Cleaning Out Your House: Garage Sales versus Online Auctions

Home Inspector with National Property Inspections

My mom happens to be one of the neatest people I know. She prides herself on having at least one empty shelf in every closet just so that she knows she doesn't have too much stuff. She has organized and simplified her life and almost never loses anything. (Dad and I still remind her of the time back in 1983 when she lost her sunglasses in the lake, but it really shouldn't count anymore. And it was probably someone else who lost them anyway.)

Besides my mom, I don't know anyone who wouldn't have to clean up and clean out the closets a little to get their home in tiptop selling condition. I would probably have to put away several pictures of my beautiful daughter as they litter some of the shelves. I am also certain their are some clothes and some of those wonderful kitchen tools that were supposed to revolutionize my dining experience that I could easily let go. Usually, I think GARAGE SALE when I start thinking about reducing the clutter, but there's another option today that deserves just as much attention, ONLINE AUCTIONS.

Consider the comparisons:

Online Auction
Attracts a larger pool of possible customers from a national base.
Allows a person to sell one item at a time.
Items may sell for a higher price in a bidding situation.
Shipping costs are important. Smaller, lighter items tend to lend themselves to the online format.
Requires patience waiting for the right buyer to view and bid on items.

Garage Sales
An easy way to move a lot of items quickly, especially if you call a charity in advance to pickup any leftovers.
Allows for the sale of large items like furniture
Opportunity to meet other people for joint sales and advertising if you plan a neighborhood sale.

Check with your local municipality before opting for a garage sale ... and for best results get together with several neighbors. Making it a block of garage sales can really boost your turnout. Don't forget making signs and getting change.

Whatever you decide ... just think of what you can buy with the proceeds from the sale ... just put it in storage until you get that new house!


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M. Murphy

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