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Q&A

Below are some emails or excerpts from emails I have received, that deal with things I have not covered in the main site. If you have a question about Garage Saling that I might be able to help you with, please email me. Who knows - your question may end up in here too!


I'm stuck on how much I should price crystal red wine glasses and a crystal decantor (never used). Also, 2 silver wine goblets, and a silver tea set with cream & sugar bowl with silver plate.

Depends on what kind of crystal we're talking about, really. Cheap stuff I'd ask $3 for a set of 6 - but fine crystal that you would pay a tidy sum for each glass, you should probably not try to sell at a garagesale. Same with the Silver. The silver plate items - do you have the entire set? The teapot plus the creamer and sugar, sugar tongs... tray? I can't advise you on this, since I don't know what it looks like. If it is quite old, you should consider having it looked at by a professional. Again, you'd be looking at the newspaper. It could be a very nice, rare set, and you'd be shooting yourself in the foot financially letting it go for $20 at a garagesale!

It's very hard to advise you without seeing the items, and when we're talking about something expensive, my advice will always be to avoid selling it at a garagesale.


How do you price very new furniture...?

For a garagesale? I wouldn't. If it's brand new, still in fashion, etc., your best bet is to list it in the local newspaper so you get a respectable amount for it. Then you can ask 50 - 75% of what you paid. At a garagesale, you won't get it.


I got a lovely email from a lady who wants to have her first garagesale, because she's moving to a warmer climate and can't possibly take everything with her. She kindly allowed me to post our correspondence on my website. Thanks L!

Ok, let me see if I can answer your questions...

I am 82 years old and thinking of moving from [this area] to [a warmer one]. Will have to get rid of a lot of things I still treasure!

I would never have guessed at your age - you seem very vibrant. Our car broke down in [warmer area] last year - I have never in my entire life met people so willing to help out. (it was sunday, nothing was open, and we had no idea what was wrong with the car) There were no hotels in the area, and the local fire department actually had us spend the night with them, and then fixed our car the next morning after feeding us! (it was minor) My daughter thought it was the adventure of a lifetime.

1. I will have a yard sale - not garage. What do you do if it rains?

While I call them garage sales, its more a generic term - I never hold them IN my garage. I generally avoid having them on a day where it may rain. Especially if you're alone or almost alone. Getting things inside would be a real chore if it did decide to rain.

2. Do you buy gummy stickers and put price tags on things? Or do you have nearby signs?

Green painters tape (low tack) is ideal for this - write on the tape, then tear off the amount you need. You can also write any particular notes you'd like to have on the item along with the price. There is nothing worse than trying to get the glue or stuck sticker off of something you've purchased. Never just write things on a sign nearby - people don't look at them, and they will either walk away or hound you for each price.

3. I live on a busy street with no parking; but have an empty lot I own next to the house.Should I put parking signs and arrows to show them where it is okay to park on the lawn?

Sounds like an excellent idea! Most people will appreciate the consideration - including your street neighbors! Park your own car in there to show them you really mean it. haha

4. How many people do I need to help me?

Depends on the size of your sale. Usually two people can handle it, but if it's going to be a large affair, the more the merrier. Why not ask a (trusted) neighbor if s/he would like to include some of their own items and help you out with the sale?

5. I will probably need boxes and plastic bags for wrapping.I don't really have "junk" - too much stuff to move. Many things are expensive items.

I would think long and hard about offering expensive items in your sale, L. If you've had bad experiences with the auction house, consider an ad in the newspaper.

For stuff you do offer, just keep your newspapers for a week or so, and grocery bags. You're not a retail outfit though, you shouldn't be expected to wrap everything you sell. Play that one by ear.

6. Should I have two or more sales?

Depends on what you have left, definitely. One year when moving from one house to another, I had 5 sales and got rid of a ton.

7. I have a home office, and will be getting rid of many items. Any good for a sale?

Wish I was close by, I need a few things for my own office! Anything that is usable and in half decent shape is salable.

