How to Organize a Yard Sale

Yard Sale Pricing Tips

You've probably been to a yard sale where you pick up an item, look at the price and laugh -- They want 20 bucks for this?

You want to avoid this reaction. Remember, you might have fond memories of watching "Growing Pains" on that old TV, but your potential buyers do not. If your overall goal is to get the best price you possibly can for what you're selling, take it to eBay or Craigslist -- you could probably find a collector. If your overall goal is to get rid of it (and how nice if you make some money in the process), take it to the yard.

The general guideline for pricing yard-sale goods is about one-third of the retail price. But that doesn't always apply. For instance, the pack of Mount Rushmore playing cards you shelled out $6 for at the souvenir store is worth, oh, about 10 cents out in your yard.

Try to look at all of your stuff objectively -- what would you want to pay for this one someone else's lawn? People go to a yard sale to find amazing deals -- they need to feel like they're paying less than what it's worth.

So figure out the lowest price you feel comfortable with, and then, if you plan to let people bargain, take it up a bit for some wiggle room.

Some other pricing tips:

  • Bundle: While you might have trouble selling a box of bobby pins for a quarter, you could probably sell "10 hair accessories for a buck!" without much effort. Offer a bundled price for sets of flatware or matching furniture, too.
  • Use easy increments: Price everything ending in 25 cents or 50 cents so you don't necessarily need a calculator to tally purchases. It's a time saver.
  • Tag thoughtfully: Don't write prices directly on merchandise, and large items should have (physically) large price tags. It's annoying to have to search for the cost.

Hopefully, you'll sell absolutely everything and come away with enough dough to make the entire experience worthwhile. But even if you don't get rid of it all, you can still have lots of fun, especially if you make it more than just a sale ...