how to have a successful garage sale strategy


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6 Garage Sale Sign Secrets That Can Increase Your Sales 150%

There are at least six secrets to making effective garage sale signs that will ensure that you get plenty of customers running to your sale!

Most garage sale signs are very poorly constructed, poorly written and lacking the proven techniques that can guarantee qualified customers.

On any given Saturday or Sunday you can drive through your neighborhood and see many of these poorly written and constructed signs tacked on telephone poles, trees, walls and on other objects.

If these signs aren't motivating you to take a second look, how many other people do you think are motivated to visit the sales that are being advertised? Not many! It really only takes a reasonable effort to make a good garage sale sign.

Even if you feel you don't have the creative juices, there are garage sale graphics and garage sale clipart that you can find a local craft stores or even on the Internet.

A simple graphic can draw enough attention to your sign and give your customers confidence that your sale is worth visiting. When you put a little effort into a nice garage sale sign it makes customers believe they may find something of quality.

The following are at least 6 secrets to making garage sale signs that draw customers.


The appearance of your garage sale signs are usually the first obstacle to prevent customers from ever visiting your location. Your signs should have an attractive color, be an appropriate size and be posted where it can be easily seen.

While many colors are used, usually red or a florescent colored sign attracts the eye easily. Or you can use red magic marker on white signboard.

Make sure that you write boldly enough so that cars driving by can actually read your words. If people cannot read your signs as they drive by, they will not visit your location.

Secondly; if your graphics are very hard to read or messy, your going to lose customers. When your customers see your signs, it is the first decision that they make to determine whether your garage sale is worth visiting.

Also make sure that your yard sale signs are large enough to be seen. The faster the flow of traffic and the larger the, the more important it is to have "attention-getting" signs. Make your signs large enough to grab attention. But make sure you are not obstructing the view of traffic.

Also make sure you comply with your city ordinance or city laws pertaining to the display of yard sale signs.

Many signs are not posted where they can easily be seen. Or they may not be posted in a place that will actually cause traffic to detour to your sale. Just because you have a very busy street several blocks from your yard, does not mean that the customers will come.

Also don't make the mistake of believing that an intersection is the best place to post your yard sale sign. Some intersections are very busy and drivers cannot divert their attention to your sign because of safety reasons. Sometimes it is better to place your sign 25 or 50 feet before the intersection.

The four corners closest to your yard sale is the best place to post your signs for compulsive garage sale lookers to stop. Even though there may be less traffic, the chance of cars stopping is greater because people are very enticed and motivated to do stop because it's not out of their way.

Someone who is four blocks away and sees your sign on a busy street may not be motivated to travel that far off their path. However having signs at both locations is the best.

Also post your sign at eye level where the average automobile driver can see it.


Many people will go to your yard sale if they know about it in advance. They like to get to the sale before all the good items have been sold. If you do post early, be prepared to answer the door for people who want to see your items before the date of your sale. It will be up to you to make your own policy of dealing with these customers.

You could sell the items if they come or you can tell them to come to the yard sale on the day advertised. Just make sure to make your decisions that will be fair to all customers. If you advertise something that is not at your location when a person arrives, they will ask you why. And you have to come up with a very good answer.

You can increase your visiting customers by posting your signs the day before or the night before the actual yard sale date. I always make a habit of posting my signs before the rush hour traffic the day before the sale.

However, it's not a bad idea to check your signs a couple of hours before the yard sale in case vandals or pranksters have taken them away. If that's the case, you should always have some extra signs in your car to replace them.

If you're having a really large yard sale, or a moving sale; you might even want to post your signs several days in advance.


Many yard sale signs are made of some of the most flimsy poster board and are usually blown away, fall down or become limp in the sun. Make sure you make your poster boards strong enough to handle the elements. If you don't, your customers won't even bother with you!

However, poster board is not your only creative option.

You can also construct yard sale signs like a "realtor" or "house sale" sign. You can make your own with the cardboard and dowel rods on the ends that you can stick into the grass on the corner of your street. These signs are very effective on all four corners of your block.

You should make these signs a little bit bigger than your regular "Realtor" or "For Sale" sign so that customers will not mistake it for regular house sale signs.

