Pricing for a garage sale can be hit or miss these days so it’s always important as a buyer to keep your eyes open to score a great deal. Now that the sun is out in full force It’s that time of year again where garage sale signs are popping up all over the neighbourhoods.
I urge you to keep in mind the garage sale health Canada warning of what you can and can’t sell to the public at a garage sale when pricing your garage sale items.
A garage sale might even be on your agenda of “things to do” if you want to get organized and downsize items from inside your own home. I always say, “Out with the old and in with the New” but there’s not much in with the new in our house. If it hasn’t been used in 6 months to a year we may sell it or give it away for free.
Pricing is one of the toughest tasks when it comes to having a garage sale, especially if you are looking to make a decent profit. We have also been to garage sales and talked to sellers who get items for free using coupons such as shampoo, deodorant laundry soap, body, toothpaste etc and are reselling them to make a 100% profit.
Don’t dismiss used products either because we have noticed half used products with price tags such as perfumes, test tube perfumes, body shop and bath and body works products. If it can potentially sell, someone will sell it. Store closings are another popular way to sell products for reduced prices at garage sales in mass quantities. We once went to a dollar store garage sale where products that were once $1 were now $0.10 each.
As a seller you want to make sure what you are placing on your tables for sale are adequately priced for the nature of the item. If your goal is to have a successful garage sale, meaning all the items are gone than you have to plan your garage sale in advance.
Holding a garage sale takes time and for many homeowners and renters lots of effort goes into the planning stages from pricing to advertising a garage sale online, in newspapers and going street to street, intersection to intersection and taping Yard Sale or Garage Sale signs to utility posts.
One of the worst things you can do is advertise your garage sale online and forget to put the address, time or date. Here is a garage sale ad example that is easy to market and will potentially get you traffic. Don’t be shy to add a bit of humour into your post so the buyers know you are welcoming and friendly.
What else do you think should be in this garage sale ad?
Garage Sale ad example
Your City-Huge Garage Sale, Saturday May 19, 2013, rain or shine beginning at 7 am running until noon on My Street Crescent. It is located in the South end of the Your City. Attached please see the Google Map.
Items for sale range from baby clothes for girls 1x-6x and boys infants to gardening tools, home decor, books, large rugs, king size bedding etc. No Early Birds, or I’ll have to cage you and sell you for a negotiated price! Bake Sale being held by our children with chocolate chip cookies for sale so bring your appetite. Everyone Welcome!!
Who Goes To Garage Sales?
Garage sales are for everyone and the “poor people” stereotype that we sometimes hear is the wrong attitude to have. Remember you can’t judge a person from their clothes, their car and where they shop. You shouldn’t judge people, period.
You do get the odd snotty homeowner who looks down at you but who cares, not like you will ever see them again. I surely don’t give a toss what anyone thinks especially if they are selling me something for a good price.
People of all ages and incomes are going house to house in a mad dash to grab the good stuff before it’s gone. Home designers, home staging professionals and those that just want to hunt for items that they don’t want to buy new are coming out to join in on the action.
Even when the homeowner states “no early birds” they always seem to make their way to the sale before it opens. Why? We want in line before the next people get there and to scope out what items are on the table if even from a distance.
There are also people who pick up free stuff on the side of the road or from free-cycle and resell it at garage sales. The theory is if the original homeowner didn’t want to sell it, someone else will if they can make a buck from it.
Garage sale pricing
In all honesty there is not a garage sale pricing guide set in stone that you can hop online and research. That guide would be the biggest consumer guide to ever land on the planet earth. It’s up to you to make your own garage sale pricing list as it will be customized to the items you have.
Price garage sale items according to your knowledge and don’t try to think you can get all or most of your money back for items because you will be sadly mistaken.
People don’t go to garage sales to pay near full price, they want bargain basement prices, so discount, discount, discount. If that means you haggle (which is almost 100% going to happen) then negotiate towards a price you are both comfortable with.
No one says you have to accept an offer but if you’re like me you sure as heck don’t want to lug all that stuff back in the house waiting for the next garage sale that you host. Negotiating doesn’t sound so bad after all now does it. What many people do is in the last hour or so of a garage sale they deeply discount items in hopes to move them faster.
It’s important to be realistic about the items you are selling because most homeowners know how the product was used or handled. You also know how old it is, how much you paid for it and how long ago you purchased it.
If you are selling items that are ancient history (no longer manufactured) consider a very reasonable price as the buyer likely can’t get parts or they will be costly.
Garage sale price tags
If you are looking for ideas on price tags to use you can buy stickers at your local dollar store which helps ease the pain when people ask you how much you want for an item.
You can also colour code the items with round stickers using blue for $1.00, Red for $2.00 and so on or you can write on them like in my cover photo above.
You will see the investment book I bought “The Rules Of Wealth” listed for $2 written on a sticker.
