If you are planning to have a yard sale or garage sale, a yard sale sign can be an effective way to advertise the event and attract potential customers. Here are a few reasons why you might need a yard sale sign:
- Increase visibility: A well-placed yard sale sign can help increase visibility for your sale. If your sale is in a busy location, a sign can help catch the eye of potential customers who may not have seen your sale otherwise.
- Direct customers: A sign can help direct potential customers to your sale. If your sale is tucked away on a side street, a sign can help guide people to your location.
- Advertise the date and time: A yard sale sign can help advertise the date and time of your sale, so people know when to stop by. This can be especially helpful if you are only having the sale for a limited time.
- Cost-effective: Yard sale signs are often inexpensive and easy to make or purchase. Compared to other forms of advertising, such as online ads or flyers, yard sale signs can be a cost-effective way to get the word out about your sale.
Overall, a yard sale sign can be a helpful tool to increase visibility, direct customers, advertise the date and time of your sale, and do so in a cost-effective manner.
Table of Contents
- What to put on a yard sale sign
- Where to place yard sale signs
- A sneaky sign trick to really pull in the crowds
- Putting garage sale signs on your car
- Gain the attention of people who may not drive past your yard sale signs on the day
- When to put out your street signs on the morning?
- A tip for when putting your yard sale signs out the night before
- Check your yard sale signs during the day
- Don’t do this
- What signs to place in and around your items
- How do you attract people to a garage sale?
What to put on a yard sale sign
A yard sale sign should include key information that will help potential customers find your sale and know what to expect. Here are some essential pieces of information that should be included on a yard sale sign:
- Sale type: Indicate that it is a yard sale, garage sale, or estate sale.
- Date and time: Clearly state the date and time of the sale. For example, “Saturday, March 5th, 8:00 am-2:00 pm.”
- Location: Include the address of the sale, including the street name and number. If your sale is in a difficult-to-find location, you can add arrows or other directional cues to the sign.
- Items for sale: You can include a brief description of some of the items that will be available for sale, such as “furniture, clothing, and toys.”
- Contact information: Include a phone number or email address that potential customers can use to contact you if they have any questions about the sale.
Remember to keep the information on your sign simple and easy to read from a distance. Use large, bold letters and bright colors to make the sign stand out, and make sure to hang it in a visible location where it is easily seen by passing traffic.
Where to place yard sale signs
- Most cities, counties, towns, villages, etc. have laws that prohibit posting garage sale signs. Most of the time, the authorities have more important things to do than to track down sign posters especially if you take them all down as soon as you sale is over, however, if your garage sale sign is causing an obvious safety hazard you may get a visit by the police and get an expensive fine.
- Check if you need a permit for your garage sale signs.
- Check the size limit of garage sale signs.
- Check on the number of garage sale signs you can put up.
- Check where you can and can’t put your garage sale signs.
- Check what you can and can’t put on your signs.
- Check if you can attach balloons to your signs.
- Check when you can put your garage sale signs up and when you have to take your signs down.
- Don’t place your signs over safety signs, on roundabouts or at intersections where they will distract the attention of drivers.
- Also, if you don’t take your signs down promptly after your garage sale, you may get fined for littering.
Place your garage sale signs so drivers have time to turn
Place signs more than 30 yards/metres (or more depending on the speed limit) before the intersection so people can slow down and/or change lanes to safely turn. Place your arrow signs about 10 meters/yards from a corner. You can place your arrow signs right on the corner only if there is plenty of visibility leading up to the corner and there is no chance that a car will be parked before it blocking the view of people trying to find your sign.
You will need an “arrow” direction sign at EVERY corner
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to find your garage sale. Even if you have included the street name on your main street sign, people may not be bothered to come if they have to dig out their street directory to find you.
What to do on long streets?
If you have a long street, people will start wondering if they have gone past a corner sign after a few minutes. If this is likely, try one of these tips:
- Tie a blue ribbon around a signpost, street light or street-side tree every block so people know they are still on the right track. Your sign at the beginning of the street would also say, for example, “Follow the blue ribbons”.
