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My First Garage Sale





matto
I can’t believe how many people are willing to buy our junk. Then again, I couldn’t believe how much junk we had to sell. So far it’s the middle of the day and we’ve sold a quarter of our inventory. The hardest thing to do in this yard sale is to price things fairly enough but low enough that they sell. I try to find comparable things to price against.

Any suggestions on how to price junk for a garage sale?
reddishblue
Just a general tip, don't tell the people you sell it to it's junk.
But onto your garbage...er...garage sale, as you said, price things farely, and try to unload retro things onto people, you have no idea how fast things like a NES would go, people love that stuff.
In fact, if you have one, send it to me!

Don't sell things like clothes, nobody is enough of a loser to actually buy those sorts of things, and if they are, their stink will repel the other customers, so you don't want them anyway.

Try selling antiques, get them repaired and sell them, and I don't know where you live, but if you have any, try selling an antique rifle or something, from some war I don't know. Cool

Good luck with the junk selling.
Reddish
a.Bird
I would disagree with reddishblue about selling clothes, I think his remark was bit biased and lacking in experience. I suppose if his clothes are too stinky to sell, that's a personal problem. Razz Just kidding buddy.

I think pricing really depends on each item, what it is used for, it's heritage, street value, longevity, etc. Try to imagine what you would pay for the stuff if you were in the market for it and you found it at a garage/rummage/yard sale. It also helps to let the customers know that your prices are negotiable. People go to sales like these for all kinds of things- furniture, clothing, knick knacks, cookware, books, movies, toys, you name it. Try to have a lot of inventory and mark everything pretty low. After all, the point of a garage sale is to get rid of things that you don't need or use anymore and to make some handy cash on the side, not to open your own retail business. So I would ultimately say try to be fair and bargain with people...

-"How much for this album?"
-"Well it's in great condition and pretty hard to find. How does 10 dollars sound?"
-"Hmmm, I'm not sure."
-"Okay, well I can't go too low so if you have five bucks on you, it's yours."

You dig?
Aless
Come on, think about it...you'll buy almost anything if it only costs a quarter/50 cents!
Hunterseaker
You can see if you price things fairly by just looking at the reactions of your customers, when they all say it is way to expensive, lover the price, when many people are interested you can price it a little bit higher.
just use the same system that many people use at flea markets, just think up a bottom price for all your stuff 1st, then price all your stuff a bit higher then the bottom price, and then just negotiate about the prices with your customers.
CrimsonStrange
As someone who's more or less made a living out of having yard sales, may I make a suggestion, based on one of the pet peeves I have when buying something from someone else's yard sale?

CLEAN YOUR STUFF BEFORE YOU PUT A PRICE TAG ON IT!

Nothing will turn off a potential buying customer faster than dirt, dust, grime or grease.
Yes, there is always that one particular person who likes a fixer-upper challenge, and would be willing to clean it & will buy it, irregardless.

But I think the one thing to think about when you're pricing your stuff is to ask yourself this question:

Arrow "Would I pay this price for this item in this condition?"

If you wouldn't buy it, then chances are nobody else will either.

Idea And try to keep "alike" things together:
kitchenwares & household-type stuff on a table together
electronics, CD's, albums, cassettes...
clothing, purses, shoes, hats ...

It makes things easier for you to keep track of & your customers to look through. Wink

And as space is made on your tables. fill 'em up again.
Lay things out evenly; make it appear as though you have a lot to sell, even if you're in the last hour of your sale and have gotten rid of almost everything worthwhile.

Idea Remember - your main goal is to move product- the money you make is just an added bonus.
scotty
CrimsonStrange wrote:
As someone who's more or less made a living out of having yard sales, may I make a suggestion, based on one of the pet peeves I have when buying something from someone else's yard sale?

CLEAN YOUR STUFF BEFORE YOU PUT A PRICE TAG ON IT!

Nothing will turn off a potential buying customer faster than dirt, dust, grime or grease.
Yes, there is always that one particular person who likes a fixer-upper challenge, and would be willing to clean it & will buy it, irregardless.

But I think the one thing to think about when you're pricing your stuff is to ask yourself this question:

Arrow "Would I pay this price for this item in this condition?"

If you wouldn't buy it, then chances are nobody else will either.

Idea And try to keep "alike" things together:
kitchenwares & household-type stuff on a table together
electronics, CD's, albums, cassettes...
clothing, purses, shoes, hats ...

