I’m so excited to announce Episode 4 of my garage sale series, Trash Talk!
I’ve gotten so many emails, DMs, and comments from people who wanted to see more episodes since the last one dropped in October 2018.
Now that it’s garage sale season, I can’t wait to hit more town-wide garage sales on the weekends and film what happens.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Trash Talk is a series I started in 2018 where you can watch me go to garage sales, pick out items, negotiate with sellers, and find what the items are worth on eBay. Some days turn out better than others, but you’ll get to see how much I spent on all the items, what I’m selling them for on eBay, and estimated profit.
My hope is that it shows more of you how much opportunity is just sitting out there in these garage sales that happen all across the country.
Let’s get into it.
Turning $10 into $100+
The first few garage sales of the day didn’t go super well.
But that’s just part of the game.
Patience is super important. But even I struggle with it when I’m trying to find stuff at garage sales 🙂
Finally, after the first several garage sales, I finally found a three video games I paid $10 for. Looked them up on eBay under “sold items” and they’re all selling for $100+ total.
The games were still in the box from 1987, in mint condition! Super valuable find.
The only reason I stopped by at that garage sale was because they had a New York Jets coat displayed out front.
I bought that coat too. But there’s no way I’m selling it 😉
Using eBay to look up what an item is worth before you buy it is an incredible way to make sure you’re getting the best deals.
Here’s how you do it:
Go to eBay and type whatever you’re looking to buy:
Then, scroll down and check “sold items” in the filters (make sure “completed items” is unchecked). You’ll see what prices they’re selling for, and what your item might sell for based on the condition, type of product, and other factors.
This is how I figured out what price to list my items for.
You can use the eBay mobile app so you can do this while you’re at the garage sale, and scan the barcodes of items to automatically look up the price.
Buying for $20 and Selling for $120+
A few garage sales later, I ended up buying an entire box of Nerf Guns for $20 total. It was an amazing deal. Just ONE of those 30 guns was selling for $25.
I ended up listing them all for $98.95.
Video games were one of the biggest finds of the day – I paid $10 for these Nintendo DS games and listed them at $54.96.
Flipping a $3 Poster for $199.99
At the 14th garage sale, a guy was sitting out front with a Patriots hat on.
So you already know what I had to do 😉
This was just one of the items I bought there – got it for $1, listed it for about $19:
And I got this teddy bear for $1 too which was listed at $11.99, plus a few others:
But the most insane find of the day?
It was this Michael Jordan poster that I bought for $3. I listed it at $199.99.
How to Negotiate at Garage Sales
The 25th garage sale I hit up had some REALLY valuable takeaways for those of you who are really trying to make money through garage sales.
A big part of all this is negotiating to make sure you’re getting the best price on the items. Watch this moment to see how I negotiate a lady down to buy a box of ponies. You can learn a lot from it. Plus, it’s funny 😉
I ended up getting this entire set of ponies for $50, and they were selling for $75.93 (could’ve been more if the condition of some of the ponies was better).
Check out this moment of the episode to watch it.
Finally, the day ended with me finally getting some mugs!
I was looking for them all day – I paid for $1 for these “milk mugs” and found they were selling for $16.98.
“But Gary, what about fuel and shipping costs? Can garage sales still be profitable?”
People always ask me about this, and I have a couple of things to say:
One: If you’re concerned about shipping, factor into the price! Pass it on to the end consumer if it bothers you – you can charge them extra for shipping, or just raise the price of the product by the cost of shipping.
Two: The same people complaining about the cost of gas are usually the same ones spending that same cost to commute to a $12 / hour job they hate and buying $4 Rolling Rocks.
You can even write your expenses off when you do your taxes. Definitely check with an accountant before you do this, but everything from your packages, printing paper, to your fuel costs could be a tax write off as a business expense. You could even write off the cost to purchase or fix the items you’re selling.
If you’re unhappy or complaining about the amount of money you’re making or you need an extra source of income to quit your job, I really think flipping items from garage sales are a practical way for most people to do it.