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Thread: How to price fabric for garage sale?

  1. #1
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    I've not bought nor sold fabric at a garage sale before. I'm having a garage sale this weekend and would like to include some fabric. I don't have much - most pieces are 1/8yd up to 1yd. Some are closer to 2yds. Nearly all of those have been cut into and are leftovers from other projects or have been handed down to me by someone else. I also have a couple of pieces around 5-7yds. that have never been cut into. And I have one panel that looks like a map of the world. All have been prewashed.

    Is it best to bag the small pieces and sell as a scrap bag? Clear plastic bag that's sealed to keep the fabric clean, or just a paper bag that people can rummage through? Should I lump everything together regardless of size? Keep everything separate and sell by weight using a kitchen scale?

    What is common practice? What would appeal to you as a buyer or what has been successful for you as a seller?

  2. #2
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    I think in plastic bags. People could drop it. Have dirty hands. You could separate it, but Keep all small pieces together as scrap. Or put all together for one price. Just feel it out and see what people want. Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    Use the plastic bags so they can see the fabric without handling it. If you don't know that is quilt shop quality, & for just scraps price lower.

  4. #4
    Power Poster dreamer2009's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sew cornie
    I've not bought nor sold fabric at a garage sale before. I'm having a garage sale this weekend and would like to include some fabric. I don't have much - most pieces are 1/8yd up to 1yd. Some are closer to 2yds. Nearly all of those have been cut into and are leftovers from other projects or have been handed down to me by someone else. I also have a couple of pieces around 5-7yds. that have never been cut into. And I have one panel that looks like a map of the world. All have been prewashed.

    Is it best to bag the small pieces and sell as a scrap bag? Clear plastic bag that's sealed to keep the fabric clean, or just a paper bag that people can rummage through? Should I lump everything together regardless of size? Keep everything separate and sell by weight using a kitchen scale?

    What is common practice? What would appeal to you as a buyer or what has been successful for you as a seller?
    one of the best sales I have gone to was done by scale weight.
    the lady sold out of over 50 cases of fabric by noon.
    I would do that for the smaller stuff but price full yardage according to what you want for it.
    if you are going to use bags use which ever is cheapest
    in other words don't throw money away
    to bag the product.
    where in Oregon are you ?

  5. #5
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Pin a piece of paper with the yardage to the larger pieces. Quilters can use any size. Somebody who sews clothing may find enough for a blouse or a child's outfit.

  6. #6
    Super Member Furza Flyin's Avatar
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    Yes, Us in Oregon would love to know where you live. If you are close we could come and help make sure the right people bought your fabric. :) Do you have any Snoopy fabric or turtle fabric?

  7. #7
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    or you could sell it on the QB and you know it would go to good homes!!

  8. #8
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    Depends on how badly you want it gone.

    And how much people around you have been pricing things.

    I think it would be better if you put the scrappy stuff in clear plastic bags and made it a "take it all" deal.

    I went to one garage sale where the sellers STAPLED the price tags to the items.

    You might get more for your stuff if you sold it on the QB.

  9. #9
    Senior Member annyroony2's Avatar
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    You don't have to sell it, you could just send it to me. LOL

  10. #10
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    My experience is that unless it is fabric from an actual quilt store, it won't sell priced more than $1 a yard. Some exceptions for specialty fabric.

    Occasionally, a quilter purges fabric around here and usually prices it at $2 a yard (quilt shop fabric) and it goes. Be strict. If they try to bargain you down on the quilt shop fabric, just say no. Someone else will come along knowing what a bargain $2 a yard is.

    I personally have found that non-quiltshop Christmas fabric is the hardest to sell at a garage sale. I don't know why - I've never been able to sell any, even at 50 cents a yard. However, if you have a LOT of fabric, be sure to list your sale on Craigslist and include photos of fabrics laid out. You will get a lot more fabric buying customers showing up.

  11. #11
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    I appreciate everyone's advice. I took another look through it and think I may make up a few small bundles based on type - ie. juvenile, seasonal, general. Those would all be the smaller pieces. I'll label the bigger pieces separately. Whatever doesn't sell, then I can post it in the Classifieds here on the Board. Thanks for all the help!

    And for those who asked, I'm in Beaverton.

  12. #12
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    Wish I lived in your area. I love garage sales.

