I love yard sales, garage sales, rummage sales and estate sales. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt. I don’t mind digging through random things to find unique treasures and deals. I love saving money by buying second-hand. Sometimes I even make money by finding great deals and reselling the items.
I’ve been to loads of garage sales and have hosted plenty of them myself. As weird as it sounds, I’m kind of passionate about yard sales.
That being said, I have one garage sale pet peeve. A complete turnoff. Something that might make me leave without even looking at your stuff.
My big pet peeve– Not pricing your stuff!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked away empty-handed from sales (even when they had stuff I liked) because they didn’t have their items priced.
Check out my Ultimate List of Garage Sale Tips to learn how to host a successful and profitable sale!
First, let’s talk about why people don’t price things. Then I’ll tell you why you should always price everything at your yard sale.
Why people don’t price their stuff:
Some people have no intention of pricing their items because the task seems overwhelming. Organizing and executing a successful yard sale is lots of work. Between gathering items to sell, inviting friends and neighbors to participate, making awesome signs, advertising online, setting up tables and organizing your stuff, it might just seem overwhelming to set and place prices on the items too.
Run Out of Time
Even with intentions to price your items, sometimes it doesn’t work out. If you don’t have everything for your garage sale prepared the night before, including pricing, you will run out of time. You might think you can take care of it at the beginning of the sale, but if your sale is well-advertised, the first hour or two of your sale will be the busiest. Plus, people will always come even before you’re officially open.
Don’t Know What to Charge
Some people honestly don’t have a clue what to charge for their stuff, so instead of deciding on something, they procrastinate their decision until someone picks up the item and asks about it. Depending on the particular buyer and his or her interest level, the price may fluctuate.
Don’t Realize the Importance of Prices
Many people who host a yard sale are not regular yard sale shoppers. They might not realize the importance of prices to their potential customers. Garage sale pricing is essential!
Why you should price everything:
Your Shoppers are Penny-Pinchers
Garage sale shoppers are budget-conscious people. People who are careful with their money aren’t just going to grab a bunch of things from your sale without knowing how much it’s going to cost them.
I usually don’t have much patience for sales without prices, but if they have good looking kids clothes, for example, I will go ahead and ask, “How much are the kids clothes?” If they give me a flat per-item price (like $.50 each), then I will look through the clothes. If they say that it depends on the item, then I won’t bother looking. I don’t want to ask about every item and I don’t want surprises when I check out.
People Don’t Want to Ask
Asking is awkward. Because I don’t want to have to ask about every single thing I might be interested in, I only ever ask about things that I’m really, really interested in. It always feels a little awkward to put the item back after hearing a price that’s too high for me. It makes me less likely to ask about anything else. There may be plenty of things that I would buy if the price was right, but I don’t want to ask about everything.
There’s Only One of You
It’s annoying, especially at a crowded sale, to have to find the host of the sale to ask about prices. If it is a well-advertised sale with good curb appeal, the host is probably busy helping lots of other customers. The annoyance is multiplied when you have to ask about each item you are interested in.
A Few Tips
Here are a few pricing tips (for my complete list of garage sale tips, see this popular post)!
- Price items ahead so you don’t run out of time. As much as possible, I like to price items as I gather them. Aim to have all your items priced the night before the sale.
- To save time, you can use blanket pricing for items like clothing, books, games, or anything you have lots of. For example, shirts– $1, pants– $2, dresses– $3. Make sure your pricing signs are clear and noticeable.
- For big ticket items, price the items higher than what you would like to get for the item. Bargaining is normal, so you’ll often have customers offer less than the asking price on items, but especially higher priced items. At the same time, don’t make your price so high that people are afraid to even make an offer.
- If you’re serious about getting rid of things (as opposed to saving leftovers for your next sale), have a special deal (50% off or “fill a bag for $x”)for the last hour or two. Be sure to advertise the deal so customers come back.
A yard sale or garage sale is a great way to earn some extra cash. To have the most successful sale possible, remember to price everything. Garage sale pricing is essential! You will sell more items, make more money, and be able to enjoy your sale if you price your stuff.