1. So what is Garage Sales Tracker all about? How & Why did you start your site?
Garage Sales Tracker is all about helping users to find, post, and sell their items. The motto kind of speaks for itself but we strive to be the number one place for individuals to find their bargain sales whether it’s a garage sale, consignment shop, or flea market.
The site was started due to the lack of feasible, clear, and concise garage sale websites online after the frustration of not finding a quality one in May of 2008 and knowing that after holding a yard sale myself that having a site like this would be incredibly useful and from the feedback we have gotten it is.
2. What is the best deal you have gotten at a Garage Sale?
I once bought a porcelain baseball figure for $12.00 of Nolan Ryan. When I was in an antique mall recently I saw it going for $350.00. That’s the one that stands out off the top of my head the most but every weekend people get deals like this. It’s hard not to think about the lady who sold a Jackson Pollock painting for a few dollars when it was worth a few hundred thousand talk about a hidden treasure.
3. Ok, now the fun questions, what is your favorite cheap meals that you make at home and when your eating out.
At home it would have to be pasta. I mean what’s better than 4 meals for around a buck when all you have to do is boil some water! Going out it’s Chipotle for their burritos at $6.48 with tax unless its a special occasion than I add the guacamole that’s extra.
4. What is the one thing you own under $20 that has gotten the most bang for your buck?
To be honest most of my furniture and books are all owned for under $20.00 but the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand which is truly an inspirational book is one that stands out because motivation even though intangible is priceless.
5. Can you share your number 1 tip in getting the best deals at Garage Sales?
Bargain, Haggle, and Bargain some more. Things are usually marked rather low but there’s a threshold below that they are willing to go to and most sellers know your looking for that lower price so why not try?
6. What effect has Craigslist had on Garage Sales?
Craigslist has been a positive and a negative on garage sales. Craigslist has attracted a lot more bargain happy shoppers to the mainstream web that are always looking for that great deal you used to only be able to find at garage sales. Many people use Craigslist as an online garage sale as well as EBay before their fees got too expensive for a lot of the sellers.
Now you can find almost anything on Craigslist but the issue others as well as myself always have is that it’s filled with too many scammers and spammers. Every time I try to sell an individual piece of furniture (or really any item for that matter) I get a Nigerian scam saying that they are interested but want to send me a check for my $65.00 couch but instead they will send out $340.00 and I can send them back the difference before they pick up the said item. Trust me when I say this is extremely frustrating and many garage salers have opted to go back to the signs around the neighborhood because of this.
On the other hand the news paper industry has obviously seen the biggest defeat due to Craigslist’s free model. It used to be before sites like garage sales tracker and Craigslist that you had to pay $24.99 to list a sale now it’s crazy to waste that money on a listing with the advent of the Internet.
7. For anyone thinking about having a Garage Sale what advice would you give?
Have fun. Everybody has a sale for a reason. Some just want to clean out the house, others want to raise some extra money, and others just enjoy the social aspect of it. Besides having fun if you want to maximize your dollars the best advice is to make your items easy to see from the road and be as descriptive as possible in your advertising to attract the most visitors.
If I was looking for a Nintendo game console and somebody just said in their listing that they are selling electronics I wouldn’t ask them if they had a Nintendo for sale because than I would have to ask a million others. If it said Nintendo in their description however I can assure you I would be an early bird at their sale and ready to buy other items as well.
8. Are you seeing more people having Garage Sales because of the recession?
It’s a sad reality but some things thrive in a recession and garage sales are one of them. The New York Times did an article last year about families that were having a yard sale to make $300-400 to help put food on the table.
So we try to do our part and give all of those people free access to list and find sales because just as many people having a sale out of necessity are also finding themselves shopping at these sales realizing how many great bargains there are to be had. I mean 5 collared shirts for $5.00? Not even Walmart can beat that.
9. Finally, can you give me your favorite tip on how do you use the Internet to save money or time?
Being in the information age there are so many articles and blogs on saving money I don’t know where to begin but trying not to be too biased but I found you because I was looking for a combination of Coupons, saving money tips, and freebies and then mrcheapstuff.com popped up.
Aside from that if I am looking for basic legal advice or documents I can use sites like Mahalo or docstoc.com. The way we live now is amazing compared to a decade ago while things are inherently more expensive due to natural inflation there are many ways to cut corners and save time and energy thanks to all the resources that the Internet provides for example free coupons without having to order the daily paper, free classifieds, garage sale listings, television shows (hulu.com) and tons more.
In a decade from now we will look back in amazement about how much things have changed and what has gone out of style but one thing is for sure, you will be able to find those items at a garage sale.
Photo credit via Flickr