Now there are two ways you can do it, by selling your own stuff the classic way (which isn't really making money because you more than likely bought it a while ago and are selling at a loss no matter how you look at it, unless the item increased in value somehow), or by picking. One of my favorite reality TV shows is American Pickers. They don't necessarily go garage sale hopping, but they do buy other people's stuff and resell it at retail. My mother and grandmother used to put on a garage sale every summer, and they were quite successful. People looked forward to their sales every summer. Probably because the prices were so cheap, and my brother and I were growing out of our clothes faster than we could get new ones it seems.
I've seen quite a few garage sales around lately. I was curious if anyone has gone "picking" at garage sales? My theory is that if you go in looking for items that you know a lot about, and are not just buying stuff on whim, you could stand to make some money by reselling it online somewhere. Thoughts?
I'm not a huge fan of garage sales largely because you're very rarely going to find the "deal of a lifetime" on a specific coffee table you've been looking for or sofa you just couldn't bring yourself to pay full price on. Instead, at least at least in my opinion, they tend to be mostly children's clothes and toys and other "junk people are trying to get rid of."
My wife and I have visited a few estate sales and if you're someone who wants to get something nice without paying full price that is the way to go. We recently bought our "new" kitchen table at one, which allowed us to get a pretty nice table for a fraction of the price we would have paid at a store. We've also purchased several pieces of art at various estate sales.
Estate sales aren't always for when someone dies, either. Many people have estate sales when they are moving to another state or downsizing their home. The sellers can typically earn a lot more than they would at a garage sale and the buyers typically pay a lot less than they would at a store. It's a win-win for everyone involved.
I think a lot of it just depends on the person shopping. Garage sales make a ton of sense for families trying to get a little of the money they spent on clothes and toys back, but they don't make much sense for people without children. However, estate sales make a lot of sense for both the seller and buyer, especially when a buyer is looking for larger items.