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Garage sales in Canberra: Pain or profit?

By Rachel Ziv - 21 July 2017 0

Garage Sales

Canberrans love a good garage sale, and every weekend our back streets are adorned with signs directing us to go this way or that in the hope of snagging a great bargain, or finding something we know has been seriously undervalued.

But from the owner’s point of view, is all the trouble really worth it? Getting everything together, setting it all up in the early hours of the morning, pricing, manning the stands all day, haggling with bargain hunters…and all the while wondering if you’ve accidentally missed something that’s surprisingly worth a fortune.

DIY second-hand selling has become very popular, facilitated by online marketplaces that have made it easier than ever to advertise. But Rob Evans, CEO of Allbids, says that recent sales on the site suggest people are keen to explore “Garage Sales 2.0” where technology is leveraged to conduct the garage sale via an online auction, omitting the need for haggling and allowing the goods to be sold anytime.

“It’s become very popular,” says Rob. “Because we not only get the 100 or so bargain hunters who follow the Canberra garage sale trail every week, but the prices are driven up by our 150,000 general registered bidders from Allbids and Allclassifieds, some of whom are interstate and happy to travel if they find something they like.”

Rob says that the main attraction though is getting a prior appraisal so people understand what their items are really worth. He recounts a recent experience where a client was about to have a garage sale, but decided to get an appraisal first.

“The valuer went out to see them, to give a rough idea of what everything was worth. The owners were reasonably accurate with most things, until he got to a big mahogany chest. The chest itself was only worth a few hundred dollars, but inside he found a little antique. The owners were going to throw it out or give it away for free, but it was actually worth over $2,500!

“At a traditional garage sale, anyone who knew that would never tell you. And if you price it at what it’s worth, you’ll often find that no one wants to buy it. It takes a collection of buyers, who all understand the worth, bidding against each other to net you the best profit. And you never really know what you’ve got until you get a professional to look at it for you.”

Allbids also recently had a client from Florey drop in a few cardboard boxes, packed with old knick knacks from around his house. He thought it was all junk and was about to throw it out, but wanted a professional to take a look.

“It was all pretty rudimentary,” says Rob. “Until we got to an old Omega Seamaster watch. It wasn’t in great condition, but still fetched $1,500 at auction.”

For more information about conducting your garage sale via online auction, or getting a free in-home appraisal on your second-hand goods, visit Allbids or call 6239 2262.

What’s your experience with garage sales? Have they been painful or profitable?

This is a sponsored article, though all opinions are the author’s own. For more information on paid content, see our sponsored content policy.

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