A friend recently held a garage sale to purge all of his worldly possessions. At 8:58am before the final tables were out, men and women circled the block like buzzards over a fresh kill. The first group included punky-looking eBay dealers, antique collectors and audiophiles looking for rare dance hall vinyls. The second wave consisted of board game enthusiasts, recycled clothing designers, preschool teachers and espresso-touting Shabby Chic home decorators. And finally, at about 2pm, the geeks and bike-enthusiasts came to claim the last Playstation games, computer parts, brake levers and tubes.
Garage sales are no longer just for blue-haired grandmothers with teacup fetishes. While eBay and Etsy are great for selling rare or specialty items, setting up an auction or store for your mismatched cutlery might not get you the results you need. One blessing in this down economy is that we're learning to reclaim and recycle in a way that our grandmothers have been doing for years. Whether you like haggling over weird items on a Sunday or you'd simply like to list your own sale, here are some great resources.
1. Weekend Treasure: This site does a great job of pulling listings from Craigslist and other sites and aggregating them onto a map. The nice thing about this site is that once you've drilled down to your targeted listing, you can view the source article for further details.
2. GSALR: This site improves where Craigslist leaves off. While it does not offer images from sales, it does offer a map of the region, an RSS feed on new listings and a trip planner for multi-sale routes. Garage Sale Nation offers a similar tool, and the most results seem to appear in Massachusetts, Virginia, New York and Michigan.
Yard Sale Search: This site is extremely bare bones, but if you're just looking for a site to list all of the multi-family sales in your area, the results are quick and plentiful.
3. ZipGarage: ZipGarage is a site where garage sale hunters type in their postal code and receive results on sales in their area. RWW first wrote about ZipGarage in 2007. While this site is perhaps one of the best designed garage sale sites, it still lacks the users. If you're having a sale, you might still want to embed the widget to give directions to your users.
4. Upcoming and Facebook Events: Your friends DO want to buy your junk, or at the very least they want to spend Sunday drinking beer on your lawn. A great way to kick start a yard sale is to reach out to your online networks, prepare some sandwiches and treat the event like a lawn party. Upcoming and Facebook events offer great ways to announce localized events and the best part is that your friends are likely to get calendar reminders for your sale.
5. Twitter, Loopt: These location-based services are great for that last minute sale push or reminder. While nearby followers might not have planned to buy anything, if they're in the area, they just might stop by for an impulse purchase.
6.The Local Paper and Craigslist: We're sure you already know about these options, but if you're having a sale, it would be silly not to list here. With Craigslist, users can narrow their search by neighborhood and keyword, and choose to specify only those results that contain images.
*Final Tips for Sellers: After you've tweeted, listed and advertised your yard sale, remember that old school rules still apply. Some of the must-haves of a garage sales include ample signage, properly labeled tables, extra boxes and bags, a measuring tape for furniture and about $100 in small bills and quarters for change.