If you’re looking to turn your unwanted clutter into cash all at once, having an old-fashioned neighborhood yard sale could be the solution.
While organizing, planning and advertising the sale are important, pricing is essential. Without proper pricing, you could be left with a mountain of unsold inventory and not much cash to show for all your hard work.
From the Spruce (https://www.thespruce.com/garage-sale-tips-that-will-make-you-money-4163850), here are a few yard sale “Dos” and “Don’ts” that will help make your sale a success.
Yard Sale Pricing “Dos”
- Price everything before the sale starts. Price each item individually. The only exceptions are groups of like items that are all priced the same, such as books. Place all of these on a table together. Make a simple sign with big lettering that says “Books $1 each” or whatever price you’ve set.
- Use a fine-point marker to write your prices on plain stickers or use pre-printed stickers. It’s easier to read than a ballpoint pen.
- Price your merchandise with neon-colored stickers, except for paper items the adhesive might damage. It makes the price easy to find and it’s faster than tearing masking tape into squares.
- Visit some area yard sales to get a feel for local pricing on different types of things. If most sellers price hardbound books at 50 cents to $1, yours won’t sell at $3 each. If name-brand blue jeans typically sell for $2 in your neighborhood, marking yours at 25 cents per pair is way too low.
- Assume that shoppers will haggle. On pricey pieces and large items such as furniture, build some negotiating room (15% to 20% above your minimum) into the sticker price. Mark the price tags on pricey pieces as “Firm” if you’re not willing to haggle at all.
- Use color-coded stickers or mark the price tags with the sellers’ initials if you’re having a multi-family sale. As shoppers pay, peel off the stickers and stick them on a notebook page. Tally the results later. It takes too long to keep a written log as you go and your customers have other stops on their yard sale routes.
Yard Sale Pricing “Don’ts”
- Don’t display your yard sale goods without prices. That’s one of the most irritating mistakes sellers make. Yard sales get hectic, and nobody wants to wait in line just to get a price. Shy or impatient shoppers may even leave without asking.
- Don’t put stickers on old album covers, collectible magazines, book dust jackets, or vintage paper goods, such as postcards or posters. The adhesive may cause damage; opt instead for pieces of low-tack painter’s tape.
- Don’t pause before giving a price when a customer asks. When you hesitate before answering, the shopper assumes you’re sizing him up for his ability to pay.
- Don’t base your price on what you paid for the item. Remember that you’re selling used merchandise. You may see the strappy designer sandals that cost you $200 at a department store, but your customers see them as used shoes that contained a stranger’s feet.
- Don’t price your goods based on sentiment. The customers don’t care about your memories and they’re certainly not willing to pay more to purchase them. If something is that valuable to you, maybe you should keep it.
- Don’t wait until the day of the sale to get prices for merchandise that doesn’t belong to you. When a shopper asks for a price, she doesn’t want to wait while you call your daughter or best friend. If other people want to sell their stuff at your yard sale, make them price the pieces in advance.
Yard Sale Price Guide
While prices of items may vary depending on the quality and condition of each as well as the area where you live, here are some general prices that items typically sell for:
Clothing and Accessories
- Adult Clothes: $3 to $5 will work for most pants, shirts, sweaters, and the like. If it still has the original price tag and is unworn, up the price.
- Baby Clothes: $1 to $3 is a good range for gently used clothing, though you can drop it to 50 cents for those that have seen more use.
- Coats: $5 to $15, with the low end for children’s coats and the high end for adults. Price heavy winter coats higher than thin spring jackets and keep material and designer in mind. Your husband’s leather jacket will probably sell for more. Be sure to advertise any really great coats in advance.
- Jewelry: 50 cents to $2 works for most costume jewelry. Double check to make sure you don’t have any pieces of real value and use small plastic bags to group sets together.
- Shoes: $3 to $7 depending on the style, amount of wear, and whether the shoes are for kids or adults. For baby and toddler shoes, keep it in the $1 to $2 range. Try to remove any scuff marks and give them a quick cleaning to tempt buyers.