It makes things easier for you to keep track of & your customers to look through. Wink

And as space is made on your tables. fill 'em up again.
Lay things out evenly; make it appear as though you have a lot to sell, even if you're in the last hour of your sale and have gotten rid of almost everything worthwhile.

Idea Remember - your main goal is to move product- the money you make is just an added bonus.

Good advice. Make it easier for them to want things. Bundle things as well, if they say no to one thing find something they were briefly looking at and chuck it in for a little bit more or the same price. You want to get rid of the stuff not make massive profits, however it is money and make as much as you can!
silverdown
I never knew why people would buy other peoples junk, but if they take it and pay you, why complain Very Happy
McDucque
Reading the above posts, they all bring up good points.

I mean, before you sell anything, you should at least make a reasonable attempt to clean it up a bit, people arent gonna buy dirty plates or tableware, stuffed animals, etc.

When it comes to the pricing, I always price a little bit high, because Haggling is the heart of the garage sale. Also, I was never partial to selling things in any increment except dollar increments.. I dont know what you'd go by in the uk, I just didnt like handling loose change at all.
datter
My wife sold a lot of our old stuff not long ago, mostly via want ads and the internet as opposed to a yard sale, but there's not much difference really. What you consider junk, might be a prized possession to someone else, you just never know.

She would price things as she saw appropriate, maybe a bit high and then let people haggle her back down to the price she really wanted anyway. Once all that stuff was gone everything else got posted as is/best offer... and she got rid of a LOT of things that really would have went in the garbage otherwise.

I was surprised that she'd even bother selling some stuff for like $5 or $10. I just wasn't sure it was worth her time, but at the end of the first day when she'd sold ten $10 items and had $100 in her pocket, I saw the value. Smile
goutha
Bargain Smile

decide of a medium high price, and read the reaction of your buyer... if he's not interested because of your high price, then propose to sell it for less and read his reaction again...

That way, you'll get the optimal price for both of you!

Good luck
m-productions
One important thing when selling old items, is it really know its value, for example, and old atarey game called M.U.L.E, seems like a peice of crap right? maybe worth $0.10, well we found 2 copies once at an old garage sale for $0.25 each, guess what, they got for over $100 on ebay, so make sure you always check out those kind of things first.
standready
I have had many garage sales in the past. I price things fairly and post a sign that reads "The price on the item is the fair and only price. DON"T ASK!" I am amazed at how many still ask if they can have for less, usually half of the fair price.
Now, I just take everything to GoodWill and/or Salvation Army. I avoid the headache of setting up the sale, dealing with idoits and I can take a tax writeoff for the fair value of the items. Plus, I can put that time to better use.
CrimsonStrange
Well, it's been my observation (in the rural area where I live, at least) that the majority of people who have such things as garage/yard/moving sales have really forgotten the entire concept of them.
Of course, I think that whole "garage sale permit" crap is partly to blame.

But, if you still wanna make some money & get rid of some clutter at the same time, here are a few things to consider before you even begin to set up a yard sale:

1. Anyone who's interested in buying your stuff doesn't care how much you paid for it when it was new.
They want a bargain, plain & simple.
If it's been used at all, in any way shape or form, then the item's value has decreased, substantially.
If you paid $75.00 for a pair of Reeboks, wore them a few times and decided you didn't like the color, so you're selling them... nobody in their right mind is gonna give you $50.00 for them.
If they're clean, don't smell and don't show many signs of damage or wear, you might get $5, possibly $10... if you're lucky.

2. Just because an object has sentimental value to you, that doesn't make it worth more to a potential customer.
Now, that sounds like a common sense statement, but you'd be surprised how many people believe that a little trinket their Grandma Josephine gave them for Christmas should be worth a small fortune, simply because... it's a Grandma gift.

3. You're always gonna get people who will want a cheaper price, no matter how cheap it already is.
You're always going to deal with people who are snobby, rude or just plain mean. Don't take it personally.
Never belittle your customer, no matter how dumb you think they are. Be patient & answer questions willingly and honestly.
Don't underestimate your customers - if you're trying to cheat them, they'll usually pick up on it.

4. For the love of Pete, don't put out pirated/self-copied movies or music for sale!
Most people won't buy them anyway, and you're running a big risk of getting busted & heavily fined by the RIAA/MPAA.
A little-known fact: Representatives from the RIAA & MPAA do check out well-advertised, popular flea markets for pirated copies of copyrighted material.
I know this is true because one of the guys who "patrols" the local truck stops in my area is a good friend of mine.
(They keep a watch on the truck stops to make sure employees don't put out new releases before they're supposed to - same deal with retail stores.)

