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As a rummage goer and a rummage doer, I've found that proper signage is very important. BIG arrows are necessary. Matching signs help, so that people know the sign they are following is for the rummage they are looking for. A little sign with your complete address isn't going to do it.
You really don't need the house number until the signs are closer to home. You might just need the street name, or subdivision name with arrows to get people in the general vicinity. Then, be sure to put a sign at the end of the driveway, or streamers on the garage, something so that people know that you aren't just cleaning out your garage. It's embarrassing to look through the garage stuff at the wrong house!
Key places to put signage are: at grocery store exits, freeway exits, health club exits, and main intersections in your area.
The last few years, I've noticed fewer people come because of an advertisement in the paper. Take advantage of the free online advertising: Craigslist, eBay classifieds, TV news station websites (that have rummage trackers), local Bokoo sites. Mention that you're having a rummage sale on Facebook or Twitter or other social media.
Because you don't have to pay by line for the ad, you can include more information about your large ticket items. You can also post a separate ad for a specific item (such as a sofa) and say that it is at your rummage sale. Sometimes people who come to look at something specific will end up purchasing other items as well.
All in all, you can advertise as much as you want, but if you don't have good signage, they won't be able to find your rummage. So, get out your super-huge Sharpie marker, or use black electrical tape and make your arrows REALLY BIG and then get ready for your really big turnout!
By C. B. from Milwaukee burbs, WI
Garage sales are a lot of work to set up and operate. Don't miss out on potential sales because folks can't find you. Follow local ordinances regarding these sales. Prepare carefully. Good luck.
Presentation is a key to garage sales. Make sure you have plenty of tables and display racks to show your merchandise. You can probably rent or borrow tables if you need more.
Clothing: A clothing display rack can usually be rented or borrowed if you have a lot of clothes to sell. Folded on a table is fine for baby clothes, but adult clothes get lost piled on a table and require constant straightening; hung on a hanger is the better way.
If you have a carport or garage doors, you can use the rails or framing for hanging. Don't just bring out boxes or trash bags full of clothes and set them on the ground. You will have a tremendous mess to pick up and sell very little for your trouble.
Media: Books, CDs, and DVDs display best with the spines facing up so people can see what you have. Small stacks of CDs and such can be put in piles of 8-10, but more than that they need to be properly displayed. People going to garage sales are usually impulse buyers. If they have to dig very much, they will just move on to another sale.
Small Items: Tools, knick-knacks, dishes, and such can be displayed easily on tables. Group like things together, and don't crowd them too much. Men usually look at tools and inspect them carefully and don't like to be crowded.
Sets of dishes should be all together so a buyer can see what he is getting. Knick-knacks seem to appeal to all, but everyone wants to inspect for damage. Leave room.
Large Or Valuable Items:
If you have large items like furniture or exercise equipment, it should be out in the driveway so people can see it coming to your sale. Keep the smaller and/or more valuable stuff up closer to the cashier where it doesn't wander off.
Genuine antiques should be close to the cashier table so they can be watched, the same with costume jewelry. Fine jewelry should either be shown privately or in a low glass display case.
Make sure your signage is superior. A local shopper ad is great, but don't overspend on it. Use the suggested meat trays on a stake or brightly coloured poster board. Very little detail is needed on your signs. The letters should be large and bold to be seen by people driving by. Consider the speed of the street where your sign will be displayed. Something as simple as "G.S. - 1234 5th Street - Friday 8 to 4" is sufficient.
Don't try to write your offerings on the sign unless it is on a local bulletin board and then it should be typed or carefully hand-written. If needed for clarity, you could put an arrow of direction on your sign. Heavy black Marks-a-lot on a light colour background works best. If your signage is addressing a busy street, put the sign at least half a block back from where the turn off is to the street. Face the sign to oncoming traffic and put it before the turnoff, not after. If you place your signs on property other than your own, get permission.
You should enlist enough help to properly run your sale. You would need a minimum of two people. One person can't properly run a sale of any size. If you only have 10-20 items, you might consider just donating them rather than going to the trouble of baby-sitting them all day; or run an ad on Craigslist.
Have a cash box of some sort and keep it close to the action, but not too close. Make sure there is plenty of room around it, so your lookers can look while your buyers are paying. Have writing materials and a calculator there.
Make sure you have plenty of change when you open up. Later in the day, people who started out with large bills will have smaller bills, and you will too. For a medium sized sale, $100.00 in change is not too much. Have ones, fives, nothing larger. You needn't keep all of it in the change box, but have it in a nearby secure location. Pricing things in 25 cent increments means all you have to have is quarters for coin change.
