With the upcoming yard sale season upon us, the question of how to price objects to get them sold quickly (but for a good price) can be a real conundrum. You don’t want to price so low that you lose money or that you lose sales if people assume the items must be broken. On the other hand, you don’t want to see people leaving empty handed because your prices were too high. Here are a few tips on how to effectively price your items at a yard sale so that it sells and you don’t have to haul them back inside or off to the donation center.
Rule of Thirds
The high starting point of your price assessment should be at about one third of the original value of the item. In this light a $30 mirror would be marked $10. Shaving a little off of that price for scuffed items is always a good idea to get it out the door. Note, this rule usually doesn’t apply for clothing, as we’ll see later on.
Rather than try to price huge numbers of things individually, it’s much easier to label things by group. All record albums $1 is a great example and you can set aside more valuable items from the collection and label them separately or keep them near your “check out” table.
If you have collectibles that you don’t want to be undersold on, definitely consider trying to sell them at an antique, vintage, or consignment store before the day of the yard sale. This will let you know what their value is to collectors and save you haggling with customers all day. Plus, if they don’t sell to shops then you can always include them in the yard sale for a cheap price.
50 cents to $2 is appropriate for items of costume jewelry. Gold, sterling silver, and vintage costume jewelry in good condition might be items that you take in to a shop to be sold days ahead of the yard sale. Otherwise, be prepared to sell at a loss.
Dishes Can Vary
If you have collectible dishes, like Blue Willow or FireKing then it makes sense to price them a bit higher than your other dishes. However, yard sale dishes generally should be priced to move at between 25 cents and $2 unless there is something special about them. Dish sets may sell better if sold as a grouping.
Clothes Should Be Cheap
Unless a pieces of clothing is leather, mint vintage, designer, or has the tags still on it then it should be priced to sell. Yard sale shoppers generally won’t pay more than a few dollars for used clothing. A general rule of thumb is $1-$3 each for baby clothes, cheaper if they are stained or damaged. Adult clothes should be priced between $2-$5, less if they have stains or tears. Shoes can vary wildly, but often a good guide is to price them between $5-7 for footwear in good condition.
Same Goes for Books
50 cents to $1 is about right for most used books. The big exceptions to this guideline are large format art books which can sometimes sell for $5-$10 or more depending on the condition.
Sometimes it can be hard to sell big items at a yard sale and you certainly don’t want to haul them around after the fact. Inexpensive furniture shouldn’t be priced at more than $30 and better quality pieces should be priced under that “rule of thirds” we talked about before. But, be prepared to haggle if you have priced a $2,000 sofa at nearly $700! That’s pretty high for yard sale prices.
Have Fun and Take Offers
No one wants to spend the whole stressing out about hundreds of small items. Before rejecting a low offer, consider if the re-packing and processing of the items will stress you out more. In the end, it will probably be better to get rid of them and move on, so be prepared to take some low offers especially on small items like decor and clothing.