Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Yard Sale Question

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A good friend of mine is holding a yard sale in a few weeks and was asking me for pricing advice. I was wondering if people could offer their opinions and I'll pass them along to her.

She is getting rid of a lot of the following:

  • leather jackets
  • leather shoes and boots
  • belts
  • handbags
  • books (including coffee table books)
  • plates
  • small appliances including several humidifiers still in original boxes
My friend just wants to get rid of stuff and not trying to get the most money possible in a greedy sort of way. Any thoughts on fair prices. I'm pretty sure most of these items are either lightly used or not used at all.



  1. Hrm well I'm basing this on what I'd pay at a garage sale... probably 2 or 3 per belt, $5 for shoes, $10 on boots, paperback books should be $1 or less, coffee table books can vary depending on original price. I think the nicer items can be priced a bit higher (like the leather jacket) so maybe around 20 for that? People will pretty much bargain regardless at a sale but you also don't want to price items too high!

    Today I went to a rummage sale and saw this lovely vintage tea pot. I asked the woman how much and she said THIRTY. Thirty dollars??? I just walked away as that was a huge turn off.

  2. I agree with Leilani! I may price the belts lower too, paperbacks 25cents....

    Your friend seems to have the right idea, the importance is to get rid of stuff, so she will be making more money than people who want to make money absolutely when they have a garage sale!

  3. There are many theory's to conducting a Sale. I recommend that your friend interact with each visitor. "Thanks for coming." "Looking for anything specific?" Make small talk. If she is mainly looking to not have a lot to bring back in, the best way is to price the small items low and then with the larger items, ask for an offer when someone shows interest. Have a minimum price in mind but let the buyer make the first offer. By the end of the day the price may come down based on desire to get rid of it. So, sometimes pricing everything isn't the best way.

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    Please stop by mine sometime. I've been searching for treasure for years.

  4. It is hard to say, because a lot depends on location. You can always tell when somebody has used a "How to Have a Rummage Sale" book, though. Pricing items a certain percentage of their original worth does not get you anything but laughs.

    Wow, humidifiers still in the box. I wish I was close by!

    Definitely have a bag sale late in the afternoon. Who wants to pack all of those kids clothes back up?

    I would give a couple of bucks for a coffee table book.

  5. Thanks for the expert advice. I'll forward this along.

  6. I used to carefully price everything beforehand when I had a yard sale, because I hate asking prices when I go to a sale. However, I've decided it's best to let people make you an offer and decide on the spot whether the offer is fair, or insultingly low. No point in people quietly thinking you're overpriced and then leaving you to get rid of a bunch of stuff!


About Me

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I'm a slightly off-beat Toronto-area teacher who enjoys writing and photography. I come from a family of collectors and now I'm dragging my own family around to yard sales. It's just a bit of fun. Enjoy the scenes.