The Art of Pricing Your Yard Sale Items

Whether it’s your first yard sale or your hundredth, there’s always one persistent pain point: pricing your items. If you price too low or too high, you risk losing out on making money. Above all else, the price tag on your items will have the biggest impact on how successful your yard sale is or isn’t. With clear and fair pricing, negotiation strategies and organization, pricing your items can be simple. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of tried-and-true methods to make pricing your yard sale items a breeze.

#1: Conduct market research.

Just like how major companies conduct market research to do figure out proper pricing for their goods and services, you need to find out what other yard sales in your area are pricing their items at. This will allow you to fairly price your items and give you a better chance of selling all your items. You can accomplish this task by driving around town and checking out other yard sales in your area. If you’re comfortable and confident enough in the situation, consider asking the sellers how they went about pricing the items. Explain that you’re going to holding a yard sale in a few weeks and you wanted to get a feel for the yard sale market in your area.

#2: Don’t expect to get back all the money you spent on a certain item.

This is probably one of the more important concepts to keep in mind when you’re pricing your yard sale items. There’s no doubt that you spent hard-earned money on the items you intend to sell when you purchased them. However, the market value of these items have depreciated, and if you’ve used them, this is especially true. A good rule of thumb to follow is the one-third rule. This rule explains you should aim to price items at one-third of the original price you paid. For example, if you purchased a bike for $150, you should price it for sale at $50. You’ll at least get some return on your initial investment, but you won’t scare buyers away with high prices.

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#3: Price slightly above the price you want to receive for the item.

At yard sales, there’s an expectation that prices will be negotiated. That’s why it’s a good practice to price your items just slightly higher than the price you hope to sell the item for. This gives you some wiggle room for negotiations while still ensuring that you’re fairly compensated for the items you’re parting with. Don’t overdo the pricing, though. At most, consider marking up your items about 20% so to not scare away buyers.

#4: Clearly display your prices.

Think about how frustrating it is to you when you can’t figure out how much something costs while you’re shopping. The same principle applies to your yard sale pricing. It’s important to clearly display your prices and organize your yard sale so that there is no room for misunderstandings or confusing surrounding pricing. If a buyer can’t figure out how much an item costs, and becomes frustrated, you risk losing that sale. That’s why it’s so important for clear and fair pricing.


Yard sale pricing can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these four guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a yard sale pro.