Having a yard or garage sale is the perfect way to help organize the house and make some extra money at the same time. But where does one start? How should items be priced, and what else needs to be done to get customers to the sale and get them to leave with someone else’s junk?
Yard saling is fun both for the sellers and the buyers. Sellers get to clear out their unwanted items and make some pocket money, and buyers get to hunt around for bargains and deals they might not find elsewhere. But having a successful garage sale means knowing how to price items correctly and set up a sale that is appealing and will bring in the customers.
Yard Sale Pricing
Pricing is one of the most important variables in having a successful sale. If prices are too high, items won’t sell. If they are too low, sellers are not getting the most money out of their items.
When pricing, several factors should be kept in mind.
- What was the original price of the item?
- Is the item in fair, good, or like new condition?
- What is the demand for the item?
- How difficult is this item to find at a sale?
- Is this a designer or name brand item?
Also, yard sale holders should decide if their main goal is to make money or if their main goal is to get rid of unwanted junk. If they primarily want to clear stuff out, they may price items lower so that they will sell quickly. For example, when selling toddler clothes, prices can range anywhere from a quarter to a few dollars depending on the above factors. The price should never exceed about one-fourth or one-third of the price the item would cost if purchased new. Often, they are much lower than that.
Larger items, such as strollers, furniture, or appliances, can be sold for more than a few dollars, but keep in mind that the item should be in good condition and working order. Again, use the one-fourth/one-third formula as a guide to set pricing. For example, a pack and play that originally sold for fifty dollars might be appropriately priced at between 10 and 15 dollars, depending on the condition.
Pre-priced yard sale tags can be bought at stores like Walmart or Staples. Or, sellers can make their own using inexpensive stickers. Make sure they are the type of stickers that remove easily without marring the item.
Yard Sale Tips
Use a newspaper ad, and consider asking several neighbors to participate as well. This lowers the cost of the newspaper ad, and increases traffic.Garage salers tends to flock to sales that advertise “multi family” or “neighborhood” garage sales. Highlight what is different or special about this yard sale: include the types of things available or hard to find items.
Place some signs around the neighborhood directing people to the sale, especially for hard to find locations or those that are off the beaten path.Also, be sure to have plenty of change on hand.Lots of quarters and dollar bills are a necessity. A supply of bags will make it easier for customers to purchase multiple items. Plastic bags from the supermarket will work fine.
Group items priced the same together. For example, have a “One Dollar” table or a “Fifty Cent” table. Not only will this save time in pricing and tagging, but customers may be drawn to an area where they perceive there to be bargains. In addition, prices can be changed easily simply by moving items from one table to another. Consider lowering some prices partway through the sale if it seems that certain items are not “moving”.
Set up items in an attractive way. Items that are thrown together in a messy heap don’t look appealing. Make sure items are clean, have all the pieces, and are in good working order. If it needs batteries, put them in; it won’t sell if customers can’t be sure that it works. Spread items on a table or blanket rather than piling them in boxes; don’t make customers work to look through items. And be prepared to haggle. Many yard salers will try to get the price down, or will offer a fixed price for several items that it somewhat less than the combined ticket prices. Don’t be afraid of responding with a counter offer that is somewhere in between, or sticking with the original price if desired, especially early in the sale.
Properly pricing and arranging yard sale items can make any sale a success.