A lot of work goes into planning a garage sale. Cleaning out the garage alone can be daunting, and that’s before you start researching pricing on items, borrowing and setting up folding tables, and cleaning and arranging all of your well-used stuff to look new. To ensure everything runs smoothly and you have a successful day, there are some things to keep in mind when planning and promoting a sale. Garage sales can be very exciting and rewarding if you do it right. At Quality Sign Designer, we did our research and here are some helpful tips to consider when promoting and holding a garage sale.
Carefully Select the Date of the Garage Sale
Any old Saturday will do, right? Unfortunately, you have to be very selective about when to hold a garage sale. If it’s too hot or too cold outside you will not get as many shoppers. Holiday weekends are also a bad idea because many people go out of town. When deciding on the day, you should do so far enough in advance that you will have time to properly advertise it around town. Selling is all about timing, regardless if its a garage sale, or a retail shop, timing is everything. Strategically plan the right garage sale on the right day, it will pay off.
Check with your City or HOA and Obtain a Permit if Necessary
Many cities have restrictions on placement of signage, how long they can be hung, and hours of operation. It is better to do your research and pay the $5-$20 for a permit than risk losing more money than you made when the city decides to level some fines at you. Contact your local city offices to determine if your city requires one. You don’t want your garage sell to cost you money because of city ordinance fines. Do your homework and your research it will pay off.
Post an Ad on Craigslist
One way to advertise for your garage sale is to post it on Craigslist. While it is free advertising, only those actively searching for garage sales will see it. You might save money up front with free advertising, but you are at risk for a smaller turnout and less overall profit if this is your only method of advertising. Craigslist ads are simple, free, and they don’t take as much time and might draw in a few more visitors to your garage sale. Just something to consider!
Place an Ad in the Newspaper
As opposed to Craigslist, only those who live in your area will see your newspaper ad. If you’re thinking about taking this route, spend a few extra dollars and make it large enough to list your most desirable items and general merchandise types to catch some extra attention. Don’t forget to go online and post to your newspaper’s classified section on their website as well.
Place an Ad in Work/Church/Store Bulletin Board
Posting on bulletin boards is a good way to spread the word to the locals. Make it eye-catching so it stands out from the others. You may even consider having these smaller signs made professionally. Make sure your church leaders are okay with you marketing for your garage sale. Most will appreciate it because they know it will help those families that may be struggling at your church. Garage Sales aren’t known to make people rich so this is a very common practice with many faiths.
Invest in Yard Signs
There is no better way to advertise for a garage sale then by hanging up signs around town. Neighbors are the most likely to shop at your sale, and physical signs can quickly and easily inform passerbys. Your signs will need to be durable enough to last at least three to four days and be very clear and distinct. We have all seen many hard-to-read signs on street poles and stop signs. When designing your own, keep these things in mind:
- Use neon-colored poster board. Yard sale signs with a white background aren’t as noticeable.
- Use thick, black, block letters. Letters a single marker-width aren’t thick enough to read from a moving car.
- To bring the most shoppers from main roads, use a full-size poster board (typically 22 x 28).
There is a lot of responsibility that falls on your shoulders when planning a garage sale, however, this is a task you can hand off to someone else to take care of for you.
Banners can really differentiate your garage sale from others and make it impossible for people to drive by without stopping. Create a bright, spunky atmosphere with balloons on your mailbox, covering mismatched tables with cheap tablecloths, and a fun banner. Going the extra mile and making it look appealing can be the difference between those who just drive by slowly and those who will stop and look at what you have. The more you can call attention to your yard sale the better.
Take Signage Down
No one wants to see their city street poles littered with six-month-old garage sale signs. Not only is it common courtesy to take signs down as soon as your sale is over, but did you know you could also be fined if you leave it up too long? It is a big enough problem that some cities are making and enforcing ordinances that restrict how long you can leave signs up. Be a good member of your community and take those signs down right after closing.
Don’t let your garage sale create contention between you and your neighbors. Be sure to let your neighbors know that you will be having a sale and that there will be heavy traffic and parking on your street. Neighbors appreciate it, and it shows respect.
Selling or buying, everyone loves a good garage sale. They may take a lot of effort, but can be well worth it in the end by getting rid of older items and making a good profit. Make it easy on yourself by planning ahead, advertising well, and being courteous to your community.