Books, Music, and Games
- Books: 25 to 50 cents for paperbacks and $1 to $2 for hardcovers are good prices that should thin out your library. Again, be sure to look for any books that may be of more value, including larger coffee table books or anything that would appeal to collectors.
- Music and Movies: Technology moves fast, so watch out for this one and price your items to sell. DVDs and Blu-rays can sell for $3 to $5, while CDs may only sell for $1 to $3. VHS and cassette tapes require a special buyer who still has the equipment, so go low with $1 or less.
- Vinyl Records: $2 for each LP album is a good price because these are becoming collectible again. Pull out any records you know to be rare, highly desirable, and in excellent condition, then do some research. Either ask a higher price or sell them through a music store or an online auction to get top dollar. Records can also be boxed and sold as a lot for one price. This is particularly true of 45s and other types of vinyl. Advertise your records because they can really bring in buyers.
Toys and Games
- $1 to $3 depending on the style and condition. Electronic and truly vintage games can go for much higher prices if you back it up with research. Also, kids like to dig through a box of free toys, so if you simply want someone else to enjoy what your kids did, give this a try.
Electronics and Computer Equipment
- This will depend a lot on the particular item, how useful it is today, and its condition. In general, don’t price any electronics over one-third or one-quarter of its retail price at the store.
- Dishware: $1 to $3 per piece, including glasses, plates, and common kitchen utensils. Try to keep full sets together and offer them for a reduced price. For example, an 8-piece plate set could sell better for $12 than $16 at $2 apiece.
- Silverware and Knives: Price your silverware in sets, asking around $3 to $5 for a complete set or four items for $1. Knives should be priced according to quality and use, but $1 to $2 is a good range.
- Kitchen Gadgets and Small Appliances: This is another category where one-third of retail price applies. The exceptions may be small gadgets like lemon squeezers or any gimmicky things you think may be a hard sell. For these, price them at $1 to $2.
Furniture and Decor
- Furniture is a tough category to generalize, but if you advertise it properly you can attract the right buyers to move those bigger pieces. In general, you can categorize furniture into two types: cheap and ready-to-use.
- For the “ready-to-use” furniture, we’re talking about sofas, chairs, dining room sets, and other pieces that someone can take home, dust off, and enjoy that night. These are probably the bigger ticket items you paid good money for. Similar to electronics, use a target price of one-third the retail price and adjust that based on condition.
Always keep in mind how badly you want to get rid of these big items. Getting a little cash and not having to move that old sofa around again can be worth asking a lower price. Also, place your big items near the street to grab the attention of passers-by. For antiques and design items, consider these prices:
- Should be priced accordingly to a fair market value. Do some research so you have an idea of the value or ask for an appraisal from an antique dealer, who may offer to buy it as well.
- $2 to $7, depending on what it is, its size, and its original value. This includes all your vases, wall hangings, and various trinkets you’ve decorated your home with. Working lamps in good condition can sell for $5 to $10, depending on size and style.
Other helpful tips
You can double the number of potential customers to your sale (without doubling the amount of work) by holding sales on Friday and Saturday.
Customers who are serious about garage sales will plan out what sales they want to go to before they jump in the car, and they typically find out about these sales in advance by finding them being advertised online. Write an ad to entice shoppers, and post your yard sale websites such as Craigslist or community Facebook pages.
Having your items displayed on tables will greatly increase your sales. Items are easier to see, inspect, and have the price read when they’re up on table level. Put your most breakables and the most expensive items up on a table, unless they are too big. If you put items on the ground, try to put them in boxes that are easy to look through.
Posting Your St. Petersburg Yard Sale
One of the easiest ways to advertise your sales is to go to Yard Sale Search at: https://www.yardsalesearch.com/garage-sales-st-petersburg-fl.html
If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one and are thinking of selling, talk to The Mesimer Team.
St. Petersburg Communities
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol