This is the second part in the How to Host a Successful Garage Sale series. If you missed part one about preparing for the sale, be sure to check that out here.
Pricing items can seem to take longer than actually hosting the garage sale, so rather than do all the pricing at once, I price items as I collect them throughout the year. Here are some more tips for making the pricing process a little smoother.
Choose a labeling system. Tagging guns can be purchased inexpensively online and will save you a lot of time if you have several clothing items to price or if you plan to participate in a children’s consignment sale in future.
You can also use pre-printed or blank, color-coded price stickers available for purchase at Walmart or a dollar store, but these stickers don’t leave much room for writing down other information on the tag such as the size of children’s clothes.
Color-coded price stickers would work especially well for a multi-family sale if every family wrote the prices for their items on a different color dot. When my play group hosted a garage sale last fall, there were over ten contributors and not enough colors to go around so, along with a price, everyone wrote her “vendor number” on the price sticker to track each person’s earnings.
Masking tape also works well for labeling, or you might choose to print labels from your computer. There are lots of options, so choose whatever is convenient for you.
Price everything. Some people like to use a basic price chart such as $0.50 or $1.00 per clothing item, and others prefer to price every item individually. The basic price chart would work especially well if you are hosting a multi-family sale so that there is not a wide variety in pricing on like items.
Whatever you do, choose a pricing system that takes the work out of shopping for your buyers. Color-coded prices where shoppers have to match up pink stickers with the advertised price of $0.75 will cause some people to walk away without making a purchase. However, color-coded pricing is better than no prices at all. Many people will leave without buying anything rather than ask the price of an unmarked item. You’ll save time by not pricing your items, but you’ll also lose quite a few potential customers.
Price items in even amounts such as $0.25, $0.50 or $1.00. Group smaller items together rather than pricing them individually at $0.10. Calculating a shopper’s total and change is much simpler when items are priced in this way.
Price low. Even if you goal is to make a certain amount of money, you’ll earn more if you price your items to go rather than trying to earn top dollar. Consider listing items on eBay or Craigslist that you are not prepared to sell for cheap. The best way to get an idea of fair garage sale prices is to go to several sales in your area before hosting your own. Another rule of thumb is to price items in good condition at a third of what they cost new, but many items at garage sales sell for far less than that.
Consider the condition, the age and the brand of the item when pricing. Keep in mind that even a name-brand outfit from last season won’t fetch a high price if it is in poor condition and neither will a high-quality armchair if your cat has used it as a scratching post. On the flip side, many people are willing to pay a little more for name brand items that are in good condition.
Include as much information as possible on the tag. For children’s clothing, try to write the size on the tag. If an item is new, write that on the tag as well.
Once you’ve prepared and priced your items, all that’s left is advertising and setting up your sale before you are ready to go. Tune back in later this week for some ideas about how to advertise in order to draw the biggest crowd.