Garage Sale Help

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Buzz Foster, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. Buzz Foster

    Buzz Foster Second Unit

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    Going to do a big garage sale, and I need some advice on pricing. I have stuff that hear sells well, like men's clothes. But I have not seen much more online other than hearsay advice on general pricing.

    Does anyone have a site to reccommend that might help?
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Buzz: First off, I don't have a site to recommend. Sorry.

    But, if you make a habit of shopping at garage/tag sales, I'd say just price things at what you like to spend on a comparable item.

    A lot of pricing depends upon your motivation. If you look at your lot and figure that you were planning on trashing it anyway...then whatever you get is bonus and you can price it low. If, however, you've got a serious expense that you are hoping to cover with the proceeds then you need to weigh more carefully the value of the item against your asking price. Obviously, the lower you price things, the more goods you will move.

    Bottom line: people who go to garage sales expect "garage sale prices"...and not minor discounts. The attraction to garage sales is you never know what you might find...and at what price.

    I've seen good, working VCRs (a very common garage sale item these days) sell for $10 at one sale...only to go a few doors down and see a similar bodel for $1 (or even in the "free" pile at the end of the driveway! [​IMG]

    But there is always that part of the theory of garage sale pricing that sale price a little high to allow room to negotiate--because you could price a 32" HDTV for 25-cents and, inevitable, someone will ask if you'll take a dime.

    Depending on what your needs are, you might also consider inventorying your lot and making a donation to the Salvation Army and (getting a receipt) be able to have a nice write-off come tax time next year. You should definitely go that route anyway after the sale.

    Just remember that whatever strategy you use...there will be people that will shake their head at you and let you know that you are crazy for asking so much for an item...or crazy for even bothering to hold the sale. You just can't please all the people all the time. It becomes an interesting social experiment.
     
  3. John Gido

    John Gido Second Unit

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    Another piece of advise or two:

    1. Advertise. Take out an ad in your local newspaper or the "free" paper that is usually found in your local grocery store. Yard sale buyers like to plan their day and will hit as many places as they can. Also, place signs around your neighborhood directing shoppers to your location (just remember to remove them afterwards).

    2. Be prepared to be up EARLY! Yard sale shoppers like to start as early as possible figuring that the best stuff will go early. If you list in your ad that the sale will start at 8AM, be prepared for people to start arriving at 7AM.
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Like John says, signs are HUGE! They are the most simple way to assure heavy traffic. But they must be BIG and CLEAR. If the printing is too small or sloppy, people won't even bother. Most will just drive by and keep going.

    Also, don't forget Craig's List. Lots of people are advertising their sales there nowadays. I think many people check there now first rather than their local papers.

    Another good tip is to hold the first day of the sale on Friday. You'll be amazed at how much business you do...and by the end of the day you will find set-up for the big day on Saturday that much easier!
     
  5. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    What is your reason for the sale? To make money maybe get rid of stuff, or get rid of stuff and make money in the process? When we have had yard sales, and our mission has always been just to get rid of stuff and any money we make is more than the trash man gives. So we never price anything. When someone asks for a price we throw a number out and watch their reaction. If too high, we lower it. Still too high, we ask them what they would buy it for. Remember any item - a car, house, junk, stocks etc. is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

    One of our favorite tricks is to leave cute kids toys out front. If a family comes with a little one, the kid usually finds something that he just has to have. Then I tell them "If he really likes it, he can have it free!" The parents are usually grateful and buy other things.
     
  6. John Gido

    John Gido Second Unit

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    +1

    This is what I TRY and tell my wife. [​IMG]
     
  7. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Post the sale on Craigslist, post large signs with "Yard Sale ->" around the neighborhood, and be ready to deal. Everything you don't sell can be donated. Be sure to keep an accurate record of the donations, you can write everything off at tax time.
     
  8. DaveHo

    DaveHo Supporting Actor

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    My experience with clothes at yard sales is that most people expect you to practically give it away. If you're not in a big hurry, find a consignment shop that sells men's clothes. My wife does this with all our unwanted clothes & makes out much better than what could be gotten at a yard sale.

    -Dave
     
  9. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

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    Try yardsalequeen dot com for advice.

    Also, price stuff ridiculously low. It will all add up. Do you want to have a little bit of money and most of your junk after you're done, or have a lot of money and no junk? It's up to you. If your idea of a good price is 50% of what you paid, you're still not low enough. Think more like 10%, or lower. After all this is used merchandise that you don't want any more. There are a limited number of customers who will want any given item. To me anything I get is better than nothing.

    We participated in a flea market a couple years ago. The first thing I did was walk around and notice that everyone else had everything priced way too high. I mean, who wants to buy a used jigsaw puzzle for $5?

    We priced our stuff very low and moved a lot of stuff. We made $400 in 3 hours. I found that there are people who still buy VHS tape movies if you price them low enough! The few unsold items I took to the Salvation Army and got a nice tax write-off.
     
  10. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer
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    I disagree with pricing stuff ridiculously low. If anything price things higher than you want to get because the majority of buyers are going to counter and many just won't buy if they don't get a break off of the original price.

    If you price items at what you really want for them you have nowhere to go but bellow your comfort price.
     
  11. Buzz Foster

    Buzz Foster Second Unit

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    Thanks, guys!

    One of the big things I have to sell is a ton of nice pants and jeans that I bought in 2003-2005, when I had lost a lot of weight due to depression.

    I threw out anything that was clearly worn out, so most of what is left looks new. There are DKNY, Lucky, Kenneth Cole and other high-dollar jeans and pants in there. From what limited info I could find online, it would seem that $5 per pair is a good starting point. I have one pair of 34x34 heavy Carhartt work pants that I know I barely wore. Those are very popular around here, and I can't imagine having to take less than $5.

    There are some good used clothing stores here in Albuquerque, so I will see what they will give me, as well.

    I have two bikes to sell, too. I wonder if I would not be better off selling them in a Craigslist ad.

    The goal is to sell this stuff, plus a motorcycle trailer that is taking space in my garage on Craigslist, my old prosumer camcorder and some collectables on ebay, and come up with most of what I need to buy new riding gear for the motorcycle I am buying this weekend. (That Icon gear is expensive!)
     
  12. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Buzz,

    Keep your eyes on the shoppers. We had a three-day sale last week which covered the driveway and the front half of my garage. Well, someone wandered into the back half and helped themselves to my Dewalt cordless drill battery which was charging on my workbench. Replacement cost: $75.

    Good luck,

    Jon
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    That is a sad truth. We've had stuff stolen from our sale.

    It's bad enough they will swipe stuff you've got out for sale...but NEVER let them in your house (no matter HOW bad they've got to pee! It's not your problem.)

    We have our sale out in our driveway and I cannot tell you how many times people have asked to look at stuff in the garage. Huh? Fuggedaboutit.
     
  14. sestamuch

    sestamuch Stunt Coordinator

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    It's a pity, but you always have to keep an eye on people, which gets pretty hard to do when a lot of people start coming in. Just say no to get to any part of the house and instruct your relatives to say the same.
     
  15. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    The charger wasn't in the house, it was in the 'off limits' area of my garage. I'd never let someone into the house. I imagine there are folks who go to these things just to look for something to steal.
     

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