  13. #13
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furza Flyin
    Yes, Us in Oregon would love to know where you live. If you are close we could come and help make sure the right people bought your fabric. :) Do you have any Snoopy fabric or turtle fabric?
    I have a small piece of Snoopy fabric. It's on a light blue background with Snoopy playing soccer. Maybe a 1/2 yd. No turtles.

  14. #14
    Super Member Furza Flyin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sew cornie
    Quote Originally Posted by Furza Flyin
    Yes, Us in Oregon would love to know where you live. If you are close we could come and help make sure the right people bought your fabric. :) Do you have any Snoopy fabric or turtle fabric?
    I have a small piece of Snoopy fabric. It's on a light blue background with Snoopy playing soccer. Maybe a 1/2 yd. No turtles.
    Sweet...I am sending you a pm...Thanks

  15. #15
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    Hi, not to hijack this thread, but I have the same issue. My mother died a while ago and was a quilter. We have several (7 or 8) large plastic totes of quality quilting fabric (some with the tags still on) that she bought at a local fabric shop (she would never have shopped at a JoAnn's or a chain store like that). I took what I wanted, but need to sell the rest. The idea of measuring out all of that seems overwhelming. Should I sort it by color? By theme (baby, animal, nature...) How should I price it? I sorted the scrappy bits (anything under a yard) and gave those away for free. Any help would be appreciated. And if anyone's curious, I'm in western Massachusetts. Any guidelines would be helpful.

  16. #16
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    I went to one very organized fabric sale. All the fabric was neatly folded in boxes so that you could see the fold, and get an idea for size and color. Empty boxes were nearby to put fabric that a shopper pulled out and decided not to buy. The sellers could then replace the fabric neatly in a box. Smaller pieces were folded similar to fat quarters, and displayed in smaller boxes. Sorry, I can't remember how small scraps were handled. Everything was sold by weight.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Quiltah Mama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon D View Post
    Hi, not to hijack this thread, but I have the same issue. My mother died a while ago and was a quilter. We have several (7 or 8) large plastic totes of quality quilting fabric (some with the tags still on) that she bought at a local fabric shop (she would never have shopped at a JoAnn's or a chain store like that). I took what I wanted, but need to sell the rest. The idea of measuring out all of that seems overwhelming. Should I sort it by color? By theme (baby, animal, nature...) How should I price it? I sorted the scrappy bits (anything under a yard) and gave those away for free. Any help would be appreciated. And if anyone's curious, I'm in western Massachusetts. Any guidelines would be helpful.
    I had an opportunity a few years ago, I bought a sewing machine off Craigslist (my first Janome actually) and while talkiing with the woman, she shared with me, she had a storage unit full of the rest of the sewing stuff. It was her mom's sewing machine on Craigslist. I offered to buy the whole unit, sight unseen. The deal worked out and my quilting neighbor and I split the cost and sorted everything, taking what we wanted, donating what we didn't want to a worthy cause. The family was thrilled to sell it as one unit, no hassle of a yard sale, Craigslist or even sorting or measuring. And my neighbor and I were thrilled.
    To many quilts, not enough wine.

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  18. #18
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    Sharon, I have had great success selling on this Board (in the Items for Sale or Trade forum, which has qualification guidelines). My suggestion would be to sell by the large, flat rate priority box full. If it were me, I'd make each box a theme since you have so much.

    1. Juvenile/baby
    2. Brights and Bolds
    3. Fall colors
    4. Holiday
    5. Batiks
    6. Masculine
    7. Mixed

    Make a stack going to each box and take a picture of the fabrics laid out so people can see what you have. Label the stack in your photo for easy ID (Box 1, Box 2, etc). No measuring involved--just a full box. If you want it go fast, I'd say $40 tops, including shipping. People could PM you with the box number(s) they want. Some people like to do Paypal, others personal check. That's up to you.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 02-27-2019 at 03:18 AM. Reason: correct forum info

  19. #19
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    I knew a family of four sisters who all quilted. Two of the sisters passed away within a year of each other. The two remaining sisters kept the fabric and quilting notions that they wanted. The rest was sold at a yard sale. I can't tell you all the quilters who were at the yard sale that day. I bought a lot. These quilters only bought good fabric and were wonderful quilters. Every time I look at the fabric that I purchased, I think of them and how much fun we had together. If you "get the word out" about a yard sale, quilters will come from miles away.

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