(OKC-CRAIGSLIST.BLOGSPOT.COM) - If you want to be smiling at the end of your garage sale and feel good that you’ve sold almost everything, then price your garage sale items very low!
I’m not kidding. Otherwise, you’ll just end the day frustrated and sad that you went to all this trouble to set up and run a day-long (or 2-day long) garage sale… yet you have nothing to show for it! My advice is to just sell everything and be done with it, rather than try to make some outlandish profit in the end. It’s far more frustrating to be left with most of what you started with in the end than it is to sell your garage sale items for too low of a price. That I know. (Been there, done that.)
Now, what’s the best way to go through and price all of those garage sale items?…
Price Tags vs Haggling
Unless someone is a seasoned garage sale shopper, most people aren’t all that comfortable “haggling” to get the best deal on a garage sale item. I’ve found that most garage sale shoppers would rather know what you’re asking for an item (thus, price tags or garage sale stickers are a necessity.) And only about one-third of those will try to talk you down on the price.
If you don’t have price tags (or table signs – see below) on all of your items, then chances are the very shy people (or someone who is just mildly interested in an item) will never speak up and ask you the price.
People who may have bought, if they only saw a pricetag on the item, will just quietly leave your sale instead.
Check out these cool preprinted, removable garage sale price tags that are available in various denominations!
Price Tags vs Signs
I generally price every single garage sale item, one-by-one. I use blue painter’s tape and a black Sharpie marker. I place my handmade price labels on the back (or bottom) of each item. The blue tape is completely removable — from everything! (Just don’t leave it on for days, as it will begin to permanently adhere to paper items.)
Tip: I always keep my garage sale pricing materials (blue painter’s tape & Sharpies) in close reach throughout the sale, in case I forgot to price something. Or, if I decide at the last minute to sell two items separately rather than as one item. Or, if I choose to lower the price at the last minute. Plus, I’m always adding items to the garage sale up until the very last minute when I close down.
I’ve also experimented by using signs instead of labels that read:
“Items on this table 25 cents each”“Posters $1 each”“All magazines 50 cents each”
But people still ask, “How much is this?”
Just the same, when I hand-label each item with a price tag, I still get people asking, “How much are your DVD movies?”… “How much is this?” … “How much is that?”
So, I guess the verdict is still out.
I’ll probably continue to do some combination of both garage sale item pricing methods.
"Here’s a tip: If you are trying to sell something that is fairly high dollar and it’s a popular item that appears in catalogs or sale ads. Cut out the ad with the item in it (with the price showing of course) and tape it to your item. I’ve seen this done mostly with gently used children’s toys and such. It shows the buyer that spending $10 for an item that normally sells for $40 new is a good deal. Be selective if you use this this tactic, people will get turned off if you do it for every item you’re trying to sell." — The Yard Sale Queen
Make An Offer… No Way!
Another thing I’ve learned firsthand: People don’t like to “make an offer.” They want to know what your starting bid is first, so they can offer something lower.
At my last garage sale, I had a bunch of collectibles (Michael Jordan stuff, Nolan Ryan stuff, old-timey memorabilia from Kool-Aid, Campbell’s Soup, etc.) and, despite the “Make an offer” signs prominently hung in front of these items, people repeatedly asked me, “How much do you want for this?”
My reply of, “Make me an offer” was never accepted. They would all balk and cringe and mumble something to the effect of: “I don’t want to make an offer… I want to know how much you want for it.”
Only one woman forced me on the issue. She talked me into starting the bidding process. And I guess she liked the priced, cuz she jumped on it without any hesitation.
That was my fear… Since I’m not into collectibles, I wanted someone else to start the bidding process. Because if I started, not knowing the item’s true value, I’d likely start it too low and get “taken.”
But that’s just not how garage saling goes… They expect you to know what you’re selling.
So I’ve learned my lesson. Collectibles should not be sold at garage sales — unless you know exactly what you’ve got and precisely what it’s worth.
Otherwise, collectibles are best sold on eBay.
And, quite honestly, your chances of having “a Michael Jordan collector” or “a Nolan Ryan collector” or even a true stamp or coin collector who’s willing to pay some serious money for a worthy collection swing by your garage sale are pretty slim anyway! Garage sale people are looking for bargains, not pricey collectibles.
Why even bother with the amateurs who are more curious than anything, and their chances of actually buying one of your collectibles at a garage sale is quite slim?
I’d highly recommend that you use eBay for any and all collectibles. Period.