Yard sales are a great way to clear space and earn some easy money, but pricing your items can lead to a lot of headaches. Here are 6 tips for pricing your yard sale items.

Pricing 101
A good rule to remember is to price your items at 10-20% of what they currently retail for, depending on age and condition. If it’s old and worn (especially clothing), keep it under a buck. If you’re still not sure, look online for similar used items, or consult a value guide like this one from Salvation Army.

Set It & Forget It
Unless you’re a car salesperson, haggling probably isn’t your favorite hobby. Set your prices before the yard sale begins to avoid confusion and the ensuing price debate. Mark the price on items individually with bright stickers – blue painter’s tape works well and is easily removable.

Protect Your Prices
Don’t get fooled by the old switcheroo. Write the name of the item on the price sticker to prevent shoppers from switching tags. You can also keep an inventory list in case any stickers fall off.

Keep Most Things Under $5
Yardsalers are a thrifty lot. People come expecting to get great bargains and rock-bottom prices, so keep plenty of items priced below $5. It’s better to sell a lot of items at a lower price than scare off potential customers with sticker shock. Don’t let emotions determine your prices, either. Sentimental attachment doesn’t justify pricing an item higher than what it’s worth.

Be Careful with Collectibles
Unless you know what they’re wroth, you might not want to sell collectibles or antiques at a yard sale. You’re better off listing them on an online auction site like eBay where you’re more likely to find an interested buyer who is willing to pay what the item is actually worth.

Slow Sales?
Assess your yard sale throughout the day. If things are moving nicely, sit back and relax. If sales are slower than molasses in January, it’s time to get thrifty. Try a half-off sale – pull out some colorful signs with sayings like “Everything Must Go!” or “Half-off Until 4:00!” This adds some fun and urgency to your sale and makes shoppers feel like they’re getting a great deal.

Play it Safe
Inviting people onto your property doesn’t come without risks. Here are some tips for a safe yard sale.

  • Don’t leave the yard sale unattended. Even a quick bathroom break is enough time for someone to take off with your goods. Plan to have at least one person working at all times.
  • Watch the cash box. Make sure the cash box is attended at all times. If you don’t have someone to watch it full-time, keep it on you in a money bag or envelope.
  • Lock up. Keep your house and garage secured, and don’t let strangers inside to use the phone or restroom.
  • Keep kids and pets safe. A busy yard sale isn’t a great place for kids or pets, so arrange to have someone watch them during the day. Also, keep any dangerous objects like kitchen knives out of reach of children.

Good luck if you’re planning a yard sale this summer, and happy hunting if you’re on the lookout for a few bargains!

Thanks to our friends at Erie Sense for inspiring some great tips. Check out the original post here for more info on running a safe, successful yard sale.