If your springtime traditional weekend garage or moving-pile-of-junk-sale is dragging, you’re doing something wrong.
Here are 3 tips to ramp up the interest and get better prices for your stuff:
1) Price with motivation in mind
More than likely, there’s at least one person in your neighborhood who will buy anything. And most people would rather purchase an item with a $5 discount than pay full price if the price was originally $10. When pricing items for resale, think about what percentage off will motivate someone under these parameters?
2) Use social media
Put your yard sale sign on Facebook and Twitter, add a link to it in your email signature, and let everyone know. This does not mean go out and spam your entire contact list. But if you can find ten people who all want to make an extra $5 this weekend, they will tell ten more people – letting each of them tell another 10 (according to the “Six Degrees of Separation” theory). More yard salers = higher prices for your stuff!
3) Keep Your Sale Consistent
Last year at my yard sale, I found a neighbor’s missing dog tags from his military service from 1943. The price tag on it read “$300”. I offered him $10, he argued with me for a little bit until I reminded him I was just trying to give him money for something he didn’t have any use for. He reluctantly took the $10, said “thanks”, got in his car and drove away.
But if he had priced it at $20, maybe I would have bought it – or not have offered so much for it in the first place! Consistency is a key. Doesn’t price one thing too high because you think that’s what someone else may buy it for (if that’s how yard sale pricing works)? Good yard sale etiquette dictates you should always start your yard sale at least an hour earlier than other people on your street (to get better traffic flow) but also end an hour later (so everyone has time to stop by for the yard sales on either side of you).
“How do I price yard sale items?”
Yard sales are different from retail, so yard sale pricing is not the same. Some yard salers just want to get rid of stuff quickly at any cost, and others want to make a quick buck on everything they can.
“Do people actually flip stuff for a profit at yard sales/garage sales?”
Yes! Yard sales and garage sales in my neighborhood regularly yield $20 or more per yard bin (or car trunk full). It doesn’t happen every time, but it’s very common.
“What yard sale items should I NOT price too high?”
You’ll want to ask yourself “what is my motivation for having a yard sale?” If you’re trying to make a quick buck on stuff you don’t need, by all means, price higher. Everything.
However, if your motivation is to give away as much as possible and clean out the clutter in your house/apartment/shed/garage (which usually brings better results), then EVERYTHING should be available at ABOVE-MARKET prices! Do not hold back drawings from kids for $5+ items. If they have been kept in good condition, they are worth more than that! Don’t expect someone to pay full price – they won’t.
“How do yard sale prices compare to thrift store or retail prices?”
It depends on the item and where you want to sell it. Most yard salers don’t care about making a profit, so you’ll find higher yard sale pricing than retail or thrift stores. Some yard salers will mark up items because they know people won’t buy at yard sale pricing, but some yard salers just don’t care and price everything at $5 minimum – even if it’s worth $20+. If you’re selling something that is in high demand (iPad 3 or Xbox One), yard sale pricing is not for you! Retail and/or Craigslist might be better options.
Pricing yard sale items is different from pricing retail or yard sale. You should price high, especially on higher demand items that you don’t want to deal with selling at yard sales! And don’t be surprised if you have neighbors who “snipe” your yard sale early in the morning – trying to get all of your stuff before anyone else even has a chance!