How to Start Pricing Garage Sale Items: A Magic Trick

Follow a simple formula to remove the hassle of garage sale pricing.

Perhaps you are wanting to hold a garage sale after finishing spring cleaning and accumulating several boxes of items to sell but the thought of pricing all those items puts you off. You simply don't want to make the effort to determine how much your things are worth. However, a formula exists that actually makes pricing a breeze for garage sale items in good condition. All you need is a calculator and you can get it done in short order.


Step 1

Think realistically. You do not want to offer a well-worn shirt for $25 because it will not sell. The more reasonably your items are priced, the more you will sell.

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Step 2

Begin working the formula for any item, including clothing. Start with 100 percent. Each year you keep an item is worth 30 percent. Thus, one year is 30 percent; two years is 60 percent and three or more years is 90 percent. If you bought a filing cabinet new at $50 and kept it two years, those two years come to 60 percent of cost.


Step 3

Multiply the original price of $50 by 60 percent to determine the amount you got out of the filing cabinet. The result is $30.

Step 4

Set the price. Take the $50 you originally paid and subtract the $30 of usage the filing cabinet gave you, leaving a garage sale asking price of $20.



Step 5

Deduct more for blemishes. Subtract $5 for every dent, ping or other blemish. If the filing cabinet has two dents, subtract $10 — $5 per blemish. Thus, you will deduct $10 from the asking price of $20 and set the filing cabinet's price at $10.

Step 6

Make a "cheap" box or table that will attract buyers. Find 10 to 20 items you want to sell but are not in good condition. For these items, multiply the original cost by 10 percent to arrive at the asking price.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator

  • Sale stickers/tags

  • Black permanent marker

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