View Full Version : This might be an interesting case study...

07-18-2015, 06:35 PM
Possibly interesting as a topic for someone's Masters or Doctoral thesis for Economics or Psychology.

A study on the Economics or Psychology behind garage sales, both from the seller and buyer perspective.

I could see one of the papers analyzing how/why sellers set the prices that they do (Why did you price that shirt 50 cents, and that book $1.50?), and how why the buyers occasionally "negotiate" on prices ("That shirt is 50 cents, I'll give you 35 cents for it.")

07-19-2015, 01:14 AM
They should come around here for that study. We have three major sports in town: Football, garage sales and sweet corn :D

07-19-2015, 01:18 AM
They should come around here for that study. We have three major sports in town: Football, garage sales and sweet corn :D

Yeah, around here where I live, I was driving around with the family and saw something like 3 or 4 garage/yard sale signs. And I didn't even drive all over town.

07-19-2015, 01:48 AM
A quick google search turns up quite a few potential sources for such a thesis, some of them even actually (probably) respectable and cite-able, such as this article from Psychology Today (https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200507/garage-sale-tactics). It focuses more on the selling of items, and some of the thought processes that go into pricing and discounting stuff.

Here's another interesting article, from the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/25/us/25garage.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&ref=us), going into some of the economics of yard sales, especially with the economic crunch so many people are still feeling. It's not simply about purging excess stuff anymore, for lots of people, it's a last ditch way to make ends meet.

07-19-2015, 09:17 AM
Garage/rummage sales are a way of life here too. Went to a few of em yesterday, seems like I found a few of my big pet peeves too.

First off was an estate sale, my 2nd time there, since they'd put up the "1/2 price everything must go" signs. Even with the half off, they were asking too much. And then to top it off, if you're going to put up a sign stating bids accepted, don't get all insulted when I drop a lowball figure. Item in question was a granite topped table with chipped edges and in dire need of refinishing. They were asking $225. I offered $50, because I'd need to put about $100 worth of work into it, tag it at $350 at a buddy's store and eventually get 200-250 for it.

The next rummage sale was a big church event. They filled the parish hall/school lunchroom with table after table of stuff. Pretty much all junk. Overpriced junk, at that. I'm pretty sure that when the parish put out their call for rummage stuff people just packed up their trash. Probably make them more money by having the parish get a dumpster and charging congregants a small fee to junk their stuff.(dunno if that sort of thing would work, but I'm still a bit peeved at the local dump. Only $60 a ton for unsorted trash, BUT, there's a minimum charge of one ton. Cost $63.30 to get rid of 160lbs of old furniture)

After the next one I'm mentioning, I decided to H with the garage sales, get on with the rest of my errands. The might-as-well-be retail rummage sale. I can sum it up with one sentence, in fact, the sentence I used when talking to the guy behind the sale. "Look, I'm not going to pay you $95 for a tool that cost $100 and is beat up worst than the crap K&P rents out."

07-19-2015, 09:52 AM
It's not a garage sale, but there's a guy around here who owns a storage unit place, and he has stuff out for sale from (I'm guessing) abandoned units every weekend. Thing is, he wants near retail prices on stuff that is beat up, worn out and usually not the best quality to start with. Mind you, when I say near retail, I'm not talking about the Mart of Wall. He's actually MORE expensive than the Mart with some of his junk. And he will NOT budge on his prices. I've been seeing pretty much the same collection of stuff for several years whenever we drive by there on a weekend. The only change is that there's more of it.

07-20-2015, 02:45 PM
Kittish, the guy selling the stuff is the one who owns the storage complex? Interesting. Buddy of mine owns a storage complex and from what he's said, he HAS to sell the unit under WI law. In addition, he can't buy the unit at the auction because he's the seller.

I'd have to look up the exact wording, but it's something along the lines of the landlord is only due rent/late fees/what they would have collected via the contract.

When a tenant leaves property behind the landlord can store it and place a lien on it for cost of storage.(Generally done when the place has open units and/or no wait list. Landlord just puts a 2nd lock on the door and the tenant pays the lien to get their goods)

There's also the option of selling or otherwise disposing of the property. Once the renter is in default a 30 day notice is sent. After that 30 days, the property can be sold/disposed of. From what I understand, the option of disposal is rarely used because of legal ambiguity.

When the property is sold the landlord can deduct sales and storage costs from the proceeds. Any money earned above and beyond sales & storage can be claimed by the tenant, they have 60 or 90 days. Past that time limit, the $ goes to the Dept of Administration as surplus funds.

07-20-2015, 09:42 PM
Bear- pretty sure it is the owner of the facility doing the selling of stuff, yes. I don't know what the laws here in Nevada are regarding seizing and/or disposing of abandoned property, and I point out again that I'm guessing that's where the guy's stuff has come from. After looking over his stuff once (and not seeing any significant changes in what he's got set out in several years) I haven't been interested enough to stop again, or I might ask him about it.