Most of the snow disappeared weeks ago. Easter has come and gone, and now many of us are looking forward to Memorial Day. Do you know what that means? It means garage sale season is on the doorstep. Within the next 6 to 8 weeks, the garage sale ads will start appearing in the local newspaper and signs will start showing up on telephone poles and stop signs. So, are you planning a spring garage sale?
Garage sales have become an institution here in the United States. Also known as yard sales, tag sales, and even carport sales in the South, the traditional American garage sale dates to the postwar years when city dwellers migrated to the suburbs and began collecting personal property to fill their larger homes. It is all a rather interesting phenomenon that is intrinsically tied to American pop culture and consumerism.
Decluttering or Just Swapping?
Some of the things we do as Americans are rather amusing if we are able to step back and take a look through unbiased eyes. Spring garage sales are a good example. For instance, consider a central Florida neighborhood we know of that has an annual sale every February.
This sale is attended by hundreds of people who do not live in the neighborhood. However, local residents are known to make the rounds before the sale officially opens. It is no secret that a lot of the ‘good stuff’ is actually gone before outsiders begin arriving. This leads to the question of whether the neighborhood sale amounts to actual decluttering or just local residents swapping their possessions back and forth.
As organizational experts, our preference is that the spring garage sale is used to declutter. Garage sale season is an optimal time to dispose of unwanted personal possessions that still have some monetary value. You can donate them or throw them away, but why not get a couple of bucks if you can? And by the way, that leads to the next point about garage sale pricing.
Be Careful of Sentimental Value
The My Divine Concierge staff has helped more than one client prepare for a garage sale. One thing we have learned over the years is that there is a substantial difference between sentimental value and what garage sale customers are actually willing to spend. We have observed numerous occasions in which a homeowner ends up holding onto most of the items put up for sale because he or she was unwilling to accept a lower price.
Homeowners must always remember that the laws of supply and demand apply as much to garage sales as they do the retail setting. Whatever you put up for sale is only worth what people are willing to pay for it. Just because something with a sentimental value may seem to command a higher price does not mean customers will be prepared to pay that price.
It’s okay to set sale prices at whatever you want. Just be willing to bargain with buyers. It is far better to let something go for half your intended price than still have that possession taking up space the day after the sale is over. A dollar is better than nothing at all in most cases.
The annual spring garage sale is now on the doorstep. If you are planning a sale and you need organizational help, My Divine Concierge is at your disposal. We can help you organize, declutter, sell, and otherwise maximize the space you have in your home. We love this time of year because of all the opportunities it affords us and our clients.