Summer Tax Savings – Why Having a Yard Sale May Be a Bad Idea

By Wayne Davies

Are you planning to have a yard sale this year? There are three important things to consider before you plunge into a yard sale. Perhaps there is a better way to get rid of your old belongings while saving time and money.

1. Your time is valuable. If you’ve done a yard sale before, how much time you did spend on it? Be sure to include anything and everything you did to organize it, hold it, and clean up after it. If you do a typical all-day Friday and all-day Saturday yard sale, you probably spent 10 or 15 hours just sitting outside waiting for people to show up, talking to people, showing them all your great stuff, and negotiating prices.

Then there’s the time it takes to organize all your items: getting them out of the attic or other storage area, setting up the tables, pricing everything, etc. That probably takes a few hours, right?

So when you add it all up, how much time did you spend on your last yard sale? It was probably at least 20 hours, possible closer to 25 or 30 hours. That’s a lot of time. And you are likely a busy person with a job, a family, a house — you’ve got a life!

2. Was the time spent worth the extra cash you got? You spent 20 to 30 hours, and how much money did you make? Probably a few hundred dollars, right? If you spent 30 hours to make $300, you earned about $10/hour. Not a terribly bad wage. At least that’s more than minimum wage.

But was it really worth all that time for that amount of money? Think about it.

3. What about the left over items after the sale was over? How much stuff did you still have left after the yard sale was over? If you started with five tables worth of items, you probably have three or four tables of stuff that were hoping to get rid of but didn’t. So what do you do now? Are you going to pack it all into the attic and try again next year?

Instead of a yard sale, here’s an option that may help you save on taxes. Why not do a good deed instead and possibly get a tax deduction at the same time? You can gather up all the stuff you want to get rid of, take it to your local Goodwill Industries or Salvation Army thrift store and contribute to a worthy cause. You’ll save yourself hours of time, you may get a tax deduction that could save you hundreds of dollars.

Plus you’ll have absolutely nothing left over to pack into the attic!

Looking for more tax tips? Visit for a free copy of Wayne’s report, “How to Instantly Double Your Small Business Tax Deductions.”

Wayne M. Davies is author of 3 eBooks on tax reduction strategies for small business owners and the self-employed.

I hope you enjoyed Wayne’s article. Be sure to check out his website for lots of great tax saving ideas.

Your friend….

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