Find Garage Sales Online

The Internet has done a great deal for the concept of garage sales. Auction web sites like eBay virtually put an end to the need for a lawn sale, allowing sellers to get rid of a piece of junk at any time by connecting with potential buyers from around the world.

But the old-fashioned method of laying out random trinkets ornamented with post-it note price tags hasn’t gone away. Not even close. And those garage sales are begging for a place on the web.

The best database of local sales I’ve found online is at Craigslist. I can organize the listings so I only see the ones in my region and the dates they’ll be happening. Some even list the types of wares they’ll have, like baby clothes or kitchen appliances.

However, this system leaves so much room for improvement. People plan sales weeks or even months in advance. There should be a web site to help with the planning stages.

A site allowing the seller to bring a laptop down into the garage and enter into the site’s “sale organizer” the name of the item and the estimated price would be invaluable. You can update the list at any time leading up to the garage sale, and optionally make the list public, so people can search for your items.

The service could provide sellers with a bunch of other tools. Imagine instead of organizing a bunch of handwritten price tags, the web site would print the labels, complete with item name and price.

The site could also be your sales log on the days of the sale. Go inside and update the list periodically (or after the first day of your sale), checking off items whenever you sell one, noting how much you sold it for. The database would update on-the-fly, alerting potential buyers when the item they’re tracking sells out.

On the buyers side, this would also be a handy tool. If you want to purchase a particular item, you can search for it and get a listing of upcoming garage sales that will have the item in your area and at what price it will be. The results could be organized by item cost or distance of the home holding the sale.

Forget newspaper classifieds and hand posted signs. Garage sales are begging for a digital makeover, and the groundwork is ready to be laid.

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