Another creative option is making your signs on the face of a large box. Since the box is multidimensional, you can put your sign on all four sides where customers can see it coming from every direction.

You can use a large or small box and place rocks as weights inside the box to prevent it from blowing away. You might even drive a small wooden stake into the ground from inside the box. Sometimes pranksters walking by want to give it a swift kick. It's sad to say, but some neighborhoods are like this.

If you have a lot of bad kids in your neighborhood like this, sometimes it's a good idea to bribe them by advertising on your sign "Free Candy or Popcorn" for kids. Instead of kicking your sign, they will come and visit your yard sale for free popcorn and candy!

Another creative option is to make banner yard sale signs. If you have a lot of trees in your area you can hang a banner sign from the tree branches. You can also place a dowel rod at the end of the banner if it is a little breezy. Of course if you live in a very windy area this might not be a good idea.


Some yard sale sign ordinances are very strict. It may not be possible for you to place any signs on the grass, trees, telephone poles or any other city property.

If this is the case, you can make signs and secure them to your car. Then place your car on the street where you think it's a great location for visibility.

You can also use your front and back windshield and write a message directly to your car windshield. If you have several cars in your family, you can park one car on several corners near your location.

This works very effectively, especially if you have a large van. Your space to advertise is absolutely unlimited.

Of course, some cities might be savvy to this strategy. Make sure you know your city laws.


You would think that most people would do this correctly. But, most signs do not adequately give directions. It takes more than just writing the address of your location. Many people may not be familiar with your street name. Especially people who are just driving by your neighborhood but are not familiar with the area.

On your sign make sure to use bold "arrows" pointed in the direction of your address. And then make sure there is a sign with another arrow on the way so that people know they're going in the right direction.


This is one of the biggest secrets to getting a lot of customers to your location.

This is the garage sale strategy that I use to make signs that drive customers to my curbside. A sign should have more than just the announcement of the sale, the date and the location.

Your sign should also include the actual garage sale products you are selling. This might be debatable to some, but I find it very effective.

You might say, "if I write on my sign what I have, and people don't see anything they're looking for they won't bother stopping. I find that not to be true! Or what I should say is, I have many customers stopping and I always sell everything that is posted on the sign.

In fact, the very items that you advertise on the sign will most likely be the very first things you sell. If you advertised on your sign that you are selling a purple toilet seat, the first person to see your sign who is looking for a purple toilet seat will be standing at your curbside looking for a purple toilet seat!

The trick is to place on your sign items what most everybody wants. You can use that as a "teaser" to get people to come to your location. In fact, that is the strategy I always use.

You can even put prices of the products on your sign. I found this to work very effective for items that are especially expensive. If you had a piece of furniture that you wanted to sell for $30 and if you advertised it for $39, the customer usually comes with $39 in his pocket and prepared to purchase.

This way, customers may go home or their ATM and get the money and be prepared to purchase. Or they may come to your location with a vision that this may be exactly what they're looking for and be prepared to ask you to hold the item while they get the money.

If you're going to use prices on your signs, it is good to have some very expensive prices and also some cheap prices so that you can attract both customers who like dollar items and those who like expensive priced bargains.

They're definitely is something about placing your products and their cost on your signs that really attracts a lot of customers. I have used this strategy for a long time. Sometimes people come so quickly that it's scary!

If you use these six garage sale sign secrets, it will definitely make customers flock to your location and increase your sales 150%


When I started having successful garage sales I was just wanting to make a few extra dollars ...

... but then it evolved into a regular income. At first it was just an occasional cleaning the house that motivated my yard sales. But after a while having a successful garage sale became a regular thing for me. Now I enjoy sharing my experiences and success for others to benefit as well!

...Mike Howell is a former small-town newspaper sports writer, army officer, and a lifetime student of theology; he enjoys writing on various topics to include theology, garage sales strategies, natural hair loss solutions, healthy lifestyle nutrition topics, motivational speaking, and online small-business marketing.

He is a graduate of Central State University (newspaper journalism), 1981; United States Army Officers Basic (Quartermaster's Corps), 1982; and Fuller Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity), 1994.

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