons why you might choose to have an online garage sale instead of an in-person one. Here are several of the most common reasons:
- Convenience: Online garage sales are much more convenient than in-person garage sales. As mentioned, you don’t have to clean your house, set up tables, or deal with people coming and going all day. You can simply list your items online and wait for buyers to contact you.
- Safety: Online garage sales are also safer than in-person garage sales. You don’t have to worry about strangers coming to your house or dealing with cash. You can simply meet buyers in a public place to hand off items, or ship them.
- Reach: Online garage sales allow you to reach a much wider audience than you would with an in-person garage sale.
- Flexibility: Online garage sales are more flexible than in-person garage sales. You can list your items at any time of day or night, add or remove items for sale in seconds, and you can set your own hours. You’re not limited to a certain weekend or time of day.
- Cost: Online garage sales are also less expensive than in-person garage sales. You don’t have to pay for advertising or rent a space. You can simply list your items online for free.
If you’re looking for a convenient, easy, safe, and affordable way to sell your unwanted items, an online garage sale is a great option.
An Online Garage Sale is a Great Way to Earn Extra Money
Online garage sales are a great way to score extra cash and perhaps assist in raising money for a large item such as a new roof, a ski boat, or an AC unit. Here are a few of the most important reasons an online garage sale is a great way to earn extra cash:
- Convenience: Online garage sales are convenient for sellers and buyers. Sellers can list their items online, and buyers can browse the listings at their convenience. This makes it easy for everyone to participate.
- Reach: Online garage sales have a much wider reach than in-person garage sales. People from all over the world can see the listings and potentially buy items. This means that sellers have the potential to reach a much larger audience and earn more money.
- Flexibility: Online garage sales are very flexible. Sellers can set their own hours and prices, and they can list their items at any time of day or night. This makes it easy for sellers to fit the garage sale into their busy schedules.
Online garage sales are very cost-effective. Who needs to pay for a storefront when you’ve got an online platform? This makes it a great option for people on a budget.
- Variety: Online garage sales offer various items for sale. This means buyers will likely find something they’re interested in, and sellers will likely sell their items quickly.
- Community: Online garage sales can help to build a sense of community. When people come together to sell and buy items, it creates a sense of camaraderie. This can be a great way to connect with people in your community.
An online garage sale does more than put money in the bank. Even if you’re only seeking a windfall, there are peripheral benefits to enjoy such as helping declutter your home, getting the whole family involved and communicating, and providing an opportunity to say hello to neighbors and friends.
How to Promote an Online Garage Sale
Here are some tips on how to promote an online garage sale:
- Use social media. Social media is a great way to reach a large audience with your online garage sale. Use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Create a blog post. Create a blog post with information about your online garage sale, such as the online garage sale URL, date, time, and location. You can also include photos of the items that you’re selling. Be sure to post the blog URL on social media.
- Post flyers. If you live in a neighborhood, you can post flyers advertising your online garage sale. Be sure to include the date, time, and location of the sale, as well as a list of the items that you’re selling.
- Tell your friends and family. Don’t forget to tell your friends and family about your online garage sale. They may be interested in buying some of your items, or they may be able to spread the word to others. Tell your neighbors and church members, too.
- Be patient. It may take some time to sell all of your items, so be patient. Keep promoting your sale, and eventually, you’ll find buyers for your items. The beauty of an online garage sale is being able to keep your site live until all items are sold.
How do you Get the Sold Items to the New Owners
There are a few ways to get sold items to new owners in an online garage sale. Here are a few common methods:
- Shipped: Although this is a local online garage sale, you may have out of town buyers who will need their item(s) shipped to them. You can use a shipping service like USPS, UPS, or FedEx. The CharityAuctionsToday platform will calculate shipping for you.
- Pickup: The buyer can pick up the items from you. This is a good option if the buyer is located nearby. You can meet the buyer at a public place, like a coffee shop or a library.
- Local delivery: You can deliver the items to the buyer yourself. This is a good option if you have a car and the buyer is nearby. You can charge the buyer for delivery, or you can offer it for free as a way to build goodwill.
Once you agree on a delivery method, communicate with the buyer and coordinate the details. It’s also a good idea to get a tracking number for any shipped items, so you can track the package and make sure it arrives safely.
Personal Safety Tips for Sold Item Pick-ups
Please pay great attention to the following personal safety tips for when a buyer from your online garage sale comes to your house, work, or confirmed public location to pick up their items. Little did we know in kindergarten that stranger danger would be just as pertinent, if not more, when we grew up.
- Eliminate stranger danger. If possible, meet the buyer in a public place, like a coffee shop or a library. This will make it easier to get help if something goes wrong. Stay out of dark alleys at night.
- Tell someone where you’re going. Before you meet the buyer, tell a friend or family member where you’re going and when you expect to be back. This way, someone will know if you don’t arrive home when you’re supposed to. Better yet, have someone go with you to meet the buyer.
- Be aware of your surroundings. When you’re meeting the buyer, be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to who is around, and make sure you have a way to get help if you need it. Wouldn’t hurt to jot down their license plate number. You never know.
- Trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable at any point, don’t hesitate to leave. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Have a plan. Before you meet the buyer, have a plan in place for what you’ll do if something goes wrong. This could include calling the police, having a friend or family member come over, or hiding in a safe place. Contact your local police station for safety advice.
- Be prepared to say no. Don’t feel pressured to do anything you’re not comfortable with.
- Be prepared to walk away. If you feel like the situation is getting unsafe, don’t be afraid to walk away. You can always reschedule the pickup for another time.
CharityAuctionsToday is a little pushy about safety. Please be careful in all of your interactions pertaining to the sale of your items during your online garage sale.