Garage Sale season will be upon us sooner than you think. Now is the time to start uncluttering and deciding on what items you want to to part with and sell. If you have everything categorized and priced now when it’s time to set up your Garage sale it will be quick and easy.
How to price your garage sale inventory items?
Before spending any time on pricing, check with your city office, some cities require a permit to hold a garage sale and limit the number of sales at one address. Trust me on this, a few years ago I honestly did not know my city required a permit, and lo and behold the city garage sale investigator shows up and shuts me down.
Also you live in a condominium community, check with the board about garage or check the rules and regulations. Many Homeowner Associations don’t allow garage sales at all.
Before you start organizing and pricing you need to realize that you will not get nearly as much for what you paid in the first place, it’s just a fact. How much you spent on something is irrelevant and does correlate to a garage sale price. Okay, so you are in the right frame of mind, time to get to work.
You can make a nice little chunk of change at your garage sale and make the day well worth your while. The trick is to price your garage sale items right. Price too high and people just walk away, price too low and spent all day for nothing. The sweet spot is low enough to both get a fair price and give a good deal.
People will always haggle or negotiates, so remember to forget about what you paid for the item, it’s irrelevant at a garage sale. Obviously, you want o get rid of the stuffy your selling and at the end of the day are you going to want to put everything back in your house or more likely to haul it off to the goodwill.
Historically people expect to pay somewhere in the range of 10-25% of the original price depending on the item and condition. In my garage sale days, I almost never paid more than 15% of the estimated cost new. Really, if someone is shopping at a garage sale they probably have a shopping hierarchy in place and want a real deal.
A good way to price your items is to start with the donated items price list to get a good idea of the value. Here is the lnk to the Salvation Army's Donation Valuation Guide and a Goodwill Industries guide is here.
Vintage and designer items might be best sold online on sites like eBay.
- Do some research before pricing. Check price guides or sites like eBay or collectible sites. Don’t expect o get full price for anything collectible.
- Price everything before the sale starts. Don’t just toss stiff out without prices, it’s really annoying for the shopper to have to constantly ask for a price. Also, some people are shy or just don’t want the added interaction.
- Price each item individually unless it’s a set or group of items all priced the same. Example “Hardcover books $1.00”. Make a sign and place all the like priced items in a basket or on a table.
- Use stickers and mark with fine point sharpie and make the price large enough to read. Low tack painters tape is also good because it peels off easy and won’t leave behind sticky residue on glass or other surfaces.
Advertising and Promoting your garage sale
I tend to stay away from Craigslist and most online advertising unless you have some big ticket or larger items to sell and need to cast a wider advertising net. Personally, I'm not comfortable listing my home address on a site with such a wide audience. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I like to drive or stroll around the neighborhood and just happen upon a sale or two. :-)
However if you're okay with it then both Craigslist and Facebook have garage sale listings.
Advertise in the local paper. The paper may also have a digital paper you can advertise on
Yard and Street Signs. People still get up on Saturday morning and map out the estate and garage sale locations to visit. Make it easy to find you by putting up poster board yard sale signs in the neighborhood. Make sure to include, dates, times and types of items for sale.
Neighborhood Apps. These are big now and if you belong to a neighborhood app then go ahead and make an announcement. What a great way to get to know your neighbors.
- Nextdoor - limited to people who live in the neighborhood and signed up for the app.
- Garage Sale Finder free to list your garage sale
- Yard Sale Search free to list your garage site.
Garage sales are fun to hold and attend! I found my One Needle Knitter hidden in a box of garage sale goodies.
Garage sale goers like to haggle sometimes so build in a little wiggle room to discount the price, they expect you’ve done this. If not willing to negotiate the price then mark it as such.
If you have any garage sale tips to share please leave us a comment!