17 Apr 13

Gold prices fall, but there’s Gold in your garage: Garage Sale Style

It’s all over the news. After years of crazy rising gold prices, the gold market has tanked. But, don’t worry, there may be real gold ahead for you in your own garage, attic, basement or barn.  Garage Sale Gold!

I created www.garagesalegold.com a few years back to help folks understand how to put together a garage sale, moving sale, yard sale or any other type of sale to maximize their profits and make the most money by selling stuff they no longer need or want.

My book, Ava’s Guide To Garage Sale Gold, is a step by step, easy to read guide to sorting, identifying, pricing, displaying and marketing your wares so that you can make that extra money that you’ve been wanting to take that trip, buy that new stuff, re-model that room, or even just to make a mortgage payment.

So, don’t let gold prices, the stock market, or anything else get the best of you. Fight back by making money garage sale style.

Learn more at www.garagesalegold.com

Happy Saling!

17 Apr 13

Celebrate Earth Day Garage Sale Style

Hello, salers! It has been some time since I have updated you. That is because it has been a long, hard and cruel winter. But, Spring has sprung and it is officially garage sale season! The cold early Spring has put a bit of a damper on some garage sale selling, but I have been out there seeing some activity, which is picking up as the weather improves.

As you know, www.garagesalegold.com, which is a web site I created that is devoted to all things garage sale, yard sale, moving sale, estate sale, etc. has been a place that I can help to educate, inform and excite folks about the idea of having their own garage sale, but also about going to other people’s garage sale in order to stretch their dollars, become frugalistas, make new friends, but also, be kind to the environment.

It is a crime against the Earth to understand how much is thrown away and therefore thrown into landfills in the typical American home. A garage sale is the ultimate form of recycling and protecting our resources, it is very green….in both ways!!!!

Earth Day 2013 is on Monday, April 22nd. So, what better way to celebrate than to go to a garage sale, moving sale, estate sale, flea market or even a consignment shop this weekend.  Or, if you are super industrious, it’s not even too late to have your own sale this weekend.

My book, Ava’s Guide to Garage Sale Gold, is the ultimate resource to learn all about how to do it right. It is available on my website www.garagesalegold.com and also on Amazon.  In addition, I have created signs, money aprons, labels, tags, all you ever need to have a successful garage sale. So, even if you don’t feel ambitious enough to host your own sale, celebrate Earth Day by shopping used. You might just be surprised at what great shopping it really is! Happy Saling!

2 Jan 13

How Fiscal Cliff Environment may affect Reselling at Garage Sales and Yard Sales

Hello, fellow garage salers and resellers everywhere. I am sure that you have watched in horror and dismay at the tomfoolery in Washington, D.C. and the inability for lawmakers to resolve our impending debt crisis.

The “fiscal cliff” bill that was approved in the Senate, then went to the house, was lauded in the media as a salvation in which 98% of Americans will escape a tax hike. Not only is this a fantasy, but the worst is yet to come.

The reality is that over 77% of Americans will receive less money in their paychecks starting this week, as the payroll tax increased and everyone who receives a paycheck will feel this in their pockets right away. Also, the hardest of the negotiating is to happen in the next two months as the arrogant, incompetent and inept 112th Congress (the most undproductive in history) starts to hash out the really difficult cuts in spending that will likely need to occur in order to attempt to start to bring our debt under control.

How will all of this affect the the world of garage sales, yard sales, flea markets and consignment shops? Well. I feel that more and more people will need to cut back and find a way to bring in extra money to their households. I feel (and perhaps I am biased) that more people will look to sell things in their homes and will find a way to get by with less things.  I also feel that there will be alot more people moving (perhaps into smaller places or less expensive areas). Garage sales and yard sales can be highly profitable if done well. Many people that have tried their hand at garage sales have failed because they didn’t know how to do it right and they just gave up.

I have developed a complete system for garage sales, moving sales, yard sales, estate sales, tag sales, whatever the sales are that you would name it. I have written a book, created an organizer, manufactured signs, money aprons, tags, everything you could possibly need. I’ve written tons of helpful, free tips on my blog here at www.garagesalegold.com

I can teach anyone how to decide what to bring to consignment, what to bring to auction, what to donate, and what to sell in your garage sales. Not only can the person having the garage sales benefit, but so can all the shoppers by enabling them to purchase items far below retail. And let’s not forget how green and environmentally correct it is to recycle unwanted items so that they do not turn up in land fills.

