Garage sales and pivot tables

I’m a data driven person. I love to study data and look for trends or patterns. When I have a garage sale, I am uptight (some people might use a different word) about collecting info from the sale so I can analyze it.

This is how the operation works:

1) We write down all sales in a notebook, with a quick description of what it is, how much it sold for and who it belongs to, so they can get credit for the sale.  I also track the sales by the hour they were made.

I don’t type the data directly into a computer because I don’t want to have to worry about people walking off with my laptop when my back is turned.

2) I transfer the data into Microsoft Excel so I can use it to crunch the numbers.

3) I use Excel to create pivot tables summarizing the results.  Pivot tables are a tool for summarizing data and presenting the information in a simplified way.

One of the big benefits of using pivot tables is I don’t need to use a calculator to figure out how much money each person made.  With pivot tables, I can easily summarize the garage sale detail in many ways. I’ve been collecting data for my garage sales for ten years.  Below are some samples of the reports I can create.

Ten years of garage sale data

I’ve posted a copy of the Excel file with the Garage Sale Summary so you can take a look if you’re interested or use it for your own sale.


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