- Put up a sign “2 miles to go” then another “1 mile to go”.
Make sure all you garage sale signs look similar
Customers will then know they are following your signs to your garage sale. Use the same colored background, lettering, decorations, etc.
A sneaky sign trick to really pull in the crowds
Place 3 or 4 different types of garage sale signs at an intersection. Drivers will think there are 3 or 4 different garage sales down that road!!
Now that would be worth turning down to have a quick look and they will only see your signs directing them to your sale.
Another good trick is to inject a bit of humor into your sign. Creating a funny yard sale sign is a great way to get some extra foot traffic.
On your main street signs:
- Have the words GARAGE SALE or YARD SALE and an arrow pointing in the appropriate direction.
- Include your street name and the day & time of your garage sale.
- If you are using identifiable, attention-getting decorations, your main yard sale signs should also have the word “Follow the balloons”, or “Follow the yellow ribbons” or “Follow the pink signs”.
- Some people say to include your cell/mobile phone number on the main signs so people can ring you for directions or to check if it is worth coming but you will probably find yourself too busy to answer the phone and this could be a security risk.
- Use abbreviations (SAT, SUN, etc.) for the day(s).
- Use 8am, 4pm, etc. for the times.
- For multi-day yard sales, say SAT – SUN 8am – 4pm
- If you’re having a late ‘lunch time’ start for your yard sale, make sure you highlight that so people don’t think that they’ll just get left-overs if they come in the afternoon.
Advertising in a multi-cultural neighborhood
If you are in a multi-cultural neighborhood then consider including non-english signs too.
Secure your specially made bought yard sale signs
If you buy specially made yard sale signs there’s a good chance they will be stolen by the end of the day unless you can secure them to a street sign, power pole or lamp post.
Try to prevent people removing your yard sale signs
Write on the bottom of your sign in small letters something like, “This sign will be removed on or before the evening of (insert the last day of your yard sale)”. This may appease the authorities and also the owner of the property that you have placed your sign in front of.
Don’t staple or nail your yard sale sign to a tree or public pole
Never attach a sign to a public street pole as this is against the law in most states. Nails or staples can damage safety equipment such as gloves and harnesses not to mention hands, arms and legs.
Putting garage sale signs on your car
- Consider making a BIG yard sale sign for the front and back windows of your car and then park your car out the front of your house or across the other side of the street if your neighbor doesn’t mind. People can then see where the yard sale is from down the end of your street. Having a car out the front also makes the street less deserted. People might think that if there aren’t any cars then it can’t be a very good yard sale.
- Stick it to the man! Car signs are good when you aren’t allowed to put up signs on the street. Park you car, legally, on the main street and include your address and directions on the sign. If you are able to borrow more than one car then park these strategically at other main intersections.
Gain the attention of people who may not drive past your yard sale signs on the day
- Leave up a “Garage Sale on Saturday” sign during the week or put up a “Garage Sale Tomorrow” sign on the day before on main roads to gain the attention of people driving by who may not necessarily drive past on the day. Check with your local authorities if this is allowed.
- Try the ol’ “Burma-Shave” technique (Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma-Shave for more information). Make 3 – 5 small signs each with one line of an amusing limerick or verse about your up-coming garage sale and place them along a busy road about 200 yards apart so drivers have time to read each sign as they drive past. Check with your local authorities if this is allowed.
When to put out your street signs on the morning?
Put out your street signs only AFTER you have all your items out on the morning of your yard sale and you are ready to go. If you put the signs out before you are set up, you won’t be ready for the early birds and opening rush.
A tip for when putting your yard sale signs out the night before
If you want to spend time setting up your yard sale signs the night before your yard sale but don’t want to include your address on the signs to stop early birds finding your house – just leave a space on the sign for the address and have your address written or printed on suitably sized pieces of paper. Then in the morning while you check your signs, you just need to go around and tape the address on each sign.