I like to see prices on all merchandise. You will too, or you will spend most of your time pricing things on the spot. Be prepared to bargain. If you are too firm on pricing, you will not sell very much. No price stickers means you will miss sales when you are busy.
Have some of your helpers either cashier or work the crowd. Engage your lookers, but don't hover. Let them look around and check back occasionally. Most of them are used to a self service atmosphere and some don't like to be bothered at all.
Open a little earlier than you advertised. Set up the night before if at all possible. Store your tables in the garage and move them out the day of the sale. Don't watch the clock on opening or closing.
If you still have customers buying at closing time, stay open until you have no one buying, if possible. This is your big chance to sell your stuff. Don't rush the buyers. If you are on a tight schedule, consider re-scheduling.
By Dan M. from Lubbock, TX
Recycle a large clean white meat tray into an easy to read rummage sale sign. Use permanent markers or crayons to detail the wording.
When having a yard or garage sale, it helps to list a phone number with your advertising in case folks need directions, etc.
When having a garage sale, bright, clear signs are a must. I use neon poster board and paint on it with black paint. You can see them in time to stop at the sale without driving by and having to turn around.
I am team captain for a Relay for Life Team and we have an annual yard sale. We always place an ad in the local newspaper, post flyers at local businesses, and post a notice on our company's website.
I have found that if you really want a successful garage sale, use those bright green posters boards or signs. They really do pop when one is driving around looking for sales. Good luck and happy garage selling!
I don't advertise in the paper because I hate to have super early shoppers. I arrange my stuff the night before, and cover tables with sheets to keep snoopers out!
Use bright neon contrasting posterboard to make your signs (example: hot pink and hot green or flourescent orange). Have a box labeled FREE near the enterance and put a few toys, socks, etc. in it which is free for the taking.
After helping out with several large garage sales in the past, I have some helpful tips. Get family members and friends to help out. Set up as many tables as you can, it much easier to display your merchandise.
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I live 12 miles from town. Any tips to help make my garage sale workable and easy to get to? There's only one exit off the interstate and then 2 turns to my road. Thanks!
You need to find a friend in town who wants to have a yard sale. Pack up your stuff and take it to their house for a joint sale. You can have it already priced and that would be helpful.
I love yard sales and will go out of my to get to one if its properly posted and signage is easy to find. Post on Craigslist, grslr.com, Facebook Groups. Place brightly colored signs. Do not put tiny signs on the corner as they are impossible to see or read and never put your signage on city property.
How do I advertise for a garage sale?
Place an ad in local newspaper and also in small hometown newspapers in your area.
The key to a successful yard sale will be your signs. Make them big enough to say "Yard Sale" and a clearly understandable arrow. If the yard sale is a good distance away (up the street) put how many blocks or how many miles the driver needs to go. If you have enough room on your sign put your address.
It is key to have a sign on a well traveled road. If your house is really far out SE if you can find some place closer to a main road to set up your sale. I live way out in the sticks. I asked a little grocery store if I could set up on the far side of their parking lot. They don't open Saturdays so they said it would be okay, just clean up afterward.
Using a bright paper helps attract attention as well. People who see a sign in pink, yellow or orange have the suspicion it is for a yard sale. People out doing yard sales look for signs that stand out. Politicians have lots of signs out in our area right now and they deter a good yard sale sign that doesn't stand out because they are easy to read. The eye goes to them first, by the time the person refocuses to another sign they are right on top or driving past it.
On numerous occasions I have gone out of my way for clearly marked well placed yard sale signs. Even when I had decided to stop yard selling for the day.
I have been going to yard sales and doing yard sales for years and the signs are a major key to success. Just be sure to take your signs down when your yard sale is over or coming to an end. It is only polite.
And I have been saying yard sale but it applies to garage sales as well.
Save money and time: list your yard/garage sale on craigslist.org. I used to post signs early and a friend put an advert in the local paper. We did better when we just put the listing on craigslist with minimal signage on major streets. My daughter and I have a list of major intersections; we post on all 4 corners going each way at eye level from a car's view. We post the signs at 6 am and go to get coffee. Then we start hauling things out to the yard. We put a big sign on the back of the car and park in front of the house. Put on your apron, the one with a pocket in front so you can keep your sales cash safe. Let the early birds start buying, good luck