Garage Sale Vs. Craigslist

Updated on May 11, 2010
E. asks from Minneapolis, MN
20 answers

I'm hoping that someone can help me with some garage sale questions. A friend is having a garage sale and I'm putting some stuff in it. Do people even buy clothes any more from garage sales? I have a lot of 0-3 month baby stuff. Some of it is in great shape and name brands (Boden, Ralph Lauren, etc.). Would I get a lot more for it if I just put a lot of it on Craigslist? Same question for adult clothes. Thanks.

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answers from St. Cloud on

Craigslist you have to take pics, list prices, AND deal with NO SHOWS!

Just put it on a garage sale. I always mark my stuff cheap because I don't want it back if it's on there. IF you are trying to make a ton of money, go with ebay. It's a lot of work to prep, take pics, and list but that is where (I've heard) you can make the most money. People do NOT want to pay big bucks on garage sales. They are looking for good deals.

Lots of people buy clothes at garage sales. That's what most people are looking for in my opinion.



answers from Minneapolis on

This year we are having a garage sale so I have been mostly packing things away for that. Although I have listed a few things here and there that I know would sell better on Craigslist. Usually when I sell a lot of clothes it would be for the same amount as I would sell them for at a garage sale, but other items like toys and household kind of stuff you can deffinetly get more for on Craigslist, expecially when it is not garage sale season. Try putting the items in the garage sale with the price you'd like to get for them and if they do not sell that list them on craigslist. Best of Luck!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I may be repeating, but here is my .02.
If you want to get rid of stuff in a hurry do a garage sale and mark everything at very reasonable prices. We have one every year so we have become experts. Rule of thumb for pricing: name brand stuff (Gymbo, Gap, Ralph Lauren, etc) sells for a little more if it's in great condition. Outfits go for $3 or $4, pants or shirts for $1, sweaters $3 or $4. Non brand-names go for less, usually about 50 cents. Onesies 25 or 50 cents.
If you have something that's brand new or unique and worth more than that you could try a garage sale but most likely you won't get what you want for it, garage sale shoppers will try and bargain w/ you and if you won't take less you'll be stuck w/ it. That's when I'd try to sell something like that on Ebay or Craig's List.
My personal experience w/ consignment is not good. I've taken name-brand clothes in pristine condition to Once Upon A Child and have found that they only take a couple items and don't pay that much. I end up hauling my full bin back out to my car and pricing them for my garage sale. I never sell there anymore.
I LOVE to shop garage sales and buy the majority of my kids' wardrobes at them every summer. It's amazing what you can find and it's really fun. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bismarck on

E. - I'm wondering how you feel about garage sales? Seems like the responses are all over the place on them. Personally, garage sales in Bismarck (where I'm from) are the main attraction on Friday's from April thru September! Truly, people come in droves to Friday morning sales and if a neighborhood gathers together, cars are literally everywhere. My children and I go 'garage sale-ing' every single Friday morning, unless one is sick. And we are very fussy. We quickly scan for sizes, BRANDS and colors + look for winter items. Never undies - socks and shoes ONLY if they appear 'new'. And once we have a stack going - we step aside and quickly review our finds. I'll pay as much as $10 for a brand name outfit... and believe me, set that down and another mom is right behind me picking it back up. The general rule of thumb seems to be 'a little worn' or 'a little faded' and the pieces will go separately for 50 - 1.00, but if the clothing is new, has a name brand, etc - on up to $5. Two piece outfits almost always start at $2.00. And we'll spend up to $1 per paperback book, depending upon condition. And the kids always come home with something to 'do' - a book, a puzzle, etc. Back to being fussy - if the yard is not kept up, junk sitting around, boxes of every sort stacked on tables etc - we drive right past, along with other cars heading to bigger better sales. (dozens each week). We stay in one corner of town - where the sales tend to be cleaner, tables have cloths on them, the walls of the garage are either tarped or painted and clean - and if there's an odor in the garage (cigarette, strong pet, or other) we nod to one another and leave.

I've come home with Nike shoes (tags on) for $2 / Arizona winter coats (tags on) $3... and have literally filled my children's closets with good quality clothing for dollars. To shop clearance, Craigslist, ebay and deal with shipping takes far too long. We do... for specific pieces (like name brand jeans in the correct size, etc) - but have such a good time together, sale-ing, going to the library, and out for drinks or ice cream once each week, that we wouldn't stop, not ever.

