20 Tips How To Price Garage Sale Items

IT’S TIME TO HAVE A GARAGE SALE, BABY! And then it hits you. You don’t want to give things away, but you also don’t want to scare people away with high prices. What to do?!?! Never fear, mah dear. Here are my 20 tips how to price garage sale items.

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My Garage Saling Background (Why You Should Care About My Opinion)

I am a random person you ran across on the good ol’ internets or social media. Why should you care about my 20 tips how to price garage sale items?

No, I don’t know every situation or area of the country and that is not what I’m claiming. I will say that I have been going to garage sales with my mom since I was a wee tot, and it was a lifestyle for us. We didn’t have much money growing up, so finding clothing, home décor and outdoor items at a garage sale was imperative.

I brought that lifestyle into my adult life and turned it into a business. I go out nearly every week during garage sale season finding deals that I then sell on Etsy (and sometimes Ebay). Also, this is how I also find probably 90% of our clothing, household and outdoor items.

I have a lifetime’s worth of experience in this arena – I know how to hunt for a good deal, and I know best practices for filling up your garage sale cash box! At my garage sales, I usually make $700 – $1200 just on my items. I get rid of our general household items (toys, décor, kitchen items), kids clothing and outdoor items such as gardening items or random tools. I also sell quite a few vintage items fairly regularly but at garage sale prices (in other words, I’m just getting rid of items and not trying to make money off of them). Usually, I have 1 – 2 items priced around $100 and the rest of the items are $0.25 – $20.00.

This just gives you an idea of how much little items can add up with the correct pricing! So follow my 20 tips how to price garage sale items for a great shot at your successful sale!

20 Tips on How to Price Garage Sale Items (keep scrolling for my pricing guide for different types of items)

1. Use This Kind of Price Tag Sticker That Won’t Fall Off

I have used and seen other people use dozens of different kind of price tag stickers. Many of them fall off, or you can’t see clearly. Many of them come in packages where you don’t need several sheets (like 10 cent stickers).

I have come to use a method that works like a charm sale after sale.

  1. Get my FREE printable garage sale price tag sheets HERE.
  2. Edit the tags with your initials.
  3. Print and easily cut prices apart
  4. Tape on with clear Scotch tape. (This has been the best holding tape I’ve used.)

2. Use One Bright Paper Color for Price Tags

Once you’ve downloaded your FREE garage sale pricing sheets HERE, don’t just print them on white paper. I use bright orange paper for mine. You can choose another super bright color. If you have multiple people contributing to your garage sale, have each person use a different color. This way it is easily visible and identifiable.

3. Gather All Your Pricing Supplies

Here are all the items I use to quickly and easily price garage sale items. Gather them in a specific box or bag so you can have them in one place and don’t have to go searching when you should be pricing.

4. Put Your Initials on Each Tag

Even if you use different color paper, still put your own initials on every tag. And check with everyone involved in your garage sale a couple weeks before to make sure no initials are the same. If they are, you might use a middle initial or maiden name initial.

To edit the initials on your free garage sale pricing sheet, follow these steps:

  • Download and open the sheet in Excel or Google Sheets
  • Navigate to different price sheets with the tabs at the bottom
  • Type your initials under the BLUE ARROW on each sheet then click “enter.” All initials on that sheet will automatically update.
  • If you would like to change the price, click on the top left price box on any sheet. Type your price and hit “enter.” All prices on the sheet will automatically update.

5. Price Items With an “I’m Satisfied” Price

I don’t know how many times I’ve thought of a price I would be happy to get out of an item and then (out of pure greed) bump up the price $5 – $10. Usually, I sell things like hot cakes when I stick with the “satisfied” price. But when I bump the price up, inevitably the item just sits there with no takers. Time after time.

6. Ask Yourself What Your Main Goal Is

This goes along with the tip above, but you have 1 – 3 days to move this stuff along. Then you get to tote it to Goodwill or, heaven forbid, store it in your garage for another year. While I love to make extra money on items I don’t need anymore, at the end of the day my main goal is ALWAYS “to get rid of excess in my house.” The extra cash is the bonus. Sometimes we just need to ask ourselves, am I willing to sell this for $1 or keep it at $2?

7. Use This Pricing Guide As a General Guideline

I live in the Midwest and hold the garage sale in a neighborhood that is middle class built in the early 2000’s. I go to garage sales in all types of neighborhoods in the Midwest. Some other regions or neighborhoods might vary with prices, but this is generally what I see.

  • Baby and kid clothes $0.50 – 3.00
  • Kid and adult books $0.50 – 2.00
  • Toys $0.50 – $10.00
  • Outdoor toys (bikes, water table, Fisher Price slide) $5.00 – $25.00
  • Household linens (sheets, curtains, rugs, bedding) $3.00 – $10.00; $15.00 – 25.00 for comforter sets
  • Bath and Kitchen towels/linens $0.50 – 4.00
  • Household appliances $5.00 – 15.00; name brand can be a little higher
  • Household décor (lamps, shelves) $5.00 – $15.00
  • Medium size furniture in good condition (chairs, coffee tables, nightstands) $10.00 – 40.00
  • Large Furniture (beds, dressers, couches) $$75 – $150.00
  • Small tools (hammers, screwdrivers, non-power tools) $1.00 – $7.00
  • Small power tools (in working condition) $15.00 – 40.00
  • DVDs and Games $1.00 – 4.00

8. Use This Vintage Pricing Guide As a General Guideline

I made a separate garage sale pricing guide for vintage items since being older can affect the desirability. (Note, it can affect it. Age doesn’t always mean more valuable.)

  • Vinyl Records $1.00 – $4.00
  • Small home décor (candlesticks, figurines, etc) $0.50 – $5.00
  • Medium Size Furniture in usable condition (chairs, side tables) $10 – 20.00
  • Larger furniture in usable condition (kitchen table and chairs, outdoor patio set, bed frame) $40 – $150
  • Furniture in need of paint or repair $5.00 – 10.00
  • Large furniture in need of repair $15 – 25.00

9. Price Every.Single.Item

You may have one hundred children’s books or a thousand pieces of baby clothing. Price each piece. Potential buyers don’t see signs taped to tables. And pricing “guides” with convoluted color coded stickers is downright confusing.

10. Price Items 10 – 20% of Retail

This is not a hard and fast rule but a good rule of thumb that savvy sellers try to follow. No, you are not going to get even close to what you paid for it new. And I don’t care if it’s barely used from Pottery Barn. As a friend recently said, “No, this is not “new” from Pottery Barn. It’s your garage. If I wanted buy new Pottery Barn items, I’d go to Pottery Barn.” These are your unwanted items. Price accordingly!

11. Consider Your Neighborhood

Truth is truth. You may have a beautiful home, but you still need to honestly consider your neighborhood. Items can bring higher prices (but not too much higher) in higher income neighborhoods.

12. Look Up An Item on Facebook Marketplace

If you have a medium to large item and just don’t know what to price it at, look it up on Facebook Marketplace for a good idea of your local pricing. I usually lower the price a bit from Facebook Marketplace simply because I am relying on people who actually get in their car and drive to my sale rather than someone sitting on the couch scrolling.

13. Look Up an Item On Ebay (and then price it at 10 – 25% of that price)

Ok folks, here is the thing. Your garage sale is NOT Ebay. Don’t put a sign on an item saying “priced at $150 on Ebay.” Ebay have millions of views. Your garage sale does.not. It is always good to get an idea of Ebay’s price. Hey, you might see that you have something worth more than 25 (cents)!

But if you want Ebay prices, then sell on Ebay. I even recommend that for higher priced, easily shipped items.

14. Visit Your Local Goodwill or Thrift Shop

To get a good feel of prices in your area, visit your local thrift store to see what their prices are. And then lower it a bit. Again, you probably won’t have the traffic of a retail store (even thrift stores). And traffic drives prices. But it’s still a good way to get the feel of second hand prices in your area.

15. Be Willing to Haggle the Price (to some degree)

Garage sale culture is haggling culture. It’s just the name of the game. Savvy shoppers are looking for the best deals. Now some people WILL try to low ball you, and I get that it’s frustrating. You can always say no. But if someone is buying a lot of items, then it’s a good idea to give them a deal if they ask. Or if someone offers a few dollars off, then you might want to work with them some. Remember, you’re getting rid of unwanted items. Keep the end game in mind, and don’t take the haggling personal!

Don’t tell them to “come back tomorrow” for better prices. That’s a great way to lose a sale. Ummm, people are too busy to be running back and forth to your yard sale. You can take their offer or not, but don’t expect them to come back at the end of the sale.

16. Know What You Have

I get it, it’s scary to sell antique or vintage items and wonder if you are giving someone that “steal of a lifetime.” You don’t want to sell a priceless painting from your grandma’s estate for a quarter. If you are selling vintage items and truly think it could be valuable, then Google it or look it up on Ebay if you must. (Just as a reminder though, your prices should reflect 10 – 25% of Ebay’s prices.)

Honestly, 99.9% of old stuff at garage sales are just…old. That’s it. Age doesn’t necessary mean value. So don’t write “old” on the sticker and bump up the price on that fact alone.

17. Don’t Sell Broken, Stained or Majorly Out-Of-Date Items (unless it’s vintage)

The quickest way to lower your garage sale status (and worth) is to have a whole bunch of dirty, broken or stained stuff. Even if you have good, clean items interspersed, people will be turned off. If they do find something, they won’t value it as much as if your sale were clean and gave them a good feeling. Garage sale shoppers are looking for a good price, but they want items in their best condition!

I will say, the exception to this rule is if an item is vintage (and desirable). People flock to sales that have old broken antique chairs simple so they can fix them up!

18. Don’t Majorly Under Price

Ok, so I know I’ve been harping about over pricing your items. But you don’t need to majorly underprice items either. You do want to make this sale worth your time. I picked up a darling girl’s dress that could have been priced at $7 – 10.00 and had a lady almost apologize for asking $1. What would YOU be willing to pay at a garage sale? Go with your gut. The item’s condition matters – especially when it comes to children’s clothing.

19. Offer Great Discounts the Last Day

This is your last chance. In a couple hours, you will have to lug all of these items to Goodwill and give them away. The last day, I usually accept any offer (except on valuable items I can sell on Facebook). Also, I’ve run fill a bag for $3 – 5.00 sales with big signs announcing it everywhere at the sale.

20. Smile

You may be tired. Or you may be overwhelmed or frustrated with those darn early birds who show up before you’re ready the first day of the sale. But smile. Have fun with people. They are more willing to buy something slightly out of their price point if they like you. Even when you decline their lower offer, say no with a smile and you will probably still make the sale!

I’m glad you stopped by to read my 20 tips how to price garage sale items! I know it can be nerve wracking sometimes to know what price to ask for. And after pricing 785 baby clothes, you might start to have decision fatigue. Garage sales are a lot of work no matter how you slice it.

But for me, having a garage sale is always worth it. You can DO this!

Comment below and let me know if you have any pricing questions I may have missed. I would love to help you out!

Read More About Having a Successful Garage Sale Below

How to Advertise for Your Garage Sale

30 Top Items to Sell At a Garage Sale

How to Sell Garage Sale Items in Winter

Get Your Necessary Garage Sale Pricing Tools Below

Pin for later 20 Tips How to Price Garage Sale Items


Our Vintage Bungalow

Howdy! I’m Tammy, and I’ve lived most of my life stretching a low decorating budget through garage sales and DIY renovation.

I am going to give you quick and easy tips on the beauty of reusing older items instead of spending tons of money on new. I’ll show you how I add vintage style that makes a your house feel like a cozy home (even with young kids, a practical husband and a big dog in tow). 

Read more about our journey HERE

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2 Responses

  1. my first garage/ moving sale ( no furniture) plastic food containers , clothing ,deco, wall picture , stationary exercise bike, xmas dishes, white dinner dinner dishes kitchen items ice bucket bread maker etc. 5 drawer jewerly box, foot massager etc. how to price help

    1. Thank you so much for your question. Pricing can be daunting for sure!
      Prices can probably vary across the US, but here is a general guideline of what I do in the Midwest:
      – items that are up to date and only 1 – 2 years old and in great condition = 30% of new price
      – adult in season clothing = shirts $2-3, pants $4-5, dresses $5-6, out of season clothing about $1-2 less
      – large items like stationary bikes and bread machines, I would look up the brand on your local Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist and see what people are asking there. Then price a little less. It really depends on brand, age, etc. If you compare with Ebay prices, then ask about 10-20% of what Ebay asks. Ebay is national; garage sales are very, very local…not the same on pricing.
      – I’m not sure what you’re Christmas dishes are like, but holiday doesn’t sell that great in summer. I would do $1-2 if it’s a single dish or $20 – 30 for a large set (again, this is not knowing what your’s are like)
      – Mid size items like jewelry boxes, working foot massager can be $5-10. Unless brand new in the box, I would stay well under $20
      – I just bought a large vintage dinner set that I use everyday for $40. I would do $25 – $40 depending on style, condition and age.
      – small kitchen items (plastic containers, ice buckets, etc) $0.25 – $2. Small kitchen misc needs to be priced low to move it along since every garage sale has it.
      Again, this is a general guideline without knowing your specific items. My goal is first to sell the items. If it takes low prices, then that’s what I do. The bonus is making money on the stuff I sell. But I can’t make money if my prices scare people off.

      I hope this helps. Good luck on your first sale. I would love to hear how it goes!

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