8. I imagine I just start going through closets, drawers, garage, etc. and having three bags one to throw away, one to sell, one to store and keep.

You got it! What an excellent opportunity to get rid of things that you will never use or care to see again.

9 .What about extra kitchen items?
10.I have No small children - have a lot of EXTRA things - like two or three of something; and would want to unload.

*Many many* new homes and student dorm rooms have been decked out with garagesale items.

Any help or ideas you could e=mail me would be appreciated.I seldom go to garage sales, myself - as I have too much "stuff" as it is! Most of my stuff was expensive when purchased and is in good shape.

When I moved from a very large home, to this semi large home, I had an auction house handle a lot of my good things - I was very disappointed in what they gave me.

I did not go to the auction, so do not know whether they were honest with me or not. I did not get anywhere near what the owner of the auction house appraised the items for, when he visited my home.

It does sound like you were taken advantage of, yes.

It will be a tremendous task for me, at my age - and also moving and getting resettled; but I cannot stand another cold winter here - last winter was just too tough on me.

My grand children live 700 miles from me, or I would let them go through all the "stuff" first and give them have whatever they wanted. Last time I moved, I gave a lot of good items to people in exchange for their helping me pack.

If your kids or grandkids have something in mind that they'd like, have them lay it out, and then arrange to have it shipped to them. Also consider what you would like them to have that means something to you or to them. I know I would have cherished something that my grandmother thought enough of to send to me without prompting or hinting.

I would hate to think that people would only help you in return for getting something expensive. That bothers me... of course, if they help you out of the goodness of their heart without expecting to be "compensated" and then you give them something, thats entirely different.

I don't look, act, or think 82. But my body is well aware of it! It reminds me of the funny joke just received on the internet: "inside of every old person is someone saying "what the hell happened?"

I've never heard that one - I love it!! And no, you certainly don't come across as 82. You're a young spirit!


Dear Jenn,

I enjoyed your web page!!

I have a box of linens to sell at my yard sale. How are these usually priced? I have all sizes - twin, full, and queen sheets and blankets.

Thank you in advance,
Chris

Hi Chris,
Thanks for visiting my site - Linens are tough. There are so many different "grades" of linens. I would say, though, that your basic sheet sets would go for $5 - $10 if they are in good shape, less if they have a mark or two, more if they are remarkably good quality. Blankets also are difficult, but if they're in good shape, $2 - $10 is reasonable. You'd have to use your own judgement, because I can't say for sure without seeing them.

Hope that helps! Let me know how you do!


I was reading your page and I noticed on the pricing you didn't list anything for clothing... I was just curious to know what a pair of good and excellent condition jeans sell for... I have lots of good clothes that I never wear but I'm not sure what to sell it for... thanks
Kerri

Hi Kerri!
Well, I would say jeans that are in really good shape would be about $5 or so, not much more... other clothes, well, it depends on what they are. If it's a suit or nice dress, your best bet might be to go and offer them for consignment at a second hand store. That way you'd get more for them. If they're older, then you might ask $5 - $10 for them. Blouses, skirts, single pieces, usually $1 - $5. T-shirts generally 50 - $1, unless they're special (upscale) then up to $5.

Hard to say for sure, of course, without seeing them, but I hope that helps you out! Thanks for visiting my site!


Dear Mrs. C,

What an interesting idea you have here. I was happy to find you. I wanted to know why it's a bad idea to not price your wares though. I see it often at garage sales that people don't put one price on anything. I don't have any trouble making offers.
John

Hiya John!
Well, thats a valid question, certainly.

I find that people are generally uncomfortable with the idea of making an offer for something, simply because they're afraid of a) offering TOO much or b) offending the seller with a very low offer. Some people are shy, too, and don't like to approach people in this (sometimes) aggressive manner.

I like the fact that people take the time to think about what they want for their items, rather than just throwing them onto a table and expecting people to "bid" on them. It all boils down to good technique. If you want your items to sell, go the extra mile and put a price on them.

Thanks for writing!


"Garage Sale Seminar" 1998 - 2008 Garagesale Guru