Friday, April 5, 2013

How to Price Items for A Garage or Yard Sale

Pricing for a garage (or yard/rummage) sale can be tricky. Too high and you scare off customers. Too low, and you might not get what you want from a "barter-shopper". I can help you navigate the ins and outs of pricing! 
Here are a few tips to help you out:

1. If an item is in "like new" or "gently used" condition, price items about a quarter or third of what they would cost new. 

2. If an item is new and in original packaging, you can price it at half of what it would cost new, but be willing to negotiate. 

3. Clothes are generally very poor sellers, although there are exceptions. New or like new kid and baby clothes can be sold for around a third of what they cost new in the store. Adult clothes generally will sell if you price them at $1 or lower - people are not very likely to take a risk on something they cannot try on before buying. 

4. Try to look at your items objectively. When pricing items, keep in mind that "a third of what it costs new" is only a guideline. No one cares that you paid $75 for your advanced computer sciences book 5 years ago. You'll be lucky to sell it at all. 

5. Be precise if they ask about a priceWhen I've asked the seller how much they want for a particular item, many times they respond, "I don’t know, how about .50 or .25?" No buyer in their right mind will say, "yeah, I want to pay the higher price." The better way would be for the seller to answer, "How about .50?" Then if the customer puts the item back, or hesitates then you could say "or how about .25? I'm open to negotiation!"

6. The bigger the item, the bigger the price tag should be. Make it obvious. If you're selling a dresser, you can't expect the buyer to be looking all over for a tiny dot sticker. Take a full sheet of paper and put the price and list any good selling points or flaws: "Dresser - $40 Firm - only 2 years old - comes with a coordinating mirror". 

7. The price should be on top of an item, not on the bottom. I know it’s a lot of work, but worth it because you won’t have people asking every thirty seconds, "how much do you want for this?"

8.  Back up your price. If you are trying to sell something that is a high dollar item, find it online or in a catalog and print/cut it out, and tape it to your item. It shows the buyer that spending $10 for an item that normally sells for $40 new is a good deal. Be selective if you do this, people may get turned off if you do it for every item you're trying to sell. I also, personally, only do this for new or like new items, unless it was expensive (over $500) or large (furniture)...though I have seen this done with gently used kids toys. 

9. you can always go down on a price, but you can never go back up. If you don’t have time to price everything individually, signs are helpful, such as "all books .25 each" or "any piece of clothes $1.00", or "anything on this table .50".

10. Keep your money close. I like to use a half-apron with several deep pockets. One side is for the change I start out with, and the other side is for incoming cash. 

Happy Selling! Also check out Advertise Your Yard Sale / Garage Sale Online Free 


  1. I like the idea of having some back up to support your price. I wish I would have thought of that for our garage sale! What shocked me is that we had so many nice girls' dresses that were $1 or less and no one picked them up. I know I would have. Lol! You never know what will sell!

    Mel S

  2. This comment is not encouraging, but you need to look out for shoplifters even at a yard sale. Never be alone. Great tips on the pricing.

  3. Hi,

    Just wanted to BUZZ by and let you know this is going to be one of the features at our party. The party goes live tomorrow night.

    Thanks for linking up, we hope you join us again this week.

    The Busy Bee's,
    Myrna and Joye.