This Way to the Garage Sale Part Four

by Don Long

This is installment number four from my book "This Way To The Garage Sale".

8. What About Advertising?

If someone doesn't know about your sale, they're probably not going to show up. However, I have found that a couple of strategically placed signs can do the job for minimum cost. In fact, every time I have a sale, I usually can't get back from posting the signs before someone shows up to my driveway. It always amazes me how many people are out there driving around looking for garage sales, and how early they begin looking.

Try this: next time you are out driving around on the weekend, or just to the store, notice how many "garage sale" signs you see. I counted 23 different signs on the way to work one day (about a 15 minute drive).

Your sign should be simple and easy to read. Too much information can cause clutter and be confusing. An arrow pointing in the general direction of the sale can be helpful.

The local newspaper classifieds is another relatively inexpensive way to advertise. The advan- tage to advertising in the paper is it informs the public of the special aspects of your sale. For instance, if you are going to have a large amount of children's clothes, you can emphasize that in your ad.

Much of your traffic will come from other garage sales. There seems to be a friendly atmosphere of communication between those who "garage sale" on a regular basis. The garage sale "grapevine" works, and word of mouth advertising can be productive.

Most cities and counties have ordinances concerning the posting of signs and advertising. Some cities also have ordinances controlling the number of sales you can have and how often you can have them. Make sure you consult your local governmental agencies concerning these issues.

9. When Should I Have My Garage Sale?

Weekends seem to be the most popular time to have a sale. However, I have had success during the week days, especially during the holidays, such as Spring Break. The fact of the matter is, there are people out there who plan every day around garage sales . . . well, maybe not every day. But none the less, you will always have potential customers out there.

I found that beginning a sale on Thursday and ending on a Saturday evening seems to bring the best results. The "junkies" like to get a head-start on the weekend, and will hunt for those early sales. Sunday has not been a good selling day for me. Besides, that is a good day for cleanup and rest before the "real world" begins on Monday. I have started sales as early as 8 AM and as late as 12 Noon. But whenever I start, there always seems to be someone there ready to buy something.

One important reminder: after your sale is over, take down your signs. Otherwise you may have unexpected guests for dinner.

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