Organizing and running a successful yard sale can be a challenge if you’re not organized and don’t prepare well in advance. There is so much that goes into planning for a perfect sale, and yet, some worries too, like rain. But rain aside, one of the most important things you can do when planning and preparing for your garage sale is signage, and lots of them. Signs can be placed just about anywhere prior to a sale, and great signs will yield more traffic. So what goes into the making of great yard sale signs?
We asked a few “garage sale guru’s” as well as people who’ve recently had a successful sale who relied more on physical signage around their neighborhood than online advertising. We asked them, what works?
Here’s what they had to say:
Add a Coupon Offer!
Gari Weilbacher is a Personal Life Coach specializing in clearing clutter and organizing for her clients. She says when she conducts a yard sale, she get’s “way more people visiting and buying.” Her secret? Gari creates “tear off tabs” on her signs, which have her address and a coupon for $1 off any purchase at her yard sale. “People love handing me over their coupon and always do so with a giggle,” says Gari. “That’s always a bargain people get happy about.”
Bring Signs to Life!
Who doesn’t love funky stick figures? Angil Tarach-Ritchey, Author and Eldercare Expert says her successful yard sale signage including posting stick figures of ladies on the corners of intersections, pointing in the direction of her sale. “I made the stick figures like a cross, with one side of the horizontal board longer from the vertical board and put a dress and hat on it.” The longer horizontal board was used as the arm, pointing towards my house, and the shorter side of the horizontal board was used to tack on the ‘Yard Sale’ sign announcement.” “People were intrigued by the signs, which definitely yielded a great turnout!”
The Bigger The Better!
Lisa Vachna is a Realtor for Weichert in Melbourne, Florida, so naturally signs are an integral part for generating business for her. Lisa resides in a cul-de-sac so drive-by traffic is limited to the residents coming and going and neighborhood kids having fun in the street. Her successful garage sale consist of 99% signs and one on-line classified ad the night before the sale, and her most recent yard sale netted her close to $1,000 in profit. Her strategy? “Our signs are large, two-sided with large clear lettering (visible while driving) and clear directional arrows.” She says she starts at the main roads with these signs and continue with the signs with directional arrows as you work closer to the sale. “You can’t go too far between signs or people might give up, buf it all your signs have the same look it helps them on track to your sale.” Checking up on the signs is important too, says Lisa. “I also send someone out to check the signs periodically. They sometimes disappear, get knocked over or a competing sale piggybacks on your signs.” One last thing Lisa advises (which we always recommend) is to remove your signs when you end the sale.
When You Move Often, Stick with what Works!
Debi Goldben is a Health and Wellness expert, and having moved numerous times in the past quarter century due to family job demands, she’s become an expert in running the family yard sales. “Signage is of the utmost importance,” says Debi. “I try to put a sign at every entrance to the subdivision I live on, as well as on the main streets of the subdivision.” “I also put signs in the yard early in the week and put posters on bulletin boards.” The wording is integral, and when gearing up for her moving sale, she writes in bold “Moving Sale, 1 Day Only, 9AM – 3PM, All Must Go, Come Make Offers.” Debi says by making it a 1 day, limited hour event, people are lined up and ready to get the best deals.
Another strategy Debi employs is to price nothing. She feels you can actually make more money by simply telling the yard sale customers “everything has to go, make me an offer,” and “the bigger the pile, the better the deal.” Yep, bundling is one of my favorite things to do too!
The Power of Attraction
Amy is an avid yard sale shopper and seller. As the founder of Trashfinds.com, she brings a lot of experience to the table. Here’s what she says works from a professional yard sale shopper’s perspective: “Its extremely important to keep signs simple & to the point. Clear, legible, easy to read and an arrow in the correct direction. Unless your town has some special mandate, avoid the pre-made signs you can buy at the store with the space at the bottom to fill in your info. I go by a ‘35mph rule,’ that someone driving at 35mph can read all the relevant info to get to my sale! If I’m posting at an intersection a mile or two away, I just put the street name, date, time, and an arrow pointing in the direction w/how far.” “Putting a distance reference is helpful, because once someone reaches it, they;ll know where to keep an eye out. Additionally, its very helpful if all your signs have the same look, especially if you’re posting at a few places, or you have an out of the way place & need to direct people via your signs.”
When it’s time for Amy to do a garage sale at her home, she says the following signage brings in good traffic: “At the end of my street, my signs will have my house number, BUT, we also always park our cars out front along the street (with a sign on the windshield & back bumper of course!) it kind of alerts other people heading down that something’s happening!”
Check out some of Amy’s cool signs and finds on her site, Trashfinds.com