Do’s and Don’ts of Advertising a Yard Sale

Do’s and Don’ts of Advertising a Yard Sale

I’m off to go yard sale hunting today! I love these weekends when you get up early and start mapping out your route. This is the time when you finally realize the nice weather is here. You can find some pretty amazing treasures at yard sales. I have made some good money finding stuff at yard sales and reselling them on bidding sites on facebook. I have more tips on how to make extra money here at . You will have lots of stuff that doesn’t sell as well unfortunately, but what I have decided to do with that stuff is have my own yard sale (very first time haha ) . If you are thinking about having your own yard sale, here are some tips for having a successful one.

If nobody knows you’re having a yard sale, you won’t sell anything — no matter how great your merchandise or how stunning your display. Advertising your yard sales (Kijiji, newspaper, and signage) is a must. Here are the do’s and don’ts:

Yard Sale Ads Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do list your yard sale in the appropriate classified sections of both Kijiji and your local newspaper, including both the newspaper’s print and online listings. Old school shoppers may depend on newspaper listings, and the computer savvy crowd probably uses Kijiji. Additionally, yard sale apps for smartphones may aggregate from one or the either.
  • Do arrange for your classified listings to run on the days of the sale, and on the day before it starts. Some shoppers plan their outings in advance. Be sure to include the actual sale dates so nobody shows up on a wrong day.
  • Don’t skip the paid newspaper listing. Not all areas use Kijiji equally — especially in small towns without Kijijit city pages.
  • Do mention any prominent local landmarks — such as prominent intersection, a retail shop, a large church, or a park — located near your home in your listing. It helps people find your sale, even if they don’t recognize your street name.
  • Don’t forget to include your address and the sale dates and times. I see at least one yard sale listing a week that teases me with a list of fabulous merchandise while neglecting to tell me where and when.
  • Do include your subdivision or neighborhood name in your classified listing. Include your zip code as well. Some shoppers map yard sale routes based on location, but they may not be familiar with the street.
  • Do list your sale as a moving or estate sale if you’re clearing out for a move or after the death of a loved one. Both get high priority on yard sale routes because they typically have better merchandise and more of it, such as entire rooms full of furniture instead of just a few castoffs.
  • Do pay for the extra space to list your most desirable items and your general merchandise types. The person looking for those items will make your sale a priority.
  • Do list your yard sale with local publications — such as community message boards, church bulletins, neighborhood newsletters, etc. — if it’s possible to do so. They won’t draw the types of crowds your Kijijiand newspaper adswill, but the extra exposure can only help.
  • Don’t publish your yard sale ads so far in advance that shoppers forget by the sale date. Run the ad during the sale, and on the day before.

Yard Sale Signs Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do advertise your yard sale with signs. Yard sale signs attract drive-by customers who don’t read the classifieds, and they help all shoppers find your home.
  • Do make your signs from neon-colored poster board, and convey your information with thick, black, block letters. Yard sale signs with a white background aren’t as noticeable, and letters of a single marker width aren’t thick enough to read from a moving car.
  • Don’t try to cram too much information on your yard sale signs. This isn’t the time to list each piece of merchandise. Remember that motorists have to read the signs from moving cars. Limit the information to the basics.
  • Don’t letter your signs with a skinny-tipped marker or print them with fancy, curving fonts. They won’t be legible unless the reader is standing right in front of them
  • Do think of yard sale signs as a breadcrumb trail that leads shoppers to your house. Place them at local landmarks and busy intersections near your home. Install additional signs at each turn along the way, and mark the signs with thick, black arrows pointing the way. Place a final sign at your home to mark the spot.
  • Do tape your signs to street sign posts and utility poles, assuming that’s permitted and possible. If it’s not, mount them on posts you can plant in the ground, or affix them to the sides of boxes that have been weighted down with rocks. A box works particularly well at a corner because you can put a sign on more than one side.
  • Don’t nail or staple your signs to utility poles or affix them to traffic signs if it’s prohibited in your city. One fine for violating an ordinance can wipe out your yard sale profits, and it’s not like they don’t have your address.
  • Don’t place yard sale signs on private property without permission from the owner. At best, they’ll disappear.
  • Don’t put out your signs the day before the sale. Some shoppers just follow the arrows without reading the details.
  • Do place your signs at eye level for someone in a vehicle if it’s possible. Sometimes it’s not.
  • Do add a few festive balloons to your yard sale signs, except when they’ll impede vehicular visibility. Balloons draw they eye, and they imply a festive atmosphere.
  • Do put your signs out on the morning of the sale, ideally just as you’re ready to start. Once the signs go up, shoppers start arriving. If you can’t do it that morning, put them up after dark on the night before.
  • Do drive past your signs after placing them to make sure they’re easy to read. The view from inside a moving vehicle isn’t the same as you had while making the sign.
  • Don’t leave your yard sale signs up after the sale ends. It’s rude. Outdated signs are confusing to shoppers, and they turn into a soggy mess when it rains. Once your sale ends, those signs are just litter.


Garage sales are a ton of work, from picking through every room in your house to find things to sell to hauling an endless amount of stuff outside. The reality is that most sellers are lucky to end up with a few hundred bucks. So are those stories of garage sales that net four figures just suburban legend? Not necessarily.