Check your yard sale signs during the day
Have a helper check your signs during the day. They may have blown over or been removed or replaced by someone else’s garage sale signs.
Don’t do this
I have read some people suggesting “You can even employ your children to walk up and down a main thoroughfare advertising the event, carrying a placard much as they would for a political candidate or if they were on strike. The more noticeable the advertisement, the more likely you’ll draw the curious.”
It’s not worth the risk and your kids are more useful at the sale helping you and learning how to interact with adults in a supervised setting.
What signs to place in and around your items
- Make large signs to go on large items (like furniture, mowers, washing machines, etc.) listing the selling points, features, history, condition, price, etc. This will save answering a lot of the same questions all day.
- Make table signs to advertise items that may be overlooked, for example, “Hand-made candles $1 each” or “Chanel Perfume – unopened – $5”.
- Make signs to pin on linen & clothes detailing the size, material/fabric, condition, etc. Not only will this save you being asked the same questions, it will save buyers from trying to find the tags themselves and messing up your nicely arranged display.
- Make table signs describing the selling points for items on the table. These signs can either lie flat on the table or be folded in half to create a tent sign (as shown below).
- If it going to be a windy day, either tape or pin your signs to the table or make a tent sign as shown below and suitable weight inside to hold it down.
- Help customers find the things they are looking for by making Section signs and keep like items together in ‘departments’.
- Sections could be:
Movies / Videos
- Try being creative with some of your signs. Here’s some examples:
“Why not, it’s only $1”
“Keep the kids occupied with these”
“These will go quickly”
“The kids will love it”
“These will keep the kids occupied for hours”
“You can’t buy these any cheaper”
“Think of how much you are saving”
“All prices are negotiable”
“These will make a great Christmas present”
“Everything has to go”
“These won’t be available tomorrow”
“Go on, what have you got to lose?”
“These solid picture frames can be painted or stained to create new looks”
“Re-upholster a chair or make pillows with these (curtains, scarves, sheets or bedspreads)”
“Get a discount with bulk purchases”
- Have SOLD signs ready to put on large items that get sold but the customer needs to come back with a trailer to pick it up later in the day. Maybe include space to write:These details would need to be included in a written receipt too.
- Place OFF LIMITS signs in doorways, gates, paths. etc so customers know where they shouldn’t go looking for more treasures.
- Make NOT FOR SALE signs to go on objects that are in the garage or yard that people may think are for sale. This also applies to objects used to display your goods, such as tables, clothes racks, chairs you will be sitting on, pets and the children (well, let me think about that last one).
- If you have decided not to accept checks, have a sign CASH ONLY.
- NO RESTROOM AVAILABLE may prevent you having to refuse a request.
- To protect yourself in case a customer comes back later wanting their money back make big signs that will be positioned prominently that say:
ARE FINALALL ITEMS
SOLD AS ISNO REFUNDS
WILL BE GIVEN
- and of course…NOT RESPONSIBLE
- Put signs in plastic sleeves to keep them dry, sleeves are stiffer and won’t blow around, won’t tear way from the pins holding them up, keeps your signs re-useable and the sign inside can be easily swapped (eg from “50% off” to “Name your Price!” .
- If you needed to get a permit for your garage sale, place it in a plastic sleeve and pin it up in your garage in case the authorities pay you a visit.
- Name badges for people working at your garage sale will help shoppers know who to approach and it also make them feel more comfortable speaking with you. Alternatively, just a plain badge, like a gold star, will help shoppers know who to approach with any questions.
How do you attract people to a garage sale?
You will need street signs on every main street entry to your house within a mile (or 2 kilometres). Draw a rough map of your area to plan where your garage sale signs will need to go. Don’t forget to cater for traffic going in both directions. This will usually require separate signs on each side of the road.
Your sign map will help you work out how many garage sale signs you will need and what direction the arrows need to be. Your sign map can also be used by your helpers in the morning to set up the signs for you and to take them ALL down at the end of your garage sale.
Below are some suggested locations for your signs at intersections.