Monday, June 29, 2015

Garage Sale Series-Price Tags

Garage sales are such a blessing... and a lot of fun... to visit. Putting on a garage sale, though it can be fun... is also a LOT of work. One thing that affects how successful the sale will be... is having things priced.

I dislike going to a garage sale where nothing is priced... and I never look around at such a sale very much. Sometimes I will ask a price on one or two items and if it is higher than I want to pay, I will just leave and go to another sale. There may have been much there I would have bought... IF it were priced. If the price is good on the items I ask about, I will look around to buy more, but I will not buy as much as if things were priced.

I hear people say they were too busy to price anything so just look around and ask for a price on whatever you want to buy. I sympathize... life IS busy... but my life is busy too and if they had priced the items, they would probably sell much more... I don't have the time to go to the garage sale proprietor to ask for a price on each item... and I won't do it... and neither will most customers. 

Ideally, I like to have EVERY item priced, but there are always some that slip through without a price... or the price tag falls off... or someone has removed the price tag. It happens and it doesn't bother me to see that... I just love to go to a garage sale where most things are priced.

One thing that happens sometimes is that people will trade price tags... like the time my husband was manning the garage sale and someone came up to buy a drill...and it had a 25c sticker on it. My husband asked me if that was the right price... we both knew it wasn't... I had put $10.00 on it. Later, we found something... maybe a plastic dish... that had the $10.00 price tag on it. Sometimes, I write the name of the item on the tag of a higher priced item... I get busy and it doesn't always happen, but it is a good idea.

It may seem like a good idea to leave prices off... and tell people to make an offer. Some people will do that... many won't.  Also, prepare to be insulted when you do that... because that end table that you paid $125.00  for and are hoping to get $50 from... may look appealing to a buyer and when you say  "make an offer"... someone will offer $5.00.  What will you do?  At the very least, it will make your garage sale more stressful.  It sure helps to give your customers an idea of what you hope to get out of it... and it make things better for everyone.

You can buy packages of price tags at the store... they will be stickers with prices on them... 10c, 25c, 50c, etc.  From what I have seen, people who use these find that they need more of certain prices and less of others... and who wants all of those "make an offer" stickers?  As a customer, I don't really like to find those... I want the seller to commit and declare what their selling price is.  People can still make an offer if you are negotiable... Buying price tags can be a big help... just be prepared to not use all of the price tags... and maybe to have to buy more of them to get what you need.

I have made my own price tags for many years... yes, it is a lot of work... no, I don't like to do it, BUT it really isn't that hard and it works well. It also saves some money by not buying pre-made stickers.  I like to use sticker sheets that will stick well, but that can also be removed after the sale.  God has provided my sticker sheets at garage sales... and when I find some, I will buy a big stack.. if they have them. Then I will use a Sharpie marker... usually black, green, blue.. or something dark... this time I had a pink one which is not as good, but it will work.  I like to use what I have on hand. :)

The number of price tags above, looks like a lot... and it is, but those go fast when I am pricing things... I find that I use 25c, 50c and $1.00 stickers more than the others, so I make a lot more of those.   I many times will color code them also... so that when I am pricing, it is easier to grab the 50c ones because they have a yellow stripe on them... or the 25c ones have a green stripe. I tend to think in colors for organizing, but that is just a personal preference.  I use highlighter markers for that. Those 2 sheets above probably took about 10-15 minutes to make... and I will need at least 10- 20 of those for a sale.... I have big sales. :)   Doing it all at once is overwhelming. Sometimes, I will start weeks before the sale... and just make stickers while we watch a movie... or while visiting with my mom or a friend.. or while listening to something. A few a day can accumulate many for the sale.

After I write out the prices, I cut strips, leaving a bit on the end so it doesn't come  apart. Then, we tear off each price as we need it, leaving the backing. We have developed a system after so many years of doing this... it isn't the system that matters, it is finding what can work for you. We have changed our systems many different times until we have the system we use now... and we like it, but it could still change again at some point. :) 

What if you don't want to make stickers... and you don't want to buy them?  Some other methods people use are... pricing a whole table full of items... one table is marked 25c and everything on that table is 25c... another table is $1.00, etc.  That helps and it lets your customers know the prices. The downside is that you or your customer will have to remember which table they got each item from... and then there are those who are dishonest and will not tell you the truth of where they got it. It is a risk, but it may be worth it to you. That's okay... you can still do very well at a garage sale with such pricing.

