Learning to Price Vaguely

If all of your items are sorted and you're getting ready to start putting prices on your secondhand merchandise, you may want to consider not placing exact prices on some or even all of what you plan to sell. Instead of placing a sticker that says "$1" on that shirt, why not put "around $1" or some other ambiguous amount? Pricing vaguely may seem like a strange practice, but there are actually some reasons this could work to your advantage. (Alternatively, you can put prices on your items and put up a sign that says, "All prices are approximate.")

An empty price tag.

Vague prices seem more flexible to shoppers. Even though you may be willing to negotiate every single price you put on your items, if the price has a built-in flexibility, shoppers may be more inclined to come haggle with you over the five shirts they want to buy. It makes you seem very open to haggling and negotiations, and will encourage even the meekest of customers to give price-lowering a solid attempt.

Vague prices make it easier for you to strike collective bargains. Some savvy customers will approach you with a handful of things they're interested in buying and offer you a single price for the whole lot, often significantly lower than what they would pay if they let you add them up. If you put vague prices, you are already in the mindset of moving lower on the prices of the items you don't really care about, so you can glance at the collective price and offer them a good deal.

You have less work to do with vague pricing. If you honestly don't really care how much your individual ornaments sell for, pricing can be a very easy process. You can slap the approximate prices on whole lots of items, and then deal with the bargaining as it comes to you. You don't even have to put individual stickers on your things -- you can place them in boxes or other containers and put a group price on the outside.

There are some disadvantages to vague pricing, of course, so be aware of them:

  • You won't get as much for your loot overall.

  • Shoppers will be more aggressive with their haggling, and may not settle for your price as easily as they would if they thought the cost was firmer.

  • You may end up selling items for much less than they're worth because you lumped them together with less valuable ones.

Need a free place to list your garage sale? Try our home page, GarageSaleCow.com!




Comments (11) -

Laura Ball
Laura Ball
2/15/2013 9:34:19 PM #

You may be at a disadvantage if you always have these vague prices. You need to learn to package things together and give them a reasonable price to have faster and easier deals. You just start giving them a high price until you reach and agree on a lower price.

Kimberly Harris
Kimberly Harris
2/15/2013 9:39:32 PM #

This is vey ideal if your just by yourself and you don't have much manpower to work with. But if you do, you should take time to price each item such that it would attract anyone who'll pass by and definitely have them to take a second look. Pricing it too high would mean less sales so you could just lower down your price a bit but have more sales in return. Depending on your buyers, you should adjust your price according to what the situation gives you.

Dorothy Wall
Dorothy Wall
2/15/2013 9:44:12 PM #

I'll apply this pricing strategy in one of my events soon. Never thought of this before though, I was always giving strict and fixed prices to my products so it seems that they're just visiting another department store instead of having fun to browse throught things with only a small budget.

Gregory Snyder
Gregory Snyder
2/22/2013 3:09:11 PM #

Garage sales are a great way to get rid of your clutter and a good way to make some money along the way. Putting a price on your items could be a confusing task if your not sure how much is that item worth. To keep it safe, have an estimate range of the value of the item and when a costumer approaches, they can easily bargain and see if it's in their price range. You can group items together in one table rather than pricing each one which would consume a lot of your time. The whole idea is to get rid of things you don't want and have extra income to spend on your favorite hobby or have a family dinner.

Ralph Day
Ralph Day
2/22/2013 3:27:51 PM #

Don't spend too much time on pricing your items and calculating how much revenue would you earn. Just group similar items together and put down a general price for those kind of items like $o.99 an item to make your life easier. Besides, our goal here is not to be the richest person from hosting garage sales but to declutter our homes and earn cash.

Damon Bailey
Damon Bailey
3/5/2013 4:09:33 PM #

Being vague is a good thing when we're talking about pricing your items. If a costumer asks you the price of that item, you can set a higher price and tell him/her that because he's a friend of yours, you will lower it down. But in reality your just overplaying the quality of your product to be able to sell them immediately. It's a win-win situation because you earned some cash and your shoppers had a good deal, just that they really didn't Smile

Joe Dolhon
Joe Dolhon
3/5/2013 4:13:50 PM #

On the negative side of pricing vaguely, you could get in a lot of trouble quickly. Your costumers would always bargain because they not that it's not fixed and that if they're good in negotiating and convincing, they might just get a good deal. That would take so much of your time bargaining with each and every costumer.

You really don't have a choice when your costumers are all aggressive in bargaining. If you would accept their offer then your sales would suffer because your selling your items with lower prices. But if you reject them and stand firm about your offer, they could leave and have a negative mouth about you as being rigid and not understanding. So, what's it going to be?

Bob Doll
Bob Doll
3/5/2013 4:17:19 PM #

For me, I always look at the brighter side of things no matter how unfortunate events are in my life. I see pricing vaguely in its positive aspect like you'll save time appraising and pricing each item. You can just have a range or an estimate to the prices of your items. You could then adjust those prices depending on the person, if you know him or not or are you two close with each other. Just think positive guys....

Steve Downing
Steve Downing
3/5/2013 4:22:16 PM #

This concept about pricing vaguely and its success is mainly determined by your own goals. If you're looking just to get rid of clutter and clean your house a bit then pricing vaguely is best for you. Your items will be sold faster than you can ever think of. It attracts buyers with tight budgets because they know they can still make a way to lower the price a bit. On the other hand, if your goal is to earn money then it's not that recommended to price vaguely. You want to have the exact amount and have a specific profit to meet your quota. You can't just estimate items and hope that your price is enough. You can price items too cheap or too expensive when you're rushing to price your items....

Walter Dukes
Walter Dukes
3/5/2013 4:26:31 PM #

It's funny, when I woke up this morning, my kid was trying to wake me up to watch her favorite show - BARNEY. And she doesn't take NO for an answer. It's like her routine before she goes to school everyday. It's funny because I think my daughter is better than me when it comes to negotiating and getting what you want. I just have no choice but to follow her wish and wants because of her convincing skills, which she got from none other than her bright FATHER :p

Craig Dykema
Craig Dykema
3/5/2013 4:31:19 PM #

As a shopper in a garage sale, I favor those hosts who price vaguely. It just seems, for me, so appealing and enticing to buy from them. You can see that you can collect three items and because of the vague prices, you can take them and have a package deal which is also cheaper. You have your freedom to bargain and negotiate on an item compared to when the price is fixed and so is the host. Take advantage of garage sales which prices their items vaguely.

Post a Comment


  • Comment
  • Preview
Loading