From car boot and jumble sales to garage/yard sales and online marketplaces, there are a host of creative selling methods available for those wanting to clear out their cupboards and de-clutter their home to raise some extra money. This article will discuss the different ways Brits choose to trade their items and how popular garage ‘yard’ sales are in the UK.
Car boot sales
Inspired by trunk fairs in Canada, car boot sales are rumoured to have been introduced to the UK in the early 1970’s as a convenient way of selling unwanted household and garden belongings. With a large number of regular car boot sales located across the country, all sellers need to do is load their car with items they want to trade and drive to their desired location.
Although car boot sales have proven to be a very popular selling method in the UK, garage sales haven’t had quite the same impact here as they have in America.
As well as providing a convenient, cost-effective way of selling unwanted items, organising a sale using garage or ‘yard’ space is also the perfect opportunity to socialise with neighbours. While our blog last month discussed the different ways garage space can be used for long-term purposes, a garage sale is a great way of utilising your garage temporarily, so you won’t have to renovate any part of the structure.
Although you do not need permission from your local council when organising your own garage ‘yard’ sale, (unless you plan on having multiple sales throughout the year), it’s important to let neighbours know you are putting on your own sale to minimise any disruption.
Safety is also paramount at garage sales, so remember to:
- Keep the inside of your home off-limits
- Do not run the event on your own
- Keep any money safe
- Make sure valuable items are not easily accessible
Most profitable items found at garage sales
In the past, there have been some incredible stories about items found at garage/yard sales which were bought for little but actually ended up being worth a large amount of money:
- A New York family purchased a Chinese bowl at a garage sale for $3 before finding out that it’s actually a 1,000-year-old treasure worth $2.2 million. It was eventually sold to a London dealer at Sotheby’s auction house in New York in March 2013
- In 2008, a California man named Tony Marohn bought a box of documents at a garage sale for just $5 which contained a Coca-Cola stock certificate which could be worth $130 million
- In 2010, a British businessman named Andy Fields paid $10 at a Las Vegas garage sale for a painting which turned out to be a £2 million Andy Warhol original sketch
Internet and online marketplaces
For those looking to sell their unwanted goods in the comfort of their own home without having to organise any sale events, the internet and online marketplaces act as the perfect vendor. While you may be familiar with websites such as eBay, Amazon and Gumtree, social media sites such as Facebook are also playing an important role in helping people around the world sell, buy and exchange items in their local areas. Such platforms provide a convenient, easy way to sell unwanted items without having to leave the house, causing the popularity of selling items on online marketplaces to soar in recent years.
However, traditional selling methods such as car boot and garage/yard sales are still a common occurrence both here in the UK and America, so why not visit one of these events or try to organise your own? You never know what you might find!
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