Advertising a Garage Sale

by April Reinhardt
(last updated May 10, 2013)

So you've decided to clean out your basement, garage, and home of surplus stuff. Usually you donate your clothes and items, but this time you decide to make a little extra money and sell it. Early Saturday morning you arrange all of your priced items on tables in your driveway, plant a sign in the front yard advertising your garage sale, and wait for throngs of buyers. Disgruntled at days' end because only a handful of people visit your sale, you bag the items and arrange for the Vietnam Veterans to pick it up the follow week.

What went wrong? You didn't advertise your garage sale. Any successful garage sale begins with sufficient advertising. The rule of thumb is, "You can never advertise a garage sale too much." The good news is that there are myriad ways to advertise, and some are free. Use all sources to advertise your garage sale, and yours will be a huge success. Here are several ways to advertise your next garage sale:

  • Flyers. Print flyers listing the location, time, dates, and some of the large-draw items you are selling. Use large print in bold letters, with as few words as possible when making your flyers. Never list a phone number. Post your flyers on bulletin boards in grocery stores, post offices, libraries, and Laundromats. If your garage sale starts on Saturday, post your flyers on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
  • Signs. Use large neon-colored posters with bold lettering to list location, time, and dates. Post the signs on telephone poles in your neighborhood, with arrows indicating which way to turn to find your home. Place signs every half-mile or so. Make sure the lettering of your signs is at least three inches high and one-half inch thick so that passing cars can read the words. If your garage sale is on Saturday, post your signs Friday morning.
  • Online ads. You can place free online ads with Craigslist. Most community newspapers have an online version and allow free garage sale advertising. If your garage sale is on Saturday, post your online ads on Thursday.
  • Print ads. Some newspaper print editions allow free ads for garage sales. Check with the newspaper regarding deadlines and days the ads will appear. If your community paper is delivered once a week, make sure you meet the deadline.
  • Yard advertising. Place large neon-colored signs in your yard the day of the garage sale. Affix balloons to your mailbox. Play upbeat music through loud speakers (if allowed). Have one of your older kids wear a sandwich billboard and walk up and down the street.

Keep track of where you place flyers and signs and make sure that you remove them once your sale is finished. Always check with your homeowner's association concerning rules for having a garage sale and placement of signs, and remove your ads from Craigslist when your sale is finished.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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