Another way is to color code the prices... some people will put orange stickers on everything that is 50c, yellow stickers on $1.00 items... and so on. That works... but you do need to put LOTS of sheets up telling what the various color mean to aid your customers in their shopping.

I have been to garage sales where everything was 25c... or everything was $1.00.  That works too.... unless you are like the person at one sale I went to... they said everything was $1.00, but then kept saying... except that... and that... and that.  They should have marked those things that were not part of everything is $1.00.

Some people use tape on their items and mark the price... that can work well. Some people will have a sign that says all shirts $1.00, all jeans $2.00, etc. That works if you keep it simple.  I have seen signs that had 20-30 items on them and it was overwhelming to try to decide what the price was of the item I was holding. Since it is too time-consuming, I usually move on to another sale.

One thing I have seen is where people take a black permanent marker and mark the price right on each item... on puzzle boxes, picture frames, fronts of books, and more... and some items are ruined by this.. so this isn't a great idea.  I was sad to see many such items at a sale that I would have bought... at the price set... except that they ruined the item by putting the price permanently on it.

Prices can also be cut out and tied to an item w/ string or twist ties. This can work for jewelry and lots of other items.  I posted about using this for jewelry.     Garage Sale Series-Selling Jewelry

If you have a garage sale this summer, I hope it is a pleasant one and that you are able to trade some of your stuff for cash to use on other things.    I will be adding to this Garage Sale Series in upcoming posts.  Thank you for visiting.. and I hope you have a wonderful week. :)

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Foodie Friday and Everything Else
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The Homemaking Party
Modest Mom Monday
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  1. I don't like having to ask for prices either. I feel as though they change the price according to who asks! ;0D

    1. I agree... I have wondered at some sales if asked means they know I am interested, so the price goes up! I like to know what I am dealing with... and I don't mind what price they put... that is up to them, but then I can decide if it is something I want to buy.

  2. I hate when they say make an offer. Then they look at you, like no... I love how you made all your price tags. You will probably use most of them.
    We didn't mark all our clothes at our garage sale -we just sad a dollar a piece unless marked. Made it so easy.
    Have a great day!

    1. I hate that also... it really needs to be the seller who prices things... I sure don't want to go out on a limb not knowing what they are even thinking. I did use all of the price tags and then lots more and more... seemed we would never have enough. :) Having all of the clothes at one price is a great idea... and saves time and effort in marking.

  3. This was such a needed post. We are cleaning the garage for a yard sale as we speak. Great tips. Thanks for posting. Visiting from Hope in Every Season.

    1. Thank you... I hope your yard sale does very well.... I am continuing to add to the Garage Sale Series, so I hope you will return for more tips. :) Thank you for visiting.

  4. Great idea! I'm planning a sale later this summer and pricing is the hardest thing for me.

    1. It is hard... and yet it is worth it. Looking around at other garage sales can help determine what price to put on things.... or knowing what it is worth new and cutting that down to 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 of the original price. Somethings have to go much less than that though. I hope your sale goes wonderfully well. :)

  5. These are great tips! I agree---I don't shop a garage sale that doesn't have prices. Thanks so much for sharing at the Homemaking Party. I wanted to let you know that I've started a weekend link up on my new blog, Big Family Frugal (.com) and would love to have you join me there, as well. It's up now and the new one starts every Friday.

    Hope you're having a great week!

    1. It really is frustrating to shop where there are no prices... and sadly, I am seeing more and more of the "make an offer" sales... and I really don't like those. I am so thankful there are still lots of the good ones out there too. :) I visited your new blog party... great idea.. and I will be back. :)

  6. Takes a lot to organize a garage sale. Thanks for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday.

    1. It sure does... so much work, but a blessing too. :)

  7. I don't like yard sales that don't have prices, either. It's too much hassle. Great tips!

    1. It is too much hassle... just not even worth it for me, unless they do have super good prices. :) Thank you for visiting...