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How to Price Yard Sale Items: A Stress-Free Guide

Jennifer L. Betts
Garage sale

You have all your yard sale stuff organized and waiting to be priced. But how do you price it? That is the big question that many garage sale enthusiasts will face. Get a quick guide for setting your garage sale pricing. Tips and tricks will take you through haggling.

Guide to Yard Sale Pricing

Setting the prices for your garage sale isn't rocket science. Follow a few quick guidelines to get things priced to sell.

Use the 10% Rule

If in doubt, you use the 10% rule, which means 10% of retail. This is the price point that will get you the most money from customers that visit your yard. Depending on the item, you can go anywhere from 10-30%. This isn't a lot. But it will get you some money in your pocket and get rid of all those things that you aren't using.

Feel Out Prices in Your Area

The retail price in every town and city is not the same. To get rid of the most items, you need to set prices that are reasonable. Finding that perfect price point might take a bit of research by checking out the prices at other garage sales in your area.

Setting Rounded Prices

When it comes to setting prices, you'll want to put a little bit of thought into it. Customers will appreciate if the items are priced in rounded numbers like increments of $0.25. When you're pricing larger items, make nice rounded prices like $25 or $30. It's not like the store where they have things for $9.99.

Having the Right Amount of Change

It's important to have the right amount of change when it comes to your yard sale. You will want to make sure that you have lots of quarters, about two rolls. You'll also need dimes and nickels, if you have items priced below $0.25. When it comes to cash, you'll want to have between 30-50 $1s, 5-10 $5s and 5 $10s. If you have larger priced items like furniture or vehicles, then you might want to have a hundred in $20s too.

Techniques for Garage Sale Pricing

When it comes to labeling your items, there are a few ways that you can go.

  • Buy garage sale labels with numbers printed on them
  • Use masking tape and a felt pen
  • Get low adhesive stickers and write your prices with a sharpie
  • Tie tags to the items and write the price with a ballpoint pen
  • Write the price on the item or the item tag (clothing) with a ballpoint pen (only do this on things that are washable)

General Tips About Yard Sale Pricing

People don't want to ask you how much you are going to charge for something. Therefore, it is important for everything to be clearly labeled.

Garage sale yard sale

Price Everything

In theory, throwing like items in a box with a sign with $1 on it is great. However, not everyone of those books is worth $1. So, it is important that everything have a price. This can also avoid things getting misplaced or customers lying about the price.

Differentiate Between Families

If you have a yard sale covering multiple families, you'll want to get multi-colored pricing stickers and designate one for each family. You can also write the families initials on the tags to differentiate. Using bright colored tags is usually easiest, especially when you have a lot of people show up at once.

Use Care With Rare or Vintage Items

When it comes to rare or vintage items like records, you'll want to take a bit of care with the pricing tags that you use. You aren't just going to write $5 in sharpie on the cover. This could lose you a sale. Instead, use a low adhesive pricing tag that won't hurt or mark the item.

Price Guide for Common Items

Prices can vary by area. Just to give you an idea of common prices, check out this list.

  • Children's clothes: $0.25 - 3
  • Adult clothes: $1 - 5
  • Books: $0.25 - 2
  • DVD & CDs: $1 - 3
  • Jeans: $2 - 5
  • Furniture: 1/3 retail
  • Costume jewelry: $0.50 - 2
  • Toys: $0.50 - 5
  • Dishware: $2 or less
  • Dishware sets $5 - 10
  • Small appliances: $3 and under
  • Large appliances: 1/3 retail
  • Décor: $3 - 7
  • Large ticket items: 1/3 retail

Tricks for Haggling Customers

One of the fun things about a garage sale for customers is haggling. While you'll get some customers that will just pay and leave, others will haggle for every penny. When it comes to haggling, there are a few rules of thumb.

  • Place a "firm" sticker on anything you are not willing to negotiate on.
  • Don't take it personally.
  • Stay firm to your lowest price.
  • Have fun with it.
  • Price items that you know will sell a bit higher to accommodate for haggling.

Pricing a Garage Sale

Setting your prices for your garage sale will take a bit of research. You don't want to go too low, but you don't want to go to high either. Finding that sweet spot will get you a little money in your pocket and declutter your house. With your guide in hand, start pricing.

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How to Price Yard Sale Items: A Stress-Free Guide