Optimized to Go, Part 1

Last weekend, we held a garage sale at my mother-in-law’s house.   It was technically an estate sale, but we treated it exactly as a garage sale.

A week before we started, a friend’s mother came to buy all of the blankets and most of the dishes, pots, and non-sharp utensils so she could donate them all to a shelter she works with.   She took at least 3 dozen comforters and blankets away.

Even after that truckload, we started with two double rows of tables through the living room and dining room.   The tops of the tables were as absolutely full as we could get them, and the floor under the tables was also used for displaying merchandise.

Have you ever had to display 75 brand-new pairs of shoes in a minimal about of space?   They claimed about 16 feet of under-table space all by themselves.  Thankfully, the blankets weren’t there anymore.

We also had half of the driveway full of furniture, toys, and tools.

We had a lot of stuff.

Now, most people hold a sale to make some money.  Not us.  We held a sale to let other people pay us for the privilege of hauling away our crap.  As such, it was all priced to move.   The most expensive thing we sold was about $20, but I can’t remember what that was.   Most things went for somewhere between 25 cents and $1.

At those prices, we sold at least 2000 items.  That isn’t a typo.  We ended the day with $1325.   After taking out the initial seed cash, lunches we bought for the people helping us, and dinner we bought one night, we had a profit of $975.

At 25 cents per item.

We optimized to sell instead of optimizing for profit.   At the end of  a long summer of cleaning out a hoarding house, it all needed to go.

In the next part, I’ll explain exactly how we made it work.

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  • 3 comments

    Comments

    1. Interesting that you didn’t try to optimize for profit but if you just wanted to get rid of stuff that is a great way to make some money doing it! Glad things seemed to work out well and you unloaded 2,000 items… that’d be a lot of trips to goodwill.

    2. Wow — that’s a lot of stuff! We held a garage sale to get rid of stuff this spring, but it was nowhere near 2000 items. I can’t wait to read the rest!

    3. That’s pretty intense! That is a lot of items but as you went with the price to sell option you probably sold just about everything. Had you been going for optimized for profits you probably wouldn’t have sold nearly as much stuff.

      The fact you had 2000 things for sale too is mind blowing.

      At least you made money and cleaned up some clutter!

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