With the recession, many are entering the garage sale market for the first time or re-entering it as a way to raise cash. For buyers and sellers new to garage sales, here are tips. McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers
What to know if you're selling
Price low. That should be the goal if you want to get rid of stuff. Visit thrift stores for pricing guidelines.
Heed the signs. Keep signs on every other block and every corner where a turn is required in the city (a half-mile apart along longer stretches in the suburbs). Make sure the address and sale dates are large and easily readable. Add balloons to attract the eye.
Sell with others. Doing it alone is too much work.
Sell to early birds. But charge extra, say a $10 "tax" for a purchase. Keep it short. Make the sale one or two, but not three, days.
Promote yourself. Advertise as much as you can in the newspaper and on Craigslist, Facebook and bulletin boards.
Cut prices. Advertise that on the last day or last afternoon, everything is half-price.
Offer details. Be specific about items in an ad, such as a leaf blower, musical instruments or furniture.
Be friendly. Greet everyone who comes to the sale.
Group small items. And sell everything for $1 or more to eliminate coins.
Plan ahead. Take the spring and summer to collect, price and box items to sell in the fall.
Choose the best hours. That's 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. to noon Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Donate leftovers. Call ahead to have charities pick up what's unsold.
What to know if you're buying
Don't bring your purse. Leave it in the trunk. Keep quarters, ones and fives in a pants pocket or jacket.
Cruise around. Check higher-end neighborhoods for better quality goods, but haggle if prices are too high.
Shop later. Browse in the late afternoon or on the last day for the best bargains. Any offer is fair near closing time.
Play it safe. Skip cribs, mattresses, car seats and hockey helmets due to possible safety concerns.
Set limits. If you're concerned about overbuying, commit to limits on spending or the number of items.
Leave your card. Ask to be called if an item remains unsold and the seller is willing to accept your price.
Garage sale pricing guidelines
• Dishes (setting for four), $5 to $15
• Gadgets, about 50 cents
• Microwave ovens (functional), one-fourth of the cost
• Pots and pans, 50 cents to $3
• Glasses and china, 25 cents to $1
Toys and games
• Action figures, 25 cents to $1.50
• Fisher-Price toys, electronic toys and video games, 25 percent of the cost
• Complete board games or puzzles, $1 to $3
• Stuffed animals, 25 cents to $10.
• Tricycles, $3 to $10
• Analog TV sets, free
• VCRs, free to $5
• Radios, $1 to $4
• Paperbacks, 50 cents to $1
• Hardcover books, $1 to $2
• Kids' books, 25 cents to $1
• LPs, 50 cents to $1
• CDs, $2 to $5
• Videos/DVDs, $1 to $5
• Jackets, 50 cents to $2
• Outfits (two-piece), $2 to $5
• Pants and overalls, $1 to $2
• Shirts, 50 cents to $2
• Power tools, 25 to 30 percent of the cost
• Sporting goods, 20 to 30 percent of the cost
• Bicycles, 25 percent of the cost
• Men's suits, $5 to $25