Americans love to buy stuff. There are more than 58,000 self-storage facilities in the United States, and the average number of storage units in those facilities is 566. Storage units are 87 percent occupied on average. The average annual revenue from storage facilities is $22 billion. Most of the stuff stored in those units was must-have purchases at one time. But once they hit the storage unit, they become unnecessary baggage and forgotten dreams. The point is, Americans buy too much stuff, but one man’s forgotten trinket is another man’s treasure.

Everyone wants to buy what they need at the right price. But the right price is a subjective thought. A good value and the right price are only associations attached to the stuff. Businesses fuel the consumer-driven U.S. economy through advertising, marketing, and pricing. Every wholesaler and retailer in the country knows pricing is the key to a successful business.

Anyone that has set up a garage sale realizes one thing. In order to move products, they have to price items like the wholesalers and retailers do, and that’s not easy. Pricing garage sale items is an art. If prices are too high, the stuff doesn’t sell. If prices are too low, money is lost. Making money and getting rid of stuff are the prime motivators of having garage sales and pricing things the right way will enable you to do both.

garage sale price tagsForget About The Original Price Of Every Item For Sale

The people who have successful garage sales start by forgetting what they originally paid for each item in the sale. They put sentimentality aside, and how valuable each item was in the past. If an item offers no value in the present, then no value is the true value of the item now. Any money received from those items is clear profit. The original price of sale items doesn’t matter to the people who come to garage sales. They are looking to buy items the garage sale way. They want prices that make sense to them now.

Rules Of Garage Sale Pricing

Every retailer has pricing rules that make their business profitable. Garage sale retailers have golden rules too. One rule is, ask yourself what would you pay for this item if you needed it? And, what have items like these sold for in other local garage sales?

Another useful rule of thumb is the 10 to 20 percent rule. If the item is still being offered by local retailers, price the item at 10 to 20 percent of that price is a good starting point. For example, if an item is selling for $50 in a store, then $5 to $10 is a fair opening price. But if the item is out of season, or out a fashion that rule may not apply. And if the same item is available at another local garage, rummage sale or flea market, the final price should be lower. Of course the other factor to consider is the condition of the product. If you have a product that’s still in season, in stores and unopened, you can likely demand more than 10 to 20 percent. However, if the item shows significant wear but is still functional, 10 to 20 percent is likely too high.

Another general pricing rule garage salers use is to set prices with wiggle room in them. Many people expect the marked price on garage sale items to be the starting price for a negotiation. Most garage sale buyers want to haggle. Pricing items 25 to 50 percent higher than what you expect to get is a good way to give buyers what they want, and that is the feeling of victory when their successful haggling reduces the price.

Another useful pricing tip is to be aware of the demand for certain items. If the garage sale is in spring, and summer items are for sale, they demand a higher price.

People also make a living going from garage sale to garage sale to find unique items to sell on eBay. If the goal is to take the thought out of pricing altogether, garage sale retailers should check eBay prices on their items before pricing them. The norm is to set the asking price at 50 to 75 percent of what the item sold for on eBay. Garage sale buyers also frequent thrift stores, so garage sale prices should be lower on thrift store type items.

Another tip to maximize the return on items it to sell them in groups, especially if they are low-priced items. For these “batch” items in particular it’s a good idea to keep most prices in the $5 to $10 range. And don’t make the mistake of putting a bunch of items on a table and asking the same price for all of them. All items should be individually priced. Tie on tags are better than stickers. That prevents tag swapping and the annoying experience of trying to get hard-to-peel stickers off the items once they are sold.