Resale Reality & Garage Sale Rant


Who doesn’t like to  downsize  clean house unload some items get rid of their crap! If we can get rid of crap and make a few bucks for the effort even better. What about buying other people’s crap? That can be great too, especially for parents with young children who are constantly growing, changing interest and losing interest as well as those who are on a tight budget. When I found out I was having a girl, I instantly wanted to go buy a brand new baby layette for a baby girl. That seemed a bit unnecessary because I had soooooo many cute baby BOY things at home. Alas they were just that, baby BOY things. While I have nothing against throwing my girl in some blue and toting her around, I didn’t want her to be subjected to an entire hand-me-down wardrobe of the opposite gender. It seemed a little unfair. Also let’s be honest, if you’ve ever shopped in the baby department, the baby girls side is like 3 bazillion times bigger than the baby boy side. Okay, maybe only like 3x bigger, but it is clearly fashion gender injustice I tell you.

So I came up with the fab idea of buying used baby girls clothes at “garage” or “rummage” sales and since I was due October 5, I had the entire sale season ahead of me. I could scope the nicest stuff at the best deals and it would be awesome. Or DISTURBING, which is what it mostly was and still is as this new warm summery sale season is upon us. Let me give you this Mom’s opinion on a few no-no’s for selling children’s clothes/baby things. If you don’t like what I have to say you can either tell me or hit that nice little exit button on the top left of this screen, I really have no preference.

Things to Keep in Mind/Not to do when selling Baby/Children Clothes at a Rummage/Garage Sale:

(1) I DON’T CARE that you either got suckered into buying really “expensive” baby clothes at regular prices or were somehow oblivious to the world of sale shopping-your not even particularly nice brand of baby clothes at a rummage sale shouldn’t cost more than clearance clothes at Baby Gap/Babies R Us or even Kohls.

(2) Under few circumstances should any item of baby clothes cost more than $3.00. See (1) above, other than the great benefit of upcycling/recycling, why wouldn’t I just buy new stuff that hasn’t been pooped in by some other little drooling/pooping monster. I don’t mean to say things like snow suits, winter jackets etc. can’t be priced higher, I said clothes, think pants/shorts/skirts/shirts/dresses etc.

(3) $1.00 for 1 Gerber Onesie is not a good deal, they wear these under things, you can buy $1.00 onesies at Walmart and no matter how much I hate that place, I would buy their new one before I would buy your used one.

(4) Anything with a stain should be priced for cents not dollars. The more stains, the less the price should be, the more stains, the more I ask, why the hell are you selling this.

(5) Age matters, if I’m looking at your baby clothes and wondering what decade they came from that’s a problem, if I’m looking at 0-3 month clothes and you introduce me to your 6-year-old and say that was your favorite outfit for her, that’s a problem. I get where your coming from you don’t want to get rid of it, just in case you may want to have another one eventually or your sentimentally attached to it, but damn it make a decision and if you can’t, then six years later make a donation of the nicest stuff and dispose of the rest not at a rummage sale.

(6) Car seats SHOULD NOT be resold, there is a reason most consignment stores will not carry them and why Babies R Us has a yearly trade in, there are far too many things that can go wrong if you don’t know the car seats history and believe it or not, they DO have expiration dates and safety regulations are CONSTANTLY changing.

(7) You should wash things (clothes, toys, dishes, this is not at all limited to  baby/children’s items) before you sell them. If I pick something up and it clearly hasn’t been washed in eons, I will not buy anything from you for fear that nothing has been washed. It also kinda makes me throw up in my mouth a little, which is just entirely unpleasant for all parties involved. Also you should probably have some basic level of hygiene, if you don’t look like you’ve washed for eons, I’m probably going to leave assuming you don’t wash your possession on at least a regular basis either.

(8) The purpose of a garage sale is to sell things, at least that was my basic understanding of them, if I’m missing something, please let me know. If you price things really high, people won’t want to buy your crap and if you refuse to haggle, you’re eliminating the sport for at least half the people there, I’ve seen some serious hagglers who I’m pretty sure just do it for love of the game.

(9) Play fair, open at the time you say you’re going to open and don’t pre-sell unless you say you will, there’s nothing worse than being on the total search for an obscure or specific item to find it magically listed in someones garage sale, show up 15 minutes early to patiently wait until it opens only to find that you sold it to some asshole who banged on your door at 6:30 a.m. while you were setting up. If that person wanted it bad enough to show up at 6:30 a.m., they will wait until you open.

(10) Have fun and be nice to people, no one likes to shop your sale while you fervently keep your eyes trained on all potential customers darting them around like you’re waiting for one of us to steal your Great Aunt Gertrude’s mismatched silverware.

While I did find some nice things as I shopped, I probably bought things at a total of 5 garage sales of about 50+ that I went to.  In fact I had the best luck at the local library garage sale which benefits the library and in which the clothes were actually donated from a local consignment store. It was like 50 cents an item or $1.00 per outfit across the board with greater discounts given the more you bought. It was great, I bought an insane amount of stuff for under $20.00. I’m also not against paying more for things at rummage sales to benefit charity or local school, but think people should really still follow many of the rules above. If you’re donating stuff for those sales, remember that the goal is to make the charity/school money, so wouldn’t you sleep a little better at night knowing the donation you made was a nice one and will likely actually bank your charity/school some cash as opposed to them having to deal with it afterwards when it doesn’t sell?

Does anyone have any horror stories from their garage/rummage experiences?

Garage sale

Classic Midwestern Garage sale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


3 responses »

  1. I don’t have a horror story, nope… but I do have one comment.
    You forgot to rant about the time, gas, energy often wasted by going to garage sales. VERY non-earth-friendly and, as you say, 90% of the time, a total waste.
    Stick to pre-selected, curated stuff in a professional thrift, consignment, or resale store. Yes, you may not find a “total” steal, since these goods are professionally sorted, prepared, presented and priced… but respect YOUR time and your children’s future planet by shopping smart, not just cheap. Here’s to joining forces in rea\lizing that there’s absolutely NO reason to dress a child, 99% of the time, in “new” clothes!

    • Definitely!!!! While walking and biking can cut down at least on the gas, generally that takes more time and so when you lose out completely, you’ve spent way too much time and energy for not much luck. For those looking to buy used or at least save a bit, consignment shops/ clothing swaps with friends/relatives/neighbors seems to be a much better way.Thanks for reminding me of the not so eco-friendly bit!

  2. Pingback: Mr.CBB’s Garage Sale Tips For Buying and Selling Stuff! « Canadian Budget Binder

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