Having a garage sale can be a great way to make some money, get rid of unwanted items, and free up space. There are many garage sale tips and tricks to make maximum profit, but none are more important than how you price your garage sale items
The price of your items depends on where you live, the quality of your stuff, and if your items are still in style. By doing a little investigating, following the 10 percent rule, and choosing the best price for the category of things you’re selling, you’ll be able to price your items, so they’ll market, and you’ll make the most profit.
10 Percent Rule
What is the 10% rule, you ask? You never charge more than 10% of the retail price. So, this means if you bought a product for $20, you shouldn’t set the item for more than $2 at your garage sale. If these items are high quality and come from luxury brands, you may get away with moving the prices up to 20%, but this blanket rule can help you keep costs low enough to get plenty of sales. This is an excellent time to remember that items you have gathered are items you want to get rid of. After your garage sale is over, I strongly suggest that you donate all remaining items to your favorite charity.
Check Out Your Competition
Be sure to visit quite a few sales so that you can see what typical pricing seems to be. Items like clothing, books, toys, furniture, and household items are usually priced around the same amount at most garage sales in your area. Take note and price your items similarly since that’s what people in your area are used to paying for these items at other yard sales.
Even though your garage sale is only one, two, or three days long, competitor research is still necessary to an extent. It may seem intense, but in this case, this will just involve stopping by some other garage sales in town and checking out their stock and prices. Just try not to bring home any more items that will just end up in future garage sales.
Price Items in $0.25 Increments
Making change is significantly easier when you’re not dealing with all types of coins. Chances are you’ll need to give change during your garage sale, and you’ll thank yourself later when you only price items in increments of $0.25. People often pay in dollars and buy in bulk, so you’re likely going to need $1 bills as well.
This makes it easier for customers to pay and for you to give back change. It’s also typical garage sale pricing, and it will be what your customers are looking for.
Pricing by Category
Here are some general guidelines on how to price your garage sale items by category. Remember that these will vary depending on where you live.
Clothing and Accessories
Well-worn clothing of any size (adult, children, and baby) should be priced at $0.25 to $1, depending on quality and style. Group these by size; this makes it much easier for people to find what they’re looking for. Any brand name or new-with-the-tags clothing, shoes, or jewelry can be set at a higher price. Display them by hanging them up in a separate area and price 50-60 percent off retail value.
Shoes can be priced at $1 to $5 depending on quality; jewelry should be priced 25 cents to $2 depending on style, and coats can be priced at $5 to $15 based on quality and style.
Furniture and Décor
Low-quality pieces could be perfect for someone starting and can be marked $10-20. More excellent furniture can be sold for 30 percent of the retail value.
Knick-knacks can be priced 25 cents to $3 unless it’s an excellent item that’s new in the box, then you can charge 20 percent off the retail price. Artwork can be marked $2-$30 depending on size, style, and frame quality.
Books are best kept together and priced by hardback or paperback. Hardcover books can be marked $1 to $2 and paperbacks $0.25-$0.50. Any newer books can be priced slightly higher.
Electronics and computers are tough to sell at garage sales, and you’re better off selling them online or recycling them. DVDs can be priced at $1-$5 and Blu-rays $5-$10. CDs should be marked 25 cents to $2. These items are best priced by popularity and latest releases.
Toys will vary in pricing. Small plastic toys should be marked no more than 25 cents, and more giant toys can be labeled $1-$3. Any huge kids’ toys should be priced 25 percent of retail value. Games and puzzles should have all the pieces and be marked $1-3 5 for fun and 50 cents to $1.00 for puzzles.
Household items that include appliances, dishes, and anything kitchen-related should be marked 25 cents to $5. If it’s a complete set of plates, you can sell them for 20 percent of the retail price. Bedspreads, sheets, pillows, and other linens can be priced at $1-$10, with new items priced higher, depending on the quality and style.
Be Ready to Bargain
People who garage sale love to bargain and get a good deal. While slashing your prices may not seem like a way to make more money, it comes down to the simple fact that if you sell more, you’ll make more—especially if you plan on donating what you don’t sell.
A great time to accept bargains is in the afternoon on the last day of your garage sale. You may also want to consider slashing your prices to half price or marking down those higher-priced items like furniture. I take phone numbers and offers on the first day instead of taking the bargains prices. Then reach out on my last day if things are still around.