Best garage sale pricing tips

One of the hardest decisions you will have to make is what garage sale prices to put on your items. These garage sale pricing tips will make it easy.

Forget about how much you paid originally or how valuable it has been to you or any sentimental attachment you have. If it's of no value to you anymore then that is its true value - anything more will be a bonus. If you can't bring yourself to price an item at 'garage sale' prices described below, don't include it in your garage sale but try selling it through one of these garage sale alternatives like a classified ad in your local paper, online auction sites or consignment outlets.

Don't forget that to make as much money as you can from your garage sale, you have to sell your stuff so price to sell but not to give away.


The 2 Golden Rules for Yard Sale pricing


The 10% Rule

Generally garage sale prices are 10% to 20% of the current retail price depending on the item's condition and the demand. Don't forget, you're selling used items with no guarantee or warranty!

For example, if something retails for $50 and your item is in near new condition you would price it at $10 or $5 if it's in a worn condition. An item with tags or in its original box can bring a slightly higher price.

Other factors that will affect your prices include:

Set prices with "room to move"

Most people expect prices at garage sales to be just the starting price and are about 25% to 50% above the seller's (ie your) bottom-line price to allow for negotiating. The amount depends on the condition of the item and how much you are prepared to haggle. As most haggling is usually just a split-the-difference exercise, to end at the highest possible finishing price your initial asking price should start as high as you can without scaring away shoppers.

Below is a guide showing your bottom-line price and how much you could put on the price tag:

Your bottom-line price The price for your price tag
$20 $25 or $30
$15 $18 or $20
$10 $12 or $15
$5 $6 or $8
$2 $2.50 or $3
$1 $1.50 or $1.75
50c 75c

Price based on demand

Price items to be resold on eBay

People make a living from buying things cheaply at garage sales and reselling them for a much higher price on eBay or other online auction sites. If you have any small unique items, check eBay to see if any have been sold before and set your asking price at 50% - 75% of the price they were sold for (not the initial asking price). This way, you are maximizing your sales price and the buyer thinks they're getting a bargain.

Price items below Thrift Stores

Shoppers won't be interested in buying something from your garage sale if they can get the same at a cheaper price at the local Salvation Army or Goodwill store. Visit your local stores and note the prices of the items similar to yours and price yours at least half. This list of the average prices at Salvation Army stores might also help.


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