Yard Sale Pricing technique

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Yard Sale Pricing

Yard Sale Pricing – How to go about it?  If you’ve decided to have a yard sale, it might be because you feel like you have a whole heap of junk clogging up the house that you want to get rid of. It might be that you have regular yard sales and visit others to buy items and sell them on at a later date. Whatever your reasons, once you’ve decided what is being sold and you’ve planned a day and got the word out, you’ll need to price up each and every item one by one.

How Do I Put Pricing For A Yard Sale?

Pricing your yard sale might seem like a daunting prospect; after all, who really knows how much all your old stuff is actually worth? But with a little common sense and a bit of research it can be a simple, and quite liberating process.

  • Items you simply want to get rid of, ordinary household objects and items for a general clean out, could be sold as a job lot, or a low price tag for those items. Just ensure that they are everyday items, and that there isn’t a hidden gem amongst them.
  • Those items for sale that are damaged, or in poor condition, should be priced low, and marked “as is” to avoid any quibbling over the price.
  • Why not give a final day special offer and advertise sale reductions, half-price on items that you want to get rid of, as this is really what a garage stuff sale is all about.  Clear the clutter only to gather more!
  • Remember, punters expect good deals when coming to a garage sale, so, bear this in mind when pricing items.

What about Antiques?

What about antiques, or old, or unusual things. Their value is slightly more difficult to gauge. We’ve all heard stories of people picking up an innocuous looking item at a garage sale, then going on to sell it for thousands at auction. The last thing you want to do is unknowingly sell off an expensive item for a few dollars. Set all of the sale items you are unsure of to one side, and you can deal with them in more detail once you have the majority of your pricing done.

Items you deem to be high-end antiques should be priced for profit. Expect a little haggling, so, factor this in on your pricing. This is part and parcel of dealing in the antiques trade, so, you need to price your antiques for garage sales accordingly. Do not try to over-price your objects as this could turn away potential buyers at an instant.

How do I Know What Prices to Set?

Grouping things together can be a good idea. CD’s or DVD’s, for example, could be sold as a pack of five rather than individually. You are more likely to sell them all, rather than have one or two left behind. Ask yourself what you would be prepared to pay for an item; this is sometimes the best guide you can use when it comes to pricing.

There is a world of knowledge on the internet, and pricing your yard sale is much easier when you have access to equivalent pricing online. EBay is one of the first places to look for the more common items. You are almost bound to find a similar product on sale to yours, and can easily see what the current going rate is for your ‘junk’.

When it comes to the more unique or even the antique, there are several very good price guides available online. It is worth checking each of the items you set aside individually, to make sure you are setting the right prices. Not asking too much, but not underselling your products either.

What Other Things Might Be Valuable?


While some books will be bundled together and sold for a few dollars, check to see if you have any first editions, or older more valuable books. They might be worth more than you think.

Mobile Phones and Computers

Old mobiles

Money For Old Mobiles

Certain old mobile phones and computers are now quite collectible, such as the Motorola 8500x ETACS, also known as the brick, and a number of other cell phones, made in the early 80-s can fetch anything from $20-$120 or $30-$190.

Not to be sneezed at!

Old computers, such as the Sinclair Spectrum 48K, can fetch up to $200.

This is just to show, that when cleaning out your house for a garage sale, caution should be taken when pricing certain items that you may take for junk.

What Can I Buy At a Garage Sale?

There seems to be a general feeling, that all you find at garage sales is cheap junk and unwanted ordinary household items. Where in many cases this can be true, the fact remains that some of the best prices can be had at garage sales.  A keen eye and persistence will pay off.

Take for an example the lucky guy who bought a tiny red Royal Doulton mouse on a square piece of cheese. The garage sale price was $3.00, he then haggled the price to $2.00, which he then subsequently sold at auction at a little over $300.00.  Some profit. What drew him to the piece in the first place was its attractiveness of the item (he also, it seems, has a great love of rats, live ones!). He had an inkling that it could be worth something due to the fact it had the Royal Doulton markings. And he was not a professional antiques dealer by any means; he was just at the right place at the right time. That’s the key.

How Can I Make a Profit at a Yard Sale?

Many sellers at garage sales are not professional antique dealers, so when it comes to quality items, they could be quite unaware of what they have, therefore, it is important to get in early.
Of course, this doesn’t happen very often from garage sales, at least not with profits like the one just mentioned. However, if you purchase an item then sell it on even with a marginal profit, well, that’s ok, it’s a profit. Importantly, it isn’t a loss.

As you gain in experience and begin to understand your market, in other words, those items that seem to do well at auction, or at the very least, hold their own, you will find picking through the endless junk, and finding these items of interest a little easier to spot, and a lot more fun. Half the battle to success is going to garage sales with an open mind and having a little general knowledge in the antiques market.

How Can I Find the Value?

Ensure you arrive at the garage sale early, earlier than advertised, if possible. Usually, the keen and experienced hunters arrive early for any rich pickings, that there may be. Equally, swinging back late in a sale could result in a better deal, or a discount on an item, that you thought overpriced to start with. This often works, as sellers would rather make a sale, than not, at the end of the day.

What an inexperienced antique hunter should do is arrive at a garage, or car boot sale well armed, that is, having a couple of antique books on hand, or in the car in case something of real interest catches your eye and you are unsure as to its authenticity, age or price.

What about Haggling?

A certain amount of haggling is expected, so, be pleasant, have a bit of a chat, and strike a deal. Both the seller and buyer will enjoy the experience.  Try to have a figure in mind of what you would be willing to pay for the item, or, at least, what you think the item is worth, and avoid paying over the odds.  If you think the seller has priced the item too highly, the odds are others will also think the same.  If necessary, call back later and see if a deal could be struck late in the sale.

If you are worried about being haggled down too much, consider overpricing slightly in expectation of getting knocked down. You might well end up with the price you wanted, while your customer thinks they have struck a great deal!

If buying expensive items at a garage sale make sure you know its worth, its true value; then check for damage and any restoration that could affect its price.

Good luck!