BLOG: Set the right price for clothes at your yard sale

York Dispatch

Pricing is always the most confusing aspect of a yard sale. Assigning a value to your old stuff is difficult: You understand its value far more than the person who stopped by to browse.


But is your assumption of value too high? Or even too low.

When you are trying to sell clothes at a yard sale, it’s especially difficult to determine. Above all, we suggest you price by who will be wearing them.

  • WOMEN’S CLOTHES — Generally, we suggest $1 per article of clothing and allow people to mix and match as they see fit. However, high-end business attire should certainly be individually marked between $5 and $10 for the whole set — just make sure it’s still in style.
  • MEN’S CLOTHES — Call us  anti-chauvinists, but buying used men’s clothing creeps us out a little bit, especially when we’re talking about sweaty, hairy guys sharing the same shirt. Our feelings on this seem to bear out at yard sales too, because men’s clothes sell quite poorly when we do see them. We suggest 50-cents per article for regular clothes.  (Further, we suspect that the reason we see so few sales with men’s clothes is because men are more than happy to wear their clothes until they’re nothing short of rags. ) Even business suits are hard sells at yard sales, and we would only suggest pricing them between $5 and $10.
  • TEEN CLOTHES — For this category, brand names are key. They sell even better when the brand names are emblazoned across the item. If it your teen clothes have a popular brand name — Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and so on — you can rake in some good money. We suggest pricing brand-name items between $2 and $5.
  • KIDS CLOTHES — As yard sales go, kids clothes can be among the most profitable items you can get. Because kids are growing, they go through clothes quickly and that means those items are barely used and in “like-new” condition. We suggest pricing these at $1 each, and hope for a feeding frenzy from your shoppers. Don’t hesitate to resell something you bought at last year’s yard sales — that’s where your real profit kicks in.
  • BABY CLOTHES — Just like kids clothes, baby clothes are barely used by their previous owner and parents always need a ton of them. Once again, $1 per item is a good price to keep your sales rising. Items such as socks, bibs and hats should be in the 50-cent range.
  • SHOES — Pairs of shoes are another difficult item to sell at a yard sale. Who wants to wear a used shoe, after all? For brand name shoes and “hardly worn” shoes, we suggest a price between $1 and $5 per pair.
  • JACKETS AND COATS — Outer garments can vary wildly in their price. Leather coats should be priced fairly high — $30 or so. Same goes for “special material” winter, skiiing and hiking coats — the kind that offer special thermal protections. More common types of coats — your typical winter coat or denim jacket — can go for prices between $3 and $15. Yeah, we aren’t being too specific here, but pricing a jacket is tough.

Beyond prices there are a few things about displaying your clothes that you should consider:

BLOG: Having a yard sale? Use this checklist

  • BEST DISPLAY — The absolute best way to sell clothes is to have them all hanging on a hanger and on a portable rack of some kind. This lets people sort through them quickly, find matching pieces and keeps the mess you have to clean up to a minimum.
  • O.K. DISPLAY — If you can’t hang the items, fold them and neatly space them out on a table. Allow people to see the colors and be sure to fold them to display name-brands and graphics as best as you can.
  • WORST DISPLAY — The worst way to sell clothes at a yard sale is to leave them in a box or tub and expect people paw through them on their own. This means people will miss parts of matching outfits, just one person looking through them will leave a huge mess and your sales will suffer.