Garage sales are one of those dreamy ideas that seem to be a simple way to really get organized, clean out your closets plus make extra money.  In reality, garage sales can feel like a lot of work.  Surprisingly, one of the difficult tasks associated with a garage sale is figuring what a good price is for the items you used to love, but don’t love as much anymore.

Here are five tips for pricing garage sale items that will relieve you of anxiety and make your garage sale a success.  Garage sale groupies love a deal, after all, they are sacrificing a beautiful Saturday morning.  Price your items correctly and you will feel the work was worth it, and your shoppers will remember your neighborhood as the place for great finds.

  1. Ask yourself “What would I be willing to pay?” People scour garage sales looking for good deals.  You may think that awesome 1974 Holly Hobby lamp is worth more than the two bucks you’re being offered for it, but what matters is what your customer is willing to pay.  Asking yourself how much you’d be willing to pay for an item can give you a better idea what a shopper would be willing to pay.
  2. A good garage sale pricing rule of thumb is to price your items at 10% of retail. For example, if an item retails for $20 you’d price it at $2.  If an item is new or in spectacular condition, you can go a bit more.  But the 10% rule is a pretty good guideline that will move your items and create happy shoppers.
  3. Clearly tag or mark your items. You can use stickers, tags, or pieces of tape, but make sure your customers know how much you want for an item.  If you have a whole table full of similar items, you can use a sign that says something like “This table: $.25”.
  4. Be ready to haggle. Remember, garage sale customers want a good deal, and they may feel your asking prices are high.  They may try to talk you down.  It’s all part of the garage sale experience and if you’re ready for it, haggling can be fun.  Many garage sale aficionados feel like haggling is what makes garage sales so enjoyable.
  5. Leave yourself some wiggle room. Shoppers may want to haggle you down on an item, so be sure to set your initial price a little high so you have room to drop down a bit.  That way, you get what you want for the item, and your customers feel like they got a deal.

The big lesson to learn when pricing garage sale items is that you should not let yourself get caught feeling too proud of an item.  If you aren’t willing to deal, ask yourself if this item should be brought back into the family room as a prized possession.  If the answer is yes – don’t sell it!  Keep that 1974 Holly Hobby lamp proudly on display and focus on selling those 1983 miniskirts instead.

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