Yard Sale Pricing - Merrimack,NH

Updated on September 11, 2012
K.H. asks from Merrimack, NH
11 answers

Hello All,

I live in a condo and we are having an association wide yard sale this weekend. We don't have a ton of stuff to sell, but are going to put out a table with a few things. We have done this in the past, and have done reasonably well getting rid of stuff. I just always feel a little lost when it comes to pricing items. One year I had a woman tell me I was pricing things too low and could have charged more. But how do you find the "right" price? How much do people usually charge for items like a plush rocking horse, block set, train set or fisher price little people house? What about disney princess dresses (from Disney store)? I know books have to be very cheap for people to buy them, but do you charge more for hardcover kid books? Any help would be appreciated!


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answers from New York on

Price a little higher than you want to get. People love to barter. I would price things at about 25% of what you paid.

$4 for a princess dress?? Unless they are in poor condition, price them higher.

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answers from Washington DC on

I'd price a number of things low to bring people to your table and price other things fairly but be willing to haggle. For example, someone priced those dishwasher bins for $1 and my sister got 2 for $1 when she talked to the people. I'd pay $5 for a Disney Princess dress in good repair. More if there were accessories. I'd put books in bins and say "All books this bin 50 cents". You can consider hardcover for 50 and soft for 25, for example. But most people just toss them together. What does your local library charge (if they do book sales)? I like the idea of looking on ebay or Craigslist to see what other people are asking. Items like a full little people house I'd pay a lot more for if it was in good shape.

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answers from Las Vegas on

Hi K.,

The "right price" is whatever someone will pay for an item at any given time. All depends on your customer base on the day of the sale.

If you have items that are wanted by the people coming to your sale, you have a better chance of selling them at your asking price. Sounds like you have kid gear/toys to sell. Will your potential customers also be parents with young kids or grandparents looking for things for grandkids? If not, then those items probably won't sell well no matter what the price.

Also, items that are super clean, in great condition, and have all of the parts/pieces can commnand a better price and generally sell quickly. Seems common sense, but it's surprising what people put out there and expect to sell at too high of a price.

Easy way to determine? Go to craigslist for your city and look up similar items. Then, price your items slightly below because people expect garage/yard sale items to be cheaper.

If you end up going on the higher pricing side, you can always deal with people or tell them to make you a reasonable offer. Watch how your sale goes.....do you see lots of different people expressing interest in an item only to put it down? Maybe it's priced too high for your current customers. Make an adjustment on the price or offer to bargain with the next person who is interested.

I have a friend who recently had a yard sale. She had tons of things but was a bit high on her prices. Had lots of people attend the sale and many people were interested in her items. But, she didn't want to come down from her original pricing. She had boxes and boxes of books, and when someone made her a bulk offer, she turned it down. So, she had to haul all those unwanted books and tons of other stuff back to the garage at the end of the day!

There may be a few items where you need to get a certain price. Mark those FIRM. Otherwise, if your goal is to get rid of stuff, price it reasonably based on the going rate in your area (CL) and then be willing to deal.

Hope you get rid of lots of stuff! Good luck!

J. F.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

The right price would be what the market will bare, good luck capturing the data to predict that! :)

For yard sales and the like, the right price is what you would be comfortable with selling it for. Sometimes that means items won't sell because it is higher than someone will spend, sometimes people would have paid more. Regardless of the outcome you feel like you didn't rip yourself off, right?

Ignore comments like that lady gave you. I could say I would pay twice! as much, doesn't mean much unless I am guaranteed to come back and buy more at double the price. Most of the time it is just a polite way of saying your prices are fair.

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answers from Los Angeles on

We just had a big garage sale a few weekends ago. I didn't put prices on anything because I had a ton of stuff and didn't want the hassle. I had a sign out -- Make Me an Offer!

Of course you can expect to get pennies on the dollar for anything that you sell at a garage sale. For the most part, craigslist items in great to excellent condition tend to sell for 1/2 of the original purchase price. You can 1/2 to 1/4 the craigslist price for what people will pay at a garage sale.

I was practically giving away stuff at our garage sale. But my goal was to get rid of it. Because it was going straight to Goodwill if it didn't sell.

P.S. I had a beautiful indonesian armoire that we sold for $25. Easily could have gotten more than that on craigslist. But we wanted it out. The guy who bought it wanted to give us $20. I said, Are you kidding? You KNOW this is worth more than $25 and I'm giving you the deal of a lifetime. He laughed and said, "I know. But it's that garage sale mentality, you know?" Yeah, I know :)

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answers from Sacramento on

I always check Craigslist and see what people are charging, and then price just below that. We sold Disney princess dresses for $4 each at a garage sale recently and they were gone quickly.

I would charge more for hardcovers than paperbacks.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

It will depend on:

1. How long have you had the item
2. Is it in good condition
3. How much did you pay for it initially
4. How bad to you want to get rid of your stuff

These are the things I consider when pricing my items. I go cheap because in my mind, yard sales are suppose to be cheap buys, not to make a lot of money off of people. If you have quality stuff, then yes, price it a little up there. Always price your stuff a little high, and then come down when people want to make you an offer. That always works best. :-)

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answers from Los Angeles on

In my past 4 yard sale experiences, I tried to label everything and put things in piles with pricing for that box, pile etc. But people always try to haggle me to take down the price. If I am desperate to unload the item, I really negotiate. If not, then I act more firm about the price. Usually I am desperate to get rid of stuff because I hate clutter so the choice is yours. Usually toward the end of the yard sale, if I have a decent amount left I start saying buy one get one free or this whole box sells for $ 5 for clothes. Hope this helps! Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

You have gotten some really good advice on this question, and I plan to use some of these hints next time I have a garage sale. Wanted to add one--seasonality--if you are selling things before a holiday or a season, you might be able to get a slightly better price for it. example those disney princess dresses would make great Halloween costumes. Selling heavy coats would go over better in the fall or winter than in the spring. good luck!



answers from New York on

There are several things to take into consideration.

If you came to my yard sale you'd probably be slightly confused because I think some items I price low and others high.

At my last yard sale I had an oversized chair. It was old, but in excellent condition. I priced it at $7, but could have probably gotten $15 or $20. I wanted it gone. It wasn't coming back into my house, and I would have had to borrow a vehicle if I wanted take it somewhere to be donated. Not worth it.

I priced an oversized cooler at $40. It was new, but looked slightly worn from sitting in the garage. It sells new for $60. My thought, if it didn't sell, I'd keep it and use it.

When pricing keep in mind the following...
the condition of the item
what is the current price to purchase that item new
how old is the item
what would you pay for it
what will you do with it if it doesn't sell - are you trying to make money, or just get rid of it

Most people just put all kids books in a box and label it 50 cents each. You can separate the soft cover from hard cover and put a separate price on each.

Check out a consignment shop in your area to see what similar items are selling for. Your prices should be at least 25% less.



answers from Grand Forks on

In MN the average prices are $1 for any item of kids clothing i.e. shirt/pants/skirt/shoes. Fancy dresses $2.50-$5. Most toys were priced $5 or less. Only thing higher price was first step table $40. Mostly go for 1/2 price or less depending on condition.

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