Lastly, since most charities will really lose out as folks will not be able to afford contributions, I always advocate donating a percentage of your proceeds to a favorite charity. So, it is win, win, win for garage sales.

My prediction is that the fiscal cliff economy will create a new wave of garage sales, in every state and town, and that they will become even more commonplace than they are now. And hopefully some people will take advantage of all of the tools that I have created to help them in their efforts. Products, advice and more are all available at garagesalegold.com

We will all get through this together! Happy 2013 and let’s get planning those garage sales NOW!!!! I know I am.

1 Dec 12

Garage Sale Gold Author to appear on Katie Couric show

Hi, peeps. Your favorite garage sale expert (mois) was asked to appear on Katie Couric’s show for a show entitled “Is There Something In Your Garage worth a Million Dollars?”. This garage sale expert, me, Ava Seavey, author of Ava’s Guide to Garage Sale Gold,  will be tweeting live during the taping of the show. The show will air on December 11th.

So, please look for my tweets this coming Monday and wish me luck on the show!

Happy Saling!

16 Oct 12

Future of Garage Sales, Consignment, Thrift Stores, eBay Threatened by Supreme Court Ruling

As a yard sale enthusiast, and as someone who has scraped together extra money from yard sales, garage sales, flea markets and consignment shops to pay for necessities, I am outraged at the pending U.S. Supreme Court case which could ban reselling both in person and on websites.

So, Church bazaars, nonprofits who raise funds through flea markets for great causes, families down on their luck due to incompetence in the goverment may now be banned by the same government for trying to help themselves any way they can to make some extra money in these terrible times of high unemployment and lack of good jobs!

And what on earth will become of landfills? Garage sales and other forms of re-selling is not just great financially, but it is going green by not throwing away useful items as junk.

And what are Americans to do if this ruling goes through? Set up trading posts and barter facilities like in the 1600s?  The U.S. Government has already decimated our economy, and now they want to completely destroy the last shreds of hope for thousands and thousands of businesses and consumers?

This is beyond an outrage!!!! They really do seem to want to stifle the American spirit and create a country of dependents.

This goes way beyond garage sales. This threatens our very freedom.

I wrote a garage sale book. If other people sell it after they buy it from me, that is fine with me. That is the American way. Let them sell my book at their garage sale, on eBay, Amazon, wherever they like.

I have spent the past couple of years trying to empower people to fight the system and make money selling their things so people have options besides shopping retail and it’s win win for all.  And so many have been helped by having garage sales: the people having the sale, the shoppers, the charities that have been contributed to.

It is not just eBay and Craig’s list and Amazon that will be affected by this ruling, it is hundreds of thousands of families accross America. DON’T DO THIS TO THEM, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

9 Jul 12

Garage Sale Decorating – Kitchens addenddum

I forgot to add one of my favorite inexpensive garage sale decorating techniques for storing kitchen items. And that is baskets and old jars.

I often find all sorts of baskets at garage sales and I find uses for them, whether they are large or small. You can see in this photo the use of the larger white basket to keep bread in. The smaller one holds condiments from Chinese take out food. I know. I know. That is so unhealthy, but sometimes when I am working late, I just don’t have the time to cook.  The old jars found at garage sales contain flower, pasta, etc.  I like to mix and match and not necessarily have all matching items. Find more tips at garagesalegold.com

9 Jul 12

Decorating Garage Sale, Flea Market, Consignment Shop Style – Part 2 Kitchens

I was bitten by a bee yesterday on my hand as I did some gardening, and it is swollen up double it’s normal size, but I am bound and determined to write this blog, second in a series, of decorating articles, filled with garage sale, flea market, and consignment shop ideas.

While hardly an experienced decorator, I find myself desiring high style in the middle of a recession. Frugalista that I am, I seem to find a way to create pleasing and high style decor for free or cheap.  And so I pass some of my ideas to you for better or for worse.

One of the rooms I find hard are kitchens, especially small kitchens that don’t contain alot of space for storage or design.  So since kitchens pose a special challenge, I thought I would post some garage sale treasures and scores that  I found to dress up my kitchens with some panache. Hope you enjoy the photos and captions. Happy Saling! Look for more tips at garagesalegold.com

1.Cute little table and chairs, note the inlaid tile, perfect for a small nook. Scored at a garage sale. Kittie not included.

2. Bakers rack scored from a consignment shop. It has some of my rooster collection, which came from garage sales, estate sales, and gifts.

3. Vintage cannisters scored from a barn sale. Got a good deal on them because the original set was not complete, but who cares?

4. Space over a built in microwave. What to do with it? An old Ball jar and some dollar store mini urns and a $1 rooster from a garage sale cheer it up.

5. Washing dishes can be cheery. Old glass bottles found for free or at garage sales contain flowers from the garden, mixed with store bought blooms adorn the windowsill just above the sink. Really dresses up the room. The curtains were also snared from a garage sale.

6. An antique looking print adorns an otherwise barren kitchen wall. Scored very inexpensively at a little consignment shop. Believe me, you can pay more for frames than most of the art I have bought at garage sales.

3 Jul 12

Yard Sale Decorating – Part 1 Outdoors

As a yard sale and garage sale enthusiast, summer is officially in full swing and we are in full decorating season for fabulous flea market, yard sale, consignment shop and garage sale finds.

While  I am the furthest thing from a professional decorator, I do consider myself some who is frugal, with a good eye, and I like nice things. Since the downturn in the economy, I have had to severely curtail any spending on non necessary things, which would include home decor.  This has only fueled my passion for yard sale, consignment shop, flea market and garage sale finds.

Many times guests are shocked and surprised at how I have been able to cobble together pleasing displays both inside and out with items that have been free roadside finds, inexpensive yard sale purchases or worn out things headed for the dumpster that have been repurposed for other things.

I am going to write a series of articles on decorating featuring photos of some of my favorite recycled finds.

Today I am posting some photos of some of my favorite outdoor items. I am hoping that it will bring you some ideas and inspiration. Happy Saling!

A broken watering can, that has been repainted and used as a planter, found in a free pile at a garage sale.

A lovely, small white table (originally green and spray painted white), with a reproduction egg carrying bin on top (both garage sale finds).

A pergola that is now hanging with curtains that were on a friend’s  outdoor gazebo that was damaged in a storm and they were going to throw out the curtains.

An elegant iron chair found free on the road (it was white and was spray painted black, a cushion was added)

One of my very favorites is this old grill stand, which was spray painted black and turned into an elegant planter.

An antique wheel barrow, found rotted and rebuilt, used as garden decor and planter.

3 different groupings of reproduction cast iron cafe chairs. All bought at consignment shops.

12 Jun 12

Frugal Father’s Day Gift Giving Garage Sale Style

In these tough economic times, many people decide to cut back on gift giving, be it for birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays. Cutting back does not need to mean disappointing,  as you can do some very creative gift giving that will impress and delight and no one would feel slighted.

Garage sales, estate sales, and yard sales are excellent places to find not only unique gifts, but unique gift presentations as well.   All it takes is a little bit of creativity and thought, and you would be amazed at your finds and your recipient will be impressed with how clever and personalized your gifts are.

With several holidays and event times approaching,  such as  Father’s Day, Graduation, etc. here are some ideas and insight into how you can take recycled items and dazzle and delight friends and loved ones with your wit and style by shopping  garage sale style. Plus you will be contributing to the health of the earth by recycling and gifting green.

Think about the person you want to give a gift to. Make a list of things that interest them, be it sports, politics, travel, movies, gardening, history, cars, , etc.  Be as specific as you can in your list.  You may have three items on the list and you may have ten.  Take the list with you.  Now, attend a garage sale or two or three.  Look for related items to things on the list. Let me give you an example.  Let’s suppose your gift recipient is an avid fly fisherman, loves baseball and enjoys planting flowers.   Be on the lookout for anything to do with fish, maybe some feathers that could adorn a package , fish vases or plates,  books on fishing, fish mugs or cups, etc .    For baseball, you may find an antique baseball mitt, a baseball, caps, items with baseballs on them, books on baseball, etc.  For gardening, you can look for gardening tools, gloves, watering cans,  books on gardening, etc.   When you have sourced some items, you can look for a large basket. There are baskets at almost every garage sale I have attended and they make for wonderful gift presentations, especially when you have multiple smaller items.  Get some fancy tissue paper and put it in the basket with your assorted goodies.

Or if you have some larger items, find a great old trunk at a sale, and put some gifts in there. Another way to go is to find a small item or two as a token gift and use a gift certificate or tickets to an event and package them in an interesting way.  For example, place baseball tickets inside a baseball mitt or in a basket.  Place a garden shop gift certificate inside a unique planter found at a sale or in a watering can adorned with a bow.

