I've hosted many garage sales in my life. Some have been a money-making success and some such a total flop that afterwards I promised never to have another one again! I've got to admit though, when they flop, it's always because I didn't advertise or put much effort into it. So now I am a BIG advocate of advertising.
Here are some good tips for advertising your garage sale when you're moving:
Take an ad out in your local newspaper
Most daily newspapers charge a small fee for the ad. Trust me, it's well worth the money. Just make sure the ad stands out. If you're selling specific items like antiques, baby clothes, electronics, video games, home décor, etc., include that in your ad. If your sale is around August, include kids' clothes sizes (people are looking for a bargain on school clothes!)
Remember: Most papers have an ad placement deadline, so make sure you submit it in time!
Craigslist or other Free Ad Sites
If you haven't heard of Craigslist, look it up! It's a network of online classified advertising and forums (that's primarily free). It's in over 450 US cities and in 50 countries. Since more than 25 million people in the U.S. visit Craigslist each month – this is a great way to advertise your garage sale. It's FREE! Even if you decide against a garage sale, it's a great way to advertise large items you need to depart with before you move.
This is your most import form of advertising! Either buy a simple yard sale sign or make one yourself (hand made ones stand out more!) You don't have to spend a lot of money – but the little you do spend is well worth it!
Here are some tips on making an effective yard sale sign:
- Use large colored (fluorescent) poster board at least 11' x 17'
- Write on the poster board with a very thick tipped black marker
- Use neat handwriting
- Include only the three key pieces of information (people are driving by and only have a second to read it)
- Sale date
- Location of sale
- Time of sale
This probably won't be an issue, but just in case it's a good idea to check with your city to see if there are any restrictions on placing garage sale signs. Some have size, placement and quantity restrictions.
If you're putting some good stuff in your garage sale, email your friends and family with the details and ask them to forward it to their friends, co-workers and family.
Happy Garage Sale-ing!