We held our big moving sale this weekend. As I expected, it took hours of my time that I could barely spare at this stage in the game, and the amount of money we took in was underwhelming.
How many hours did I put in? Oh, 8 hours on the day of, and maybe 4 hours the day before? And my husband put in perhaps 4 hours the day of. So 16 person hours. This is not including the time to sort out the stuff we wanted to sell, because we would have had to do that even if we were donating everything. Nor does it count the cost of moving the stuff from our yard to the car off to the thrift store after the sale, for the same reason. It counts pricing items, sorting them into bins, and the actual hours of holding the sale.
How much did we earn for our 16 hours of labor? $128. $8 an hour.* For perspective, we pay $15 per hour for babysitting/household help, so in general I feel that nothing I do is financially worthwhile unless it pays more than that.
And yet, I am still glad we had the sale. Rummage sales have intangible value. I enjoyed sitting outdoors and chatting with neighbors during parts of the sale. But the thing I enjoyed most, I now realize, was seeing who would get the things we didn’t need anymore. When we dropped off carloads of junk at the thrift store, we have no idea who if anyone would end up buying it. But at the rummage sale, I got to chat with the lady who ended up buying the dining room hutch, and discuss with her what could be done to fix it up. I got to see a toddler jump up and down with excitement as her parents loaded our old plastic climbing structure into the back of their car. And I got to rehome (for free) a few items with friends and neighbors who will really appreciate them.
Do you hold rummage sales, or just donate your unwanted things. Do you feel it’s worth the time?
By the way, I posted an article on Wise Bread this week on frugal ways to get rid of your stuff.
* We also sold our dining room set to our next-door neighbors, but I’m not counting that since we probably could have sold it to them without holding the sale.