What do you think ~ Toiletries sold at Garage Sales

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Saving The Family Money. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Before I started couponing, I would be out garage sale shopping with my mom and sister and I’d see tables full of brand new toiletries, feminine products and more being sold in someone driveway.   I always thought this was odd, and wondered how they got them and what prompts them to sell them at a garage sale.

Now that I have a stockpile of these items, I understand where they get them.  But is it ethical?  Would you buy toiletries out of someone’s driveway?  Are they clearing the shelves, just to resell items later in the hopes of making a profit?  Have your purchased toiletries at garage sales? Have you sold toiletires?

I’d really love to hear your thoughts.


  1. J says

    I love couponing. I love finding a bargain. I never buy more than 10 at a time of anything on sale. Sometimes less if the coupons limit purchase. If there are less than 10 on the shelf , then yes, the shelf will probably be cleared. I drive a long way to do my shopping, I have to get my limits when they are available. I always to the best of my knowledge use coupons as they are to be used. Now if it is a clearance item and I have coupons for it. I will take all that I want.
    Yes I do sell at garage sales. The people that purchase are very happy that I do the shopping for them. Most do not have the time it takes to coupon shop. Couponing and selling satisfies me in more ways than one. I love bargain shopping. It gets me out of the house where I eat. I get exercise walking around. I help many other people in my area who appreciate my bargains.
    What I hate, is inconsistancy of the like stores, cashiers that do not like coupon shoppers and people who use fraudulant coupons.

  2. says

    I think it is unethical to intentionally purchase items with coupons to later resell them. If you have only a few items that you won’t use, it would be okay. But clearing the shelf to resell the items later on is just plain wrong. It takes the stock away from those of us who need the products, and us ethical couponers get a bad reputation because of the few who abuse the system.

  3. J says

    So if there was 500 items on the shelf at the beginning of the sell and 49 or more people had already come along and got what they wanted and then I come along and got the last 10 on the shelf that I wanted. Would I be considered the shelf clearer?
    Or in the case of CVS where they may only have 12 (or 3) of an item with a 3 per person limit. There is 3 left, am I not allowed to take my limit of 3?

    • Karen says

      I think shelf clearing is very subjective. If a store only has 3 with a 3 per person limit..well that’s not clearing a shelf to me.
      That is poor planning on the stores part.

      • J says

        Exactly, and while I do buy things for resale, I do limit what I buy at a time and go to different stores. There may be times when a good coupon is out with no product to be found. After searching and finally finding the item with the coupons fixing to expire, then I would probably take my limits too.

  4. Gwen says

    I have sold items at a yard sale. And I purposely bought product for the sale and cleaned out my personal stockpile. All my product sold out in two days. I never clear shelves on products that is going my personal stockpile anyway, unless there are only two items left. Plus, I adhere to the rules of most coupons that say “limit 4 like coupons” so I generally only purchase four items anyway. I guess my point is that this is a capitalist society and if I’ve worked to get free shampoo, why can I not sell it at a profit for my work?

  5. says

    When I went to a flea market last year I saw tons of people selling razors and other toiletries and I remember thinking it was kind of strange. The stuff was pretty cheap compared to the resale value but I’m not sure I’d buy from them. Although I never thought I’d buy toilet paper off amazon and I’ve done that :)

  6. says

    I have a real issue with people in my area who re-sell their items at yard sales. We have a monthly Community Yard Sale and there are 2 couponers who always have a space set up. It makes me highly irritated to walk past. I see the items they have. Know the price that was paid (Or not). Know how difficult it was to even find that item (And now can see why). AND see that they have 20-30 of something that we could use stacked manuf. coupon and Target coupon and get for free at Publix. BUT, you can only print 2 coupons per computer…. HMMMMM… things that make you go hmmmm…. They do not have 10-20 computers. They are definitely copying Target coupons. Makes me quite upset. For now, I just avoid their tables, but one of these days I’ll probably approach the subject with them.

  7. Myrna says

    I have sold items at my 2 annual yard sales. And I purposely bought product for the sale and cleaned out my personal stockpile. All my products will sell almost immediately. In fact I have some customers that I call the day before my sale so they can shop early. They are always excited to get such great deals, and the money we make funds our vacation and Christmas for our 3 grandchildren that we are raising on Social Security.

  8. says

    I agree with Mitchell. It is unethical to buy at bargain prices with the intent to re-sell. That is no different then saying you are a wholesaler to get the discount when actually you do not possess the proper documents of a wholesaler.

    I don’t see anything wrong with selling items at a garage sell if you bought them with the intent of using them but before you were able to they were about to go out of date. Then it would be OK to re-sell them, preferable not at a profit unless you are a wholesaler, so they would be used and not just discarded.

    Just my thoughts.

  9. Wendy says

    I totally think it is ethical to re-sell items at a garage sale…isn’t that what you are doing with everything that you are selling? I sold on Ebay for 8 years, and I can tell you that is how it works, everybody is buying at a cheaper price, the reselling. I myself would buy items in stores like clothing, get on sale, with a coupon, or discount, then sell online for more. That’s how our society works. I did the work for them the time and energy, got something maybe they dont have the time to get, or cant find in their area, and they are happy to buy it. I think the same way with couponing. Granted, I don’t shelf clear to do it, I maybe buy like 4-5 of an item. But I see nothing wrong with doing the work and time, and getting paid for it. Thats exactly what I do, get paid for my time and energy to cut the coupons, do the research, and spend the time getting the items. As a matter of fact, there are several couponers in my local area, and we are all part of a resale group on facebook, where we basically post items, and meet once a week to buy from each other. We all resell coupon items, and are happy to buy for each other. Maybe my friend got that great Oil of Olay deal I missed, and I can buy 2 from her for less than I could have gotten it at the store, plus she makes something for doing the work..win-win in my book.

  10. lolo says

    i think it is wrong to resell itms at a garage sale or flea market. the manufacturer of these items do not print coupons for us to make a profit. how would you feel if you went to a convenient store and saw a ton of items that you knew were purchased with coupons. its the same thing. if you read the rules of the CIC
    #6. Reselling Stockpiles. Coupons are intended to give individual consumers a good deal, not provide a method for people to set up unauthorized grocery stores or flea markets in their garages, basements or backyards. Such sales usually violate the terms and conditions of the coupons themselves and may be in violation of local health codes. As a consumer, do you really want to buy a product that has been stored in a stranger’s basement for weeks, months or even years?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *