Garage Sale Secrets: How to Price & Display Your Stuff to Sell!

Apartment Therapy's Guide to the Perfect Summer

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Pricing. The most tedious of tasks when planning a garage sale, but a vital one (if you're interested in the making money part of throwing a garage sale, of course). It's one that will take a bit of work (especially if you've got a lot of items to sell) but definitely not one to skip. Here are some guidelines to make pricing your stuff go smoothly (and some display ideas to get you thinking about the big day!)

If you already organized all of your stuff to sell, grouped by items, you're ready to start researching and pricing. If not, go ahead and group like-items together for faster pricing.

Price
You're going to want to price everything, clearly, no exception. Use blank but colorful stickers or blank tags that you tie on with a string. Write in a bold marker with a fine tip (not just a ball point pen and not something so thick that you can't read it). And make it legible! Don't put stickers on things like records, books or other items it might be impossible to get off of again.

Don't try and save time (pricing everything individually is a lot of work but worth it!) by trying to have some color-coded price system or "everything on this table $5" idea. Items might get moved, the system might be confusing and you might lose sales from people too shy to ask about the price of something.

All that info great but you need to know what to price things? There are several websites that have ideas on what to price things at a garage or yard sale. Check out this site for a place to start.

Another way to get an idea of price: Visit a few local garage sales in your area the weeks prior to your own to take notes and look at the prices of things you'll be selling to see what they are going for in your area.

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Display
There's nothing wrong with laying out a few blankets in your yard to place items for sale if you've got nothing else, but a clear and easy-to-access garage sale will be more successful. Clear out your sale area completely of items not for sale so buyers don't try to buy your potted plants. And start looking for your display stuff now. Make or borrow folding tables for displaying items (but don't use one that you don't intend on selling even if you write "not for sale" on it).

Make or borrow clothes racks to display clothing easier and make it more appealing to poke through. Organize clothing by size. Place your popular, best-selling, eye-catching items closer to the street to grab people's attentions. Make sure you have a comfy, shady place for you to sit. In general, make sifting through your sale items clear, clean and pleasant!

Want to go even farther? Get into the merchandising side of things! Start brainstorming fun vignette ideas that show how some items can be used solo or together. Like placing items on pretty and colorful fabrics or blankets so they pop. Keeping tables and displays neat and tidy. Making best-sellers stand out by raising them higher than other items or setting them apart. Thinking about how your favorite stores and boutiques might display items and take inspiration!

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(Image credits: Summer Camp In Ojai; Pablo Enriquez; Janel Laban)

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Adrienne photographs beautiful homes in and around her home base of Austin, Texas. She's a contributor to UPPERCASE Magazine and spends all her free time exploring small town Texas. She watches a lot of Star Trek.

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