5. Take the time & make the effort to create a few really good, sturdy, re-usable signs.
In big bold block letters, announce your yard sale at the top, then directly below that, put in your street address.
Make individual little words and numbers on small pieces of cardboard that are highly-visible and easily readable from someone's car - laminate them with clear packaging tape or something similar and use Velcro to attach them to your main sign.
Example:
Create the word Saturday (or whatever day you'll be having your sale), then create at least 4 copies of all of the digits from 0-9, to use as the announcement of the time/date you'll be having your sale.

Question Why 4 copies?

If your yard sale was held on February 22nd, you'd need 3 pieces of paper/cardboard with the number "2" on them, unless you're willing to make papers with all the names of the months on them, as well.
Another thing that helps people find you is if you calculate the distance from that particular sign to your house, and write it down on each sign. Approximate, y'know. Doesn't have to be perfect.
That'll also help you remember where to put them up again, if you have another sale.

Yeah, it'll take some patience to create a re-usable Velcro Yard Sale sign, but if you know you'll have more than one in your lifetime, it's well-worth the effort.
It's a lot easier to just peel off a date or time and change it than it is to re-write it on every sign you'll be posting.

Oh, another thing about signs, since we're on the subject: take them down immediately after your sale's over!
Believe it or not, you may actually be fined for leaving them up, especially if they're on state property, like a STOP sign.

6. Realize that you'll have good days and you'll have bad days.
Depending on your area, you might have more customers if you can plan your sale around a local fair or festival... since people will be out enjoying the events anyway. Wink
GSIS
Take a kid with a good sense of humour. Few people will try to haggle the prices down with a kid - and if he's got just a bit of an Arthur Daly attitude they'll often throw in a little extra cash just for the fun of dealing with him.

Remember, though, he needs to be paid!
hofodomo01
Lol lucky you're not dealing with Chinese natives like my parents or something....they ALWAYS will haggle the price down.
Zug Zug
Well I just had a garage sale so:

1. Clean all of your stuff. If you're selling clothes wash them first so they look nicer.

2. Put like items together.

3. Organize your stuff! Like put a sign on a table that reads. 3.00, or 1.00, or put a box out with a sign that says: .50 cents each, or stuff like that.

4. Put yourself in some shade!

5. Price stuff a bit higher than you actually want to sell them for-haggling is they key!

6. You may want to sell ice cold sodas/water, sodas at .50 or .75cents per can, water 1.00 per bottle. I always made a better profit that way-because people who have a soda or water stay cooler and will shop around more!

7. When things get sold, put up new stuff, you want to make it look like you still have a lot to sell.

8. Put up signs saying "Garage Sale, Blah street, Fri, Sat & Sun" or whatever, Make sure the letters are HUGE so people don't have a hard time reading what you wrote. Oh and write nicely.

9. Never ever make fun of/be snobbish to your buyers-they won't like it! Even if you think they're the most idiotic person you've ever met just be nice and smile.
Zeferman
Well, I've never been to one but my main advice would be:

1 - Make sure everything is clean and works.

2 - Make sure you've layed everything properly.

3 - Don't over price things.

4 - And I personally would not sell clothes.

Hope that helped. Wink
alkady
Garage sales are no different from running a business, the rule of the thumb is, if someone is willing to buy "Junk" then it must have some value to them.

Let's say your selling a old PC you didn't bother to reformat, to average joe, they'd wonder what got into your mind, but to a crook, it's worth a goldmine with all the date they may be able to extract.

If your going to price them, I would recommend a fair price plus a premium or "Lowball Insurance" as I would call it, basically, Garage Sales are known to be bargains and a gathering for people seeking a bargain, but not only do they want a bargain, they want a for next to nothing, hence they haggle or negotiate with the oldest trick in the book.

For example, say you want to sell a P3 Desktop, the cheapest one you'll find at a refurbished computer store is probably $75, you'd probably find cheaper at garage sales, but the point is, $75 is the cheapest that can be procured under mainstream methods, you on the other hand just want $50.00, I would always recommend pricing it at $60 or $65 because alot of the times, people will want it for cheaper because it involves a day's wage for many. So when they negociate, you'll end up getting the $50 you wanted and even more.
missdixy
You should also really consider selling stuff on ebay sometime. Sometimes you luck out and can get a lot more money for some items than in a garage sale.
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