Setting prices at a yard sale is tricky. Ask for too much, and you won’t sell everything. Ask for too little, and you won’t feel good even if you do sell everything! The “tricks” to pricing yard sale items properly are research, accurate categorization, and organization. We can help with those.
In a previous post, we offered three tips for organizing a profitable moving sale. Our tips in that blog were all about organization, planning, and systemization. Pricing is no different. All you have to do to price your yard sale items correctly is plan ahead a little. Specifically, plan ahead by following these instructions. These are the three ways to make sure your yard sale pricing will work for you:
1. RESEARCH BEFORE YOU PRICE
Before you get out the stickers and the magic marker, do a little research. First, make a list of everything you plan to put out for sale. You don’t have to list individual book and movie titles (unless you want to), but you should know what categories of items will be up for grabs.
Armed with your list, head out to browse similar sales. Either stop by yard sales in nearby neighborhoods or visit several local thrift stores. Look for items comparable to those you plan to sell, and make a note of the prices. You’ll use those prices as a standard for assigning resale value to your own possessions.
One note of caution: do not make purchases on these research shopping trips. Your goal is to get rid of goods, not bring more home. Of course, you can make an exception if you find a bargain on a one-of-a-kind, can’t-live-without item-but leave the cash at home if you think you’ll be tempted.
2. PRICE ITEMS BY CATEGORY
Once you finish your research, you’re ready to price your own stuff. The guidelines below offer a starting point for the major categories of goods that often get purchased at moving sales:
- Paperback books: .50¢
- Hardback books: $1
- CDs: $1
- Cassette tapes: .25¢
- Vinyl records: $1 to $5
- DVDs: $2
- VHS tapes: .50¢
- Board games: $2 to $5
- Jigsaw puzzles: $1 to $2
- Toys: $1 to $3
- Baby clothing: $1 to $3
- Children’s clothing: $2 to $5
- Adult clothing: $5 to $10
- Shoes: $5 to $10
- Coats and jackets: $7 to $15
- T-shirts: $1
- Coffee tables: $20 to $50
- Loveseats: $50 to $150
- Couches: $75 to $300
- Dining tables: about $100
- Dining chairs: $15 to $30 each
- Dressers: $30 to $75
- End tables: $25 to $75
- Bookshelves: $15 to $50
- Baby furniture: $25 to $100
- Lamps: $5 to $20
- Wall mirrors or artwork: $30 to $100
- Picture frames: $2 to $10
- Home décor knickknacks: $1 to $5
- China: $1 to $5 per plate
- Dishes and glasses: 50¢ per piece or $5 to $30 for a set
- Flatware: 25¢ per piece or $5 for a set
- Kitchen supplies: $1 to $3
- Small appliances: $5 to $20
- Medium appliances: $25 to $150
- Large appliances: $75 to $300
All your prices should depend on the condition and original value of the item as well. For example, you could raise the base prices for new, name-brand clothing. You could also charge less for a plywood bookshelf than a real wood shelf.
If you have several items in a single category, let people buy those items in bulk for a small discount. For example, if you have a lot of baby clothes, pack them into bags and offer them at $15 per bag.
3. MARK PRICES CLEARLY AND CAREFULLY
After you work out your pricing scheme, get to work marking each item individually. Buy a few permanent markers to mark your prices with. Mark the prices themselves with masking tape or painter’s tape rather than stickers. Stickers tend to stay stuck once applied, which could damage your stuff and decrease its value.
If you have dozens of items of a single category, consider writing the price for that category on a sign instead of marking each item individually. Place the sign somewhere every potential buyer could see it. Marking by category instead of by individual item will save you a lot of time. It’ll make your yard sale easier to browse through, too!
Are you unwilling to haggle on the price of a few items? Let buyers know by writing “firm” on the price tag. Otherwise, assume that buyers will try to talk down your prices. Haggling is especially common for bigger-ticket items like furniture and electronics.
With the tips above and hints from our previous post, you’re ready to host a garage sale and get rid of some of your stuff before you move. If you need help moving the stuff you didn’t sell when you’re ready to move, give Bekins a call. Our moving experts will make sure your move goes just as smoothly as your sale.