If you feel better holding on to a master list in case stickers tend to fly away or rub off that might also be a good idea.
The last thing you need while people are trying to hustle you for a deal on something is an item that is not priced and you are left guessing what price you had it listed at. You don’t want to lose money so be prepared.
Alternatively I’m sure you can find some free printable garage sale price tags but I’d still hit up the dollar store, less effort, time and ink when it only costs $1.00 at the shop.
How To Price Garage Sale Items
Let’s just think about this for a moment. If there really is a someone who has a master list of garage sale prices how on earth did they come up with those prices.
Pricing for products differ all over the world and in some cases city to city, province to province, state to state. Some people pay taxes on items others don’t.
What one person values an item at another won’t see it’s worth, better yet they may and you might not if you aren’t on top of your game.
I would think it’s near to impossible to figure out pricing for garage sale items but there are a few things you can do in order to figure out the average garage sale prices for something you might want to sell.
What I would suggest is if you are concerned about a specific item, then do your research. Say for example, if you have a bunch of items on a table that you no longer want and you were given them as a wedding gift.
You likely have no idea what they cost because you didn’t pay the bill for them.
Look them up on-line to see if you can find any pricing information on the product.
You can also search Kijiji, Craigslist or EBay to see what other sellers are selling the product for. You can average your garage sale prices that way if it makes you feel more comfortable.
2. Price To Sell
From our experience with garage sales is that if you want to get rid of the crap that you have no space for or is collecting dust, price it to sell.
The minute you start thinking about how much money you are losing is the time when you will be hauling all that junk back in your house.
I say junk because to most homeowners it is junk unless they are selling it to make more money to buy more stuff or they in fact need the cash to pay for the bills.
We sold a load of flowers for example last year and that money is going towards our landscaping project.
Everyone knows that stores and grocery stores market products to customers in such a way that they think they are getting a better deal.
Let’s see.. an example would be 2/$1.00 or 1 for $0.75, immediately you would say, hey, I’ll take 2 then, it’s cheaper. Use the same marketing as the big guys with items you have to move them out faster.
If you paid $20 for an item and it’s well used then sell it for a reasonable percentage of the original price. There are no hard, fast and steady rules when it comes to pricing, it’s your choice.
You can use the percentage rule according to ehow, meaning price garage sale items at 10% of the original cost. Again, it’s not written in stone.
3. Ask Someone
If you aren’t sure where a product has come from or you don’t know what it is or it’s age don’t be shy to ask.
I’m sure there are many online forums you can take a picture of the item of and post it for feedback.
It doesn’t hurt to ask because you never know what you are holding on to and if it’s worth money.
How many times have we heard about people scoring a great deal at a garage sale only to find out it was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Don’t make that mistake, especially if you are sitting on a gold mine. Worst case, don’t sell it until you know all the facts.
Garage sale season
We happen to love other people’s junk at garage sales and find some spectacular deals starting from the May two-four weekend right up until October when most pack it in for the season.
Here are a few items we picked up this past week …. including the cover photo!
The Rules of Wealth finance book (ya, told you I would read one this month) was $2.00 and I negotiated $1.00 which was still great considering the book price is $19.99 and it’s never even been opened before.
I know I could have rented it from the library for free but consider my time and petrol to pick it up and return it and the fact that it’s not mine.
I can take all the time in the world to read this and then raffle it off for a fan to enjoy!! Well worth the $1.00 investment if you ask me.
The plant stand cost us $3.00 down from $5.00 and the other thingamabob was $0.50 which we use in our kitchen to put our scrub brushes etc in on the counter.
A Succulent Money Tree for $0.50 for Charity
This wicker basket went for $10 but he originally wanted $20 until we bundled up and bought a few other items.
This Vintage Bowl and Candle Cost us $4.00 with the candle sticker at $9.99 underneath but who knows what they paid for it originally.
It’s still a good deal if you ask me as we couldn’t buy this for $4.00 anywhere new and that’s what it pretty much is, new.
If you are still unsure how to price items for a garage sale then don’t sell them until you know.
If you won’t be able to sleep at night knowing that you sold an item that might be worth money… keep indoors.
If you have a set price sometimes it’s better to sell on Kijiji, Craigslist or EBay as you might get what you want for the item.
You can sell items any time you like at a garage sale or by using online sites like Kijiji, Ebay, Craigslist and other forums but you can’t get the item back once it’s gone.
Don’t be afraid to have a garage sale especially if you are not sure how to price garage sale items. Just take your time, plan it out and smile because every customer likes a homeowner who is friendly and ready to conduct business.
If you have kids get them involved too by making and selling baked goods at a garage sale or having a juice stand for your customers while teaching your child about money management and small profitable business ventures.
Discussion: What other tips do you have for pricing garage sale items?