Would you sell the toys of your late granddaughter at a garage sale? It was reported last week that the grandparents of Caylee Anthony, daughter of Casey Anthony, sold her belongings at a yard sale in Florida. 

Online commenters have disagreed over whether Mr. and Mrs. Anthony should have included Caylee’s things in their sale. Some people declared the sale never should have happened, while others suggested the Anthonys should have donated or auctioned off the items for charity.

It’s completely up to the seller to decide what to sell and not sell at a garage sale. But you should exercise caution when attempting to sell things that may be controversial or offensive, or items of sentimental value. Here is a list of things you maybe shouldn’t sell at your yard sale and a list of things you should.

Think Twice About Selling These

  • Potentially offensive / adult-only items. Have an old t-shirt with a tasteless joke on it? DVDs with sensitive content? Think twice about selling it at your yard sale, especially to young or underage children. An alternative would be to sell these items to secondhand shops. If you do decide to sell them at your yard sale, then make sure to mark the items as “adult only.”

  • Sentimental items. Don’t sell something that you think you might regret later. You may be tempted to get rid of your child’s old toys or clothes, but you may want to pick out a few items from the pile to save as mementos. You and your kids may not care about these items now, but they might in the future.

  • Antiques / collector’s items. The Beanie Baby trend went out of style rather quickly, but that doesn’t mean that some collector’s items aren’t worth saving. Things like old coins, baseball cards, vinyl music and comic books never seem to fall out of fashion. These items actually increase in value over the years. Instead of hawking them for a few bucks at a yard sale, you may want to sell directly to collectors or to a specialty vintage shop.

  • Poor quality items. If something is falling apart or is one leg away from being thrown in the dumpster, you may not want to sell it. Customers will not be happy if they get home and find that their latest purchase is malfunctional. The best thing to do is to be upfront about the quality of the items and don’t try to sell them for more than they’re worth.

  • Deceased relatives’ stuff. Again, this is totally up to you. But keep in mind that your friends and neighbors, or the friends and neighbors of your deceased loved one, may be sensitive to your decision. Always check with people close to the person who passed if they want to keep any of the items.  

Sell, Baby, Sell!

  • Unused appliances. We’ve all bought that breadmaker off the infomercial (or something like it) at some point. Maybe you used it to make homemade bread just once after you bought it and never touched it again. It can be tempting to hold onto this stuff, thinking you’ll have a need for it in the future. But you should ask yourself, will I realistically use this? If not, you could be making money off it.

  • Extras or duplicates. You probably need just one HDMI or ethernet cable, or just a few. But somehow you’ve amassed a collection of them. I have a box full of cables, power strips and other items that I’ve moved from place to place with me and rarely open. I’m not sure what makes me hold onto these items that are relatively cheap and easy to get. Take stock of your unused duplicates or extras around your house and put them on your sell list.

  • Relatively new children’s toys and items. New toys and children’s clothes can sell very well, but if you’ve been holding onto items for a few years they may be out of style. Also, toys that are dirty or damaged can give an appearance of low quality. Make sure you clean the items before other children use them.

What You Shouldn’t (and Should) Sell at a Yard Sale

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