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Dupaco Community-Wide Garage Sales (M. Blondin/Dupaco photo)

How to price your garage sale items

Thinking about hosting a garage sale? There’s no time like the present!

Behind every successful garage sale is properly priced merchandise.

Get your FREE Sales Kit!

We’re here to help provide you with the resources to make your sale successful! Beginning April 1, 2021, stop by any Dupaco branch for a FREE Sales Kit. The kit includes price stickers, yard signs, balloons and a tip sheet. We encourage you to use your own social networks—people networks included—to spread the word about your sale. Happy thrifting!

Here are some tips to help ensure your goods are priced to sell—leaving you with less stuff and more green.

What to consider when pricing items

|1| Price each item individually.

Shoppers don’t want to take the time to decode a complicated pricing chart. Take the time to put an easy-to-find sticker, with the price noted in fine-point marker, on each item you’re selling. The exception: Like items, such as books or DVDs, can be grouped together with a visible sign clearly communicating their price.

|2| Group like items together.

Speaking of like items … When you have a large number of DVDs or books, consider making it more attractive to purchase multiple items. For example: If you’re selling DVDs, offer them at four for $5, suggests And if you’re running out of garage-sale steam, let shoppers fill a bag with these items for a flat fee.

|3| Let one-third be your guide.

Put sentimentality aside when pricing your items. The rule of thumb is to price your stuff at one-third of the cost you paid for it. There are exceptions, of course, but this can be a helpful guideline as you work your way through the pricing process.

|4| Research prices in your area.

To make sure your costs are in line with neighboring garage sales, you can always check out a few sales before hosting your own. Take note of the prices that sellers attached to their items—and pay attention to the things that are selling, and those that aren’t.

|5| Consider a freebie box.

If your tidying efforts uncovered things you’d like to part with—but aren’t worthy of price tags—consider displaying them in a clearly marked “freebies” box. Someone else might find value in that charger cord or random scuffed-up toy, and it’s one less thing for you to deal with at the end of your sale.

How to price your garage sale items. Consider a freebie box.
(M. Blondin/Dupaco photo)

Pricing guidelines by category

Still unsure how to price certain possessions? Let these parameters, compiled by multiple sources*, be your guide. The brand and condition of your items will steer you to the high or low end of these suggested prices:

  • Adult clothes: $3-$5.
  • Baby clothes: $1-$3 for nicer pieces; less than $1 for well-worn articles.
  • Shoes: $3-$10.
  • Jewelry: 50 cents-$2; up to $5 for some pieces.
  • Books: $1-$2 for hardcovers; 25-50 cents for paperbacks.
  • Music: $1-$3.
  • Movies: $1-$5.
  • Toys and games: $1-$3.
  • Home décor: $2-$10; more for higher-end pieces.
  • Furniture: No more than one-third the price you paid for it.

MORE: Want more tips? Check out our garage sale survivor guide!

* Sources: and

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