On the flip side, having a garage sale of our own is equally important. Now and them we come home with something itchy or too short or a book we already have. And we do grow and need to purge our closets, too. We try to stay in the 'going price range'. We sell only on Friday mornings from 9 - noon. Two-day sales are often 'hit' on the first few hours, then taper off into long sits for the owner. Since we started the shorter hours - we have a line of cars down the street by 8, waiting for the first sign that the door is opening... and the garage floods with people when the doors crack. And when it's posted for a short period of time, people will take an early lunch break, they'll stop at yours before going to the one that lasts all day or opens at lunch. And, I'm not kidding about this, stacks of clothing will pile up on tables around me... so my pricing has to be efficient. 25, 50 or by the dollar. never a dime or nickel and rarely to the half dollar after a buck. then leave tags on, and toss clothes in bags starting with whole dollar amounts, counting them out loud, etc. The importance in that ? Moving things along quickly will get people through fast, they want to go to more sales!! And your're 'done' by lunch. Seriously. We have several tables stacked (sorted, painstakinly and marked) a foot deep - and within three hours, it slows down enough for us to assess why the hit and miss pieces are still there - often it's obvious. like a torn knee or missing button I missed when pricing things.

The score? Many, many times... like $1000 bucks to use for kids' clothes for the next year or ??

No matter which way you choose to sell - you still have to launder, fold, price - but having a sale removes the photo, storage and shipping cost.

It's about perception... if you feel you'd not shop at a garage sale, it could be harder to deal with the strange folks that are rude or comment on pricing (they do come). But on the other hand, if you need to get things out, anyway - I'd try it. Then you'll know. You'll know how people shop your area, what prices they're willing to pay, and what goes.

Good luck!! If we lived nearer, I'd bet we'd run into you at your sale :)


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

If I post my ads on Ebay-for no more than 99 cents- then there is no charge for listing. There is a charge based on how much your stuff sells for. My son sold a Thomas Kincade snowglobe for $25.00. He bought it a a garage sell for #$2.00 . I've had okay luck with Criagslist.. There is a station here that lets you put ads on their website for free. chek into that. That is where I have my best responses. I have had a hard time selling clothes-childrens or adults.



answers from Omaha on

Well those consignment sales we sell like mad at! Those are the best way to go... for every thing BUT that size clothing there is so much of it that none of that got bought. Now all of my daughters size 4 clothes pretty much sold.

Now I bought all my 0-3 month clothes at g-sales pretty much but I didn't pay over a dollar and didn't have to and I got name brand clothing like that for that prices.

I've also bought lots off craigslist of clothing and for like 40 items for my daughter I paid 50 bucks. Saw lots for my son for a few bucks less than there were items but baby clothes have spit up on them alot of the time and you have to throw a few pieces away.

But my point is the really nice name brand things I'd try either the consignment sales or I'd do Ebay. My baby dior stuff I sold on ebay and did very well. I'd try the garage sale first as you can clear the most money. After that I'd personally do a lot on craigslist. That is how I made the most money. Except for the stuff for my older kids I put that at the consignment sales hands down.

As you can pry tell I've made this into an art form so I can buy all my childrens clothing again on the money I sold the last stuff for. I never pay a dime more than I sell for my children's clothing so really I never pay for them if you think about it. I kinda barter them. If you have any questions send me a message.



answers from Boston on

I haven't had a garage sale but I've sold a few things on craigslist. The annoying thing is you get a lot of people who are interested who never actually show up to buy your item, or never respond again after the initial e-mail. I like the idea of having a garage sale first, then putting what you don't sell on craigslist. There are pros and cons to both methods, so why not try them both?



answers from Minneapolis on

I eather sell my kids' stuff at the Just Between Friends sale or at Once Upon A Child.



answers from Los Angeles on

If its something Special then Ebay it. But Honestly, with the price of new stuff being so Dirt Cheap. There are so many Clearence sales lately, stuff is cheaper new than in the thrift shop.
I cant see working very hard to sell it. I think you may get .50 to 1.00 for items at garage sale and have to fold and display items. Craigs list is a bummer for small items ebays not great because of shipping.

Maybe advertise your yard sale on Craigs list.



answers from Minneapolis on

We are having a baby boy. what is your number? we would be interested in buying. call me at ###-###-####



answers from Las Vegas on

People do buy clothes from garage sales. One time, my husband put a pair of his older boxers into our garage sale pile just to see if someone wil buy them. I know, gross -- but someone did buy them. I also was able to get rid of a lot of my messed up new shoes. Perhaps, if they were designer shoes, I could understand it but they weren't. Another gross moment.

Here's the thing though, with garage sales (and also Craig's List), people expect to get things really cheap. Instead of trying to sale your name brand baby clothes this way, maybe take them to a children's consignment shop or listing them on e-bay. I would say that the consignment shop and e-bay will probably get you a better return for your money.

Hope this helps.



answers from Appleton on

You should looking into ThredUp! It's super easy and you could get some great "new" clothes in return!


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm an experienced ebayer, craigslister and occasional garage saler. You'll get the least amount of money from a garage sale. People expect things to be dirt cheap. If you're ok w/ that, go with it. I hate sitting around, though, so I rarely have a garage sale.