Follow these tips and tricks from our garage sale experts, and you’ll be on your way to making a nice chunk of change.

Partner with others.

“Have a neighborhood sale, When multiple homes near each other have their own sales, it attracts more buyers to the neighborhood, she says.

Or you can get a few friends together to host a joint sale. “If you’re in a cul-de-sac in a remote part of town, you might look into going in on a sale with someone nearer a busy street. The amount of traffic that sees your signs or drives past your sale will have a big impact on your profits,

Sell a few big-ticket items, within reason.

Do you have an old collection you don’t want to hold onto? Have old furniture or electronics you can part with? Experts say having a few items that command higher price tags will help amp up your cash take, as well as lure potential buyers to your sale where they will likely pick up other items.

But, remember it’s a garage sale, not Tiffany & Co. “If you do think it’s worth a lot of money, it’s not something to sell at a garage sale,” “People who walk into a garage sale aren’t going to buy a ruby ring for $1,000.”

Pick a theme. 

“So many garage sales are the same, lots of children’s clothes, old glassware, stuff people can find anywhere,” Roth says. “Branding helps differentiate your sale from the others.”

If you have a lot of sports equipment, gardening tools or canning supplies, make that your marketing message to lure people interested in those items. Last year, Roth held a “Geek Garage Sale” and emphasized that he had graphic novels, board games and computer gear. He netted over $2,000 in two days.

Then, because he still had shelves filled with classics, graphic novels, and photography manuals, Roth re-branded the leftovers as a “Book Sale” for a third sale day. Traffic was lighter, but still he made an extra $400

Set your stuff up like a store.

“You’re the manager of a store for the day,” and a store is what your sale should look like. Organize items by type (kitchen, clothing, sports, etc.), make it easy to walk the aisles, and display things where people can see them, experts say. “Don’t put clothing in a box,” Littlefield says. “No one wants to go through that. It needs to be seen and displayed. Fold it on a table, or hang items up.”

Also, create browsable sections. “Anything that’s browsable—collections of things like books, records, or CDs—will get people to spend time at your sale,” “when people drive by and see people at your sale, more people will stop.”

Have a pricing strategy.

“Pricing should be 10 to 25 percent of what the initial price was on everyday items.” “For family heirlooms or things that are worth a lot of money, look on eBay—not for what it was listed as, but what it sold for to see what somebody has actually paid for it.” Except for big-ticket items like a bedroom set, most things should be priced for $1 to $100, he says. Towards the end of the sale, expect to sell things for half off. “Go back and mark your signs “everything half off’ and you’ll get tons more traffic,”

Another option? Don’t price anything. “One of the most time-consuming, tedious parts is pricing your items, and you’re likely to procrastinate doing it and not have your sale,” Hammond says. “Plus, a lot of times you will get more money if you don’t price stuff. Maybe you have an old chef’s cookie jar you’ve always hated and would take a buck for it. But, maybe the buyer has been looking for that and would name a higher price. I’ve had so many friends who have tried it and they will never go back to pricing stuff,” she says.

Or, combine the two strategies and put price tags on most items while also having a dollar table.” You don’t have to tag everything, so it makes it easier,” Littlefield says. “Have more items in boxes under the table so you can replenish it.”

Bundling items together is also an effective upsell strategy.“If you have quantities of certain items like CDs, books, or DVDs, price them three for X dollars, If they see one they like, they’ll then look for two more to go with it. It moves merchandise.

If you’re approaching the last hour of the sale and really want to get rid of your stuff, give shoppers bags to fill for $5 a pop. Your stuff will go a lot faster and people will feel like they got a great deal.

Open at nontraditional times.

“You can do three times the money on a weekday than on a weekend because of supply and demand,” “There are so many garage sales on a Saturday the shoppers are spread thin, and people will hesitate more because they think, ‘I might see something I like better down the street.’”

Also, open early. “The serious buyers are out early, and open on a Friday from 6 to 8 a.m. to get buyers who are on their way to work or dropping off their kids at school.”

Build a frenzy.

“When I’m setting up my own sale, I think of the velvet rope at clubs,“I set up a rope across my driveway and a sign that says when the rope will be dropped. You get a crowd of people gathered there at your rope and create a frenzy over your stuff by making them drool over it for a few minutes and they have competition to the right and left of them. When you drop the rope, people literally run to get the things they want.

Create a fun shopping experience.

“Make it a party with music, lemonade, and cookies, “If you get people talking to you and talking about your stuff, they are much more likely to want to give you their money. It makes it a happy memory for people.”

Safeguard your stuff.

Keep your doors locked, don’t let people go into your house or use your bathroom, and guard your cash box. Better yet, don’t use a cash box and keep your money in a cloth tool apron from the local hardware store,  “I’ve heard a number of stories from people who have been scammed by groups who run distraction schemes where one person distracts the person running the sale, while someone else cleans out the cash box,” he says. “Carry your cash with you at all times. Put big bills in your pants pockets and small bills in the pockets of the apron.”

GOOD LUCK ! but most importantly….. HAVE FUN!