I often see a large array of old-fashioned tins at many a garage sale.  These make great containers for gifting as well.   You can bake or buy sweets and present them in the tin or gather a small item or two of interest from the list and present them in the tin with tissue paper, garnished with a bow.

For a romantic gift, look for anything with hearts on them and then use your creativity and the list to fashion together a romantic gift.   Baskets are also wonderful displays for romantic gifts.  There are often beautiful crystal, stem wear and other such items at garage sales. What a lovely gift to have two beautiful crystal champagne glasses, a bottle of Champagne and an invitation to a favorite restaurant in a lovely basket adorned with a nice bow.  Or place some body lotions in a basket, along with a certificate that you make yourself that entitles your honey to a massage given by you? Or, if you are not as adventurous, give a massage, facial, manicure or other gift certificate packaged in a lovely antique box, tin, tray or other type of container usually seen in great supply at garage sales.

For a more sentimental gift, scout for interesting picture or painting frames and make a collage of photographs of your Dad’s favorite things.  With gifting, it is really the thought that counts, not the dollars spent.

So, gift, recycle, have fun, make merry! Happy saling! You can find more information about all things garage sale at www.garagesalegold.com.

12 Jun 12

Estate Sale shopping tips

Many garage sale enthusiasts can easily become intimidated by shopping at Estate Sales.  This fear is unfounded and, in fact, Estate Sales can be your best source at furnishing a house in high style for less, getting fabulous gifts for less, finding collectibles, antiquing, you name it!

I will give you my top tips to maximizing your Estate Sale experience so that you will feel comfortable and get the best deals and get in on the inside track for finding the best sales.

Let’s start by debunking some myths. First, an Estate Sale is not necessarily for someone that is deceased.  An Estate Sale can mean that, but it can also mean that someone is moving, downsizing, getting divorced, or liquidating their things for a variety of other reasons. Most Estate Sales are conducted by professional companies who are hired on a percentage of the take basis. The percentage can range, depending upon the value of the contents, anywhere from 25 per cent to 40 per cent of the total sales.  Therefore, the folks conducting the sale are highly motivated to sell everything, as they are generally left with the task at the end of disposing of all items which don’t sell, which is a much more expensive prospect for them than selling the items.

Another myth about Estate Sales is that the merchandise will be all antiques or collectibles. Quite the contrary. Most Estate Sales I’ve conducted or attended have had a wide range of everyday, contemporary items as well as perhaps some antique or collectible items as well.

Many Estate Sale companies will accept credit cards at their sales to encourage purchase of higher ticket items. Some may also bring their own inventories to supplement items in the house. Most Estate Sales that I have conducted or attended are indoor, and therefore not affected by weather.

Many people feel that they need to arrive early in order to get the best deals. I advocate the contrary. I like shopping at the end of the day on the last day of the sale, as they are practically giving everything away.  If you are a dealer or collector, you may want to get there early and take a number, but as a regular shopper there is no reason to do this as you will pay top dollar as an “early bird” and will have little negotiation power.  In addition, there are normally large crowds taking numbers to get in at the very beginning of an Estate Sale and why bump elbows and compete for items if you don’t have to?

The best place to find Estate Sales in your area is a site called EstateSales.Net.  Most professional companies are listed there. You can search for sales in your area and start attending.  Some of these sales will be advertised on your local papers and some won’t. Once you find companies whose merchandise you like, you can subscribe to their bulletins and receive advance notice of their sales.  You may even receive invitations to view and buy before the general public. Again, you may not receive pricing as good as later in the sale, but if you are looking for something specific, you will have a better shot at it.

Do not assume that Estate Sale professionals are experts in pricing. Many are not. In fact, much of the merchandise is quite often over priced, so you are completely free to counter offer and negotiate.  I rarely negotiate much at a garage sale, but regularly at an Estate Sale, as the sellers are trying to get top dollar, even if the merchandise is not worth the price they have tagged. Again, they are very motivated to sell and have no emotional attachment to the items, so negotiating is less stressful here than at a typical garage sale.

Estate Sale shopping can be very addicting, but also very rewarding. I furnished almost my entire house with Estate Sale finds, and no one would ever know it.  So, even in a bad economy, you can splurge on those high-end items and not feel the guilt.  Also, remember, Estate Sale shopping is very green, as you are recycling at its very best.

So, shop, recycle, have fun, make merry! Happy saling! You can find more information and tips about all things garage sale at my site www.garagesalegold.com or follow me on twitter@garagesaleava.