If your items are name brands, and sought-after, I first try Craigslist because it's free to list there. Sure, your always going to have the flakes who don't show and you've beat it home to meet them there. But now I put right in my ad something like "We're a busy family. Serious inquiries only, please no flakes." And when I put that in the ad, I rarely have a flake waste my time.

Ebay I save for stuff I know is really sought-after, like items from Anthropologie, designer jeans, high-end baby names (Baby LuLu, Indygo ArtWear, Baby Gap, you get the idea).

If it doesn't sale on Craigslist or Ebay, then it's off to the local children's resale boutiques, where they'll give you a little more than a garage sale will bring in.

Good luck!



answers from Cedar Rapids on

Why don't you do both? I know the good shape baby stuff is a hot commodity at garage sales but I have found stuff on Craigslist too. In my experience, the garage sale items have tended to cost less - not sure why the difference. I think you should pursue both avenues of selling your items.



answers from Minneapolis on

I would give Just Between Friends a shot. They are consignment sales where you get to set your prices and get 65-70% of the money they bring in when they sell. They have a special Frist Time Parents presale so the little stuff does go. It is definitely worth at try and you get more money for your goods than if you bring it to a traditional consignment shop... Good luck!



answers from Sheboygan on

I still get lots of kids clothes at rummage sales! There are actually a few people that call me when they're having them (or before) to let me know that they have clothes because I am such a rummager for kids clothes! I haven't had any luck posting anything on Craigslist myself - I just end up getting spammed, though my sister posts all the time and has great luck. I put my name brand items up on E-Bay, and they always sell for a good price, even with charging shipping. I would say try the rummage sale, and if things don't sell, try E-Bay. It's super easy to set up a seller's account, and your first 5 postings every month are free.

Good luck to you!



answers from Minneapolis on

I would say it's a toss up. If you don't want the hassle of pricing each item and setting up at a garage sale, just sell it as a lot on Craigslist. I go to garage sales all the time and see lots of people looking for baby clothes. Typically they go for about 25 cents to 50 cents an outfit if you want them to actually sell.
Adult clothes is more difficult to sell. I typically don't buy my clothing or my husband's cloths from a garage sell or Craigslist. There is no fitting rooms available. If they are brand name, take them to a consignment shop and you may be able to sell them.



answers from Redding on

In my opinion, garage sales are mostly about getting rid of stuff and not so much about making money. I've been involved in many successful yardsales, but it depends on what your definition of success is. Some things that still have the tags on them will get passed over for an old bra or nightgown. It's kind of weird. The other thing I've noticed is that you should never put "free" on anything at a yard sale. You'd think people would be happy to take it, but it's been my experience people won't even touch it. Put 50 cents or $1.00 for the entire box, and people will fight over it.
My sister got new furniture and put a perfectly good recliner out in her yard sale. No one paid any attention to it. I made a sign that said $10 and it was gone in less than half an hour.
Someone gave me a brand new jacket that was too small for them and it was too "young" styled for me...I asked $5 for it. One lady had a hissy and said she'd give me 50 cents. I ended up just giving it to a young lady who stopped by and she was tickled pink. Giving it away to someone who would appreciate it made me a lot happier.
One old lady who has more money than God threw a whole bolt of brand new fabric on the ground in the dirt and huffed off because she didn't want to pay more than a dollar for the whole thing.
Not all people are that rude by any means, but like I said, if you have a yard sale, you have to be prepared to bring things back in that don't sell or just be willing to give them away at the end to get rid of them. That's what we do. $1 a bag.
If you have really, really great stuff, I would suggest being specific about your items and put them on craig's list. You can upload photos of things too. And, like another mom said, make it clear you will take serious inquiries only.
The other option is finding a consignment shop for your nicer items. They will either buy them from you or give you a percentage.

I wish you the best!



answers from Minneapolis on

If you're looking to make money, craigslist is better for that. Garage sales aren't a time to try to really make a buck. People don't buy stuff from garage sales for more than ridiculosusly reasonable prices, and for infant clothes , that means about 50 cents an item, depending. Name brand stuff you may be able to get away charging more for, but not much more, unless the item is particularly unique. I visits a LOT of garage sales every summer and buy a lot of kids clothes and never buy anything but stuff that is priced reasonably. I'd try to sell your name brand stuff n craigslist or even ebay. I doubt many people buy kids clothes off craigslist, though... Good luck!


answers from Washington DC on

I would sell the baby clothes on ebay not Craigslist - it's not free - but you will get more money for it - especially if you take good pics and list things right (email me directly and I can help you with this).

A garage sale - people will try and get the lowest price for the item(s) usually .50 CENTS per item. so if you are looking to get rid of them - garage sale. if you want to get rid of them and make money while you are at it - ebay or craigslist. Research what other items are going for and go from there.

At a garage sale - you will have to stand around from early AM to mid-day. Ensure you have enough change and ensure the items you have are worth your while. (who's gonna take care of the kid(s)? who's gonna be there for potty breaks and lunch?)
Hope it helps!!

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