If shoppers can't find your yard sale, it won't matter how much merchandise you're offering, or for how little. If you skip yard sale advertising, all those hours of sorting, organizing, and pricing go to waste. You must advertise your yard sale. Here's how:
Your Local Newspaper
Put an ad in the classified section of your local newspaper, still the most widely used by shoppers.
- Include the dates, starting time, address, and a short list of the merchandise you have for sale. Don't skip the list to save money. Hardcore bargain hunters read these and prioritize their route based on what you have for sale. You don't want your sale to be the last one on their route; they'll be tired, low on money, and expect bigger discounts.
- If your sale is Saturday only, go ahead and run the ad on Friday too. Shoppers sometimes plan their route in advance.
- If inclusion in the newspaper's online listings isn't automatic, pay the difference and list your sale online. Many shoppers view the online listings exclusively.
Craigslist use is booming. There is a section just for garage sale listings. Follow the first two newspaper suggestions above, for the same reasons, when you place your listing.
Another bonus to listing on Craigslist is that your yard sale will be mapped automatically for shoppers using Yard Sale Treasure Map.
Garage Sale Signs
Do not skip garage sale signs. This is the only advertisement some shoppers will ever see.
- Use poster board in neon colors. Buy the small sheets, or cut the large ones into quarters if you wish.
- Use a blacker marker on the poster board. Or, make the signs on your computer and paste to the poster board, leaving plenty of neon boarder visible around the edges.
- On the top of each sign, write the words garage sale or yard sale, whichever is more commonly used in your area. Under that, write your street address. At the bottom, you need an arrow pointing to the sale, showing shoppers when to turn and where. Don't put any other information on your signs.
- If you are printing your signs and pasting them to the poster board, use the largest, thickest type size that will fit on your sign. Bold everything. If you are using a marker, draw thick letters and a thick arrow, and color them in with your marker. A single width of even the thickest marker is impossible to read from a moving car.
- Use tape to hang your signs from utility poles and stop signs, unless your city prohibits it. Hang them at busy intersections leading into your neighborhood. Within your neighborhood, lead shoppers to your sale by placing signs at every turn. If attaching signs to utility poles and stop signs is prohibited, attach your signs to wooden or metal stakes, and drive them into the ground at those locations.
- Remove your signs after the sale ends.
Online Yard Sale Directories
While not popular enough to use these exclusively, many offer free listings. Google for more, and for sites specific to your area, but here are a few:
Don't rely solely on community calendars, but if inclusion is free and you can easily submit your listing online, it certainly can't hurt.