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Garage Sale: To Price or Not to Price?

Posted By Lynda Hammond On September 2, 2011 @ 8:45 am In Money Talk | Comments Disabled

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There's a story behind this find...

I love walking up to a garage sale and seeing items neatly displayed, clothes hung in groups of like-colors. And everything with a price tag. A sale where each item has been painstakingly tagged with brightly colored stickers-.10, .25, .50…you get the idea.

There’s something else I’ll admit-pricing things at garage sales is a big waste of time! And you’ll probably make more money if you DON’T tag them. Now hang on, before you log off, get a coffee refill and switch to another blogger, hear me out.

I see .10 price tags on items at sales all the time, such as candles, vases, clothing and much more. Chances are most people would give you a buck for a decent candle or sweatshirt. So, don’t undercut yourself by tagging it lower. Instead of pricing it, when someone shows interest, simply throw out a price like a salesperson on a bad TV commercial.

“Yes, that beautiful sweatshirt from the Hard Rock Cafe in Honolulu can be yours for the measly price of one dollar!” Wow, really? I’d buy it. What a bargain!

Not pricing items also forces you to strike up conversations with folks. And that’s half the fun of garage sales. By leaving stuff unpriced there’s also a good chance you’ll get more for your wares than you ever imagined.

Just listen to what happened at one of my sales. A lady pulls up and zeroes in on a comforter. When she asked the price I told her “What would you give me?” She takes a closer look and then, hesitantly at first, asks, “Would you take $20?” Would I? I could not believe my good fortune-that was my biggest sale of the day! Had I priced that I might have tagged it at $5, hoping for $3 when you consider the art of haggling.

Pricing things is the most time consuming, tedious part about having a garage sale. If you cut out that step you’ll probably have more fun and make more money!

P.S. About the photo: I bought the antique oil lamp for $1 at a garage sale from a woman who hadn’t priced anything and just “wanted to get rid of it.” Some might consider it tacky-and it is, but it’s priceless to my parents. Lamps exactly like this one hung in their favorite restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. The Monte Carlo has long been closed but my parents now have a nice memory hanging on their back porch…all thanks to a dollar find at a garage sale.


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