It’s Yard Sale season again – Yay! My favorite time of year. I love going out early on Saturday mornings and visiting local yard sales. It’s interesting, fun, the homeowners are always friendly, and you never know what treasure you’re going to find.
During my many trips around town hunting for yard sales and as an experience yard sale host myself, I’ve seen the mistakes others have made and learned exactly how to successfully advertise a yard sale.
When it’s time to clear out the clutter or sell the items you’ve repurposed, it may be time to have a yard sale, garage sale, or tag sale. They have many different names, but a single purpose… to SELL our items.
There are some very effective steps you can take to increase the amount of traffic you drive to your sale. They key is in the advertising! Following are some tips to help you successfully advertise your yard sale.
POST AN ADVERTISEMENT ON CRAIGSLIST
Two days prior to your yard sale, post a free advertisement announcing your yard sale on www.CraigsList.org. If your yard sale is on a Saturday, you’ll need to post your ad on Thursday so that it shows up on CraigsList on Friday.
To post an ad on CraigsList, log on to the CraigList in your area. If you live near Boston, Massachusetts, log on to www. boston.craigslist.org. Under For Sale, choose Garage Sale. Click post… for sale by owner… garage & moving sales. Choose the area where your city/town is located. Then type up your ad. Your ad should include:
- Your Email – It’s important to include your email address so people can contact your with questions. For safety purposes, check the box titled CL mail relay. This means that your email is filtered and goes through a CraigsList relay system. Your email will show up as a CL address, rather than your own.
- Posting Title – For example, “Huge Multi-Family Yard Sale Saturday Oct 2nd 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM.”
- Specific Location – In this box, include both your city/town and state. This guarantees your listing shows up when a reader searches by city/town.
- Postal Code – Listing your zip code also ensures that all searches for yard sales in your area show up in search results.
- Posting Body – Write up a description of the items you have for sale, the date & time of your sale, and the location of your sale. Be sure to list any large and unique items.
- Garage Sale Dates
- Street, Cross Street & City – Completing these fields means a Google map will automatically show up on your listing page, making it easy for people to find your sale.
- Photos – Include photos of the larger and most unique items you have for sale.
Once your online advertisement is posted, it’s now time to make some printed signs to hang up around your neighborhood.
HANG LOTS OF LARGE, PRINTED SIGNS
One of the cheapest ways to advertise for a yard sale is to post signs around your neighborhood. A few pieces of poster board, thick-point markers, a hammer, and nails and… presto!… you have printed ads. However, there’s a right way and some very wrong ways to post yard sale signs that can dramatically affect the amount of traffic you drive to your sale. Let’s review.
USE LARGE, CLEARLY-PRINTED LETTERING
Much of your yard sale traffic will come from people who see your signs and make a last minute decision to follow them to your sale. Signs have to be legible by people driving by in a car so be sure to print clearly and use large, bold lettering.
INCLUDE DETAILS & ARROWS
Your sign should include the important details. For example, “Yard Sale. Saturday Oct 2nd. 8:00 – 2:00. 5 OAK CIRCLE”. If your street is not on a main road or just off one, include brief directions. As you can see in the sign above, “Maple St to Lillian St to Sunset St”. Then draw an arrow pointing in the direction of your sale. Don’t assume people know where your street is located.
USE THE SAME COLORFUL POSTER BOARD
Make your signs a roadmap in themselves by using the same color poster board for all of signs. Although missing some important details, this seller actually did a great job posting several signs that worked as a road map leading drivers to the yard sale. Although missing the street address, the seller did use the same color poster board, included arrows, and posted the identical signs at each street corner.
POSTS YOUR SIGNS AT SEVERAL LOCATIONS
Signs should be not only be posted at each end of your street, also post them on each major street leading to your street. Intersections, at Stop signs, and traffic lights where cars will typically stop and have a few seconds to read your sign are best. Then post signs leading from these along the way to your sale, creating a colorful, easy-to-follow map for the drivers.
POST MORE THAN ONE SIGN AT AN INTERSECTION
This was one sign I drove by that had all of the pertinent information. The sellers did the right thing and posted it at a stop light on a main cross-street near their house. The problem is that you can only see the sign coming from one direction. Remember to post multiple signs facing so that cars can see them coming from both directions.
USE A HAMMER & NAILS
Duct tape does not stick to telephone poles and street signs for very long. So often I see Yard Sale signs hanging from poles or laying on the ground, making them illegible. Instead, use long 2 to 4-inch nails with large heads that will hold the sign in place.
HANG UP YOUR SIGNS EARLY
If you can hang your signs up two or three days prior to your sale that’ best. If some of your neighbors see your signs, they may actually decide to join in and make it a multi-family sale on your street. Buyers love this because it means more stuff in a single location!
At a minimum, get out and hang your signs at least the night before your sale because the true diehard shoppers will be pulling up by 8:00 AM!
REMOVE YOUR SIGNS AFTER THE SALE
Cities & towns don’t require special permits to display yard sale signs, but they do ask that you remove the signs within a day or two after your sale.
Following these guidelines will increase the amount of traffic at your Yard Sale.