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How To Advertise a Yard Sale So People Will Show Up: 5 Effective Ways

Yard sale sign stuck to a mail box

We can all agree that the chief purpose of any yard sale is to dispose of household items that one no longer needs or uses. And while it might not sound like an activity that’s as fun as decorating a room or throwing a party, if you know what you’re doing, you could still have a blast.

There’s this common misconception that one doesn’t have to advertise hard when it comes to advertising a yard sale. But you should know, advertising strategies aren’t just reserved for established brands and upcoming businesses.

Don’t make the mistake of skimping on advertising, as that’s where things will slowly start to go south. More than half of the people who show up to these sales only do so because they heard about the event days or weeks prior and know what kind of items are being sold.

We want you to explore all your advertising options, and then pick the ones that excite you the most. Choosing something you love is important, as it increases productivity and positivity.

If it were up to us, this is how we would go about it.

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The 5 Effective Ways to Advertise a Yard Sale

1. Social Media

Where to Post Garage Sales on Facebook
Image Credit: lifeissweeterbydesign

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and all other social media platforms will give you the opportunity to tease your prospective buyers. And we’re certain that these tools are going to be effective advertising instruments because your prospective buyers are your friends and your friends’ friends.

If the sale is 2–3 weeks away, you could hop on there and give them a brief preview of what to expect. Just don’t post the same photos on all platforms. Create an album on Facebook, describe the items on Twitter, and then post the street signs on Instagram. Remember to link all platforms so that they know what’s being sold, where it’s being sold, and on what day.

Quick Tip: Items of high value should be marketed days before the sale—not weeks. That’s how you build up the anticipation.

2. Local Print

Image Credit: gsalr

Believe it or not, there die