That’s what everybody wants to do when having a garage sale: to clean house, get rid of old crap, SELL SELL SELL!
And if you can make a couple of grand in the process, that’s the ultimate goal (so you can buy more stuff to fill up the house).
I generally have a garage sale every 2-3 years (if I haven’t touched an item for over 2 years, it’s GONE!)
Minimize – Declutter!
Get rid of all that jewelry you’re not wearing.
Now most of the jewelry that gets sold at garage sales or yard sales, is going to be the cheaper stuff, no doubt; Costume jewelry, silver pieces, the inexpensive rinky-dink items that can easily accumulate in the bottom of your jewelry case. Old fads, Pandora charms, Turquoise, earring drops, stretchy bracelets, your Grandfather’s Timex watch…
You may be able to sell expensive items as well (like gold or diamonds), but don’t count on it. People like to shop cheap at sales and always come with $5. Bigger, more costly goods are probably better off for Craig’s List or eBay (see my post here about Selling Jewelry on eBay).
So if you’re ditching some bracelets, watches, earrings, rings and things, you’ll want to do this first:
1) Clean the Jewelry
Get a polishing cloth or a jewelry cleaner and go to town. Remove any dirt or debris from the item, because no one wants to look at, touch, or buy a dirty piece. If it’s clean, it’ll not only look better, but sell better. “Hey, look at that… The stones are sparkling!“
2) Get the Original Boxes
If you have the boxes or bags that the item originally came in, get them. It’ll make the piece look more expensive and authentic. More expensive? Yes… You can even sell the original boxes on eBay (did you know that? If not, read my post here about selling jewelry boxes on eBay!) You items may be worth more than you know.
3) Watches – Get your Box and Instructions, too!
Watches are the same way. If you’re selling a watch, grab the original box and instruction manual. Plus, if you have any extra links (say you had some removed to fit your wrist), get those. The new buyer may have a bigger wrist and need them.
Also, if the watch isn’t ticking, and needs a new battery, I’d suggest you put one in (use a watch tool kit), or have a jeweler put one in for you (they usually charge you anywhere from $8-$20 depending where you go). No one is going to buy a watch that isn’t running (because you yourself may not know if it truly is just the battery or not).
One of the biggest assets in selling jewelry, is giving people enough information about the item. Meaning, what are the gemstones? Peridot? Emerald? Green Tourmaline? Are they real Diamonds or CZ’s? Is the stone lab-created? Faux? You don’t want to leave people guessing.
Likewise with the metals. What is it? Gold, 10k, 14k, Silver? Platinum? Steel? List it! The more info you can give a potential buyer, the better.
Do you know the carat weights? Look at the original receipt or appraisal (and if you truly want to know, see if a local jewelry store can help you out getting the basics).
Plus, if you know other things like the ring size, bracelet or chain length, note it.
Are they genuine cultured pearls? Freshwater? Fake??? How’s anyone going to know if you don’t tell them.
5) Package it!
If you don’t have the original bags or boxes, get some. Get something… It’s cheap enough!
6) Price Tag Everything
Get some inexpensive string price tags (you don’t want to put stickers on jewelry), that allows you to write down all the info you collected (even things like a regular retail price).
7) Watch it!
Keep your valuable items like jewelry, up front and visible, where you can keep an eye on them at all times.
People like to steal these little sparkly treasures and trinkets in a heartbeat (another reason to only sell the cheaper goods). Jewelry is so easy to palm, hide, slip it on, and walk right out…
Put them up on the cashier table if needed. That way you can also chit-chat with people about the items and where they came from.
8) And the Price?
Setting a price for the items is up to you. Whatever you think is appropriate, go for it. Just know that everyone will say “Will you take $2 for this?” HA! Be prepared to part with less than expected… That’s the life of a garage sale.
Hopefully you’ll part with some old bling, cufflinks, lapel pins, brooches (even just earring backs or lobster clasps)… and be able to buy some new shiny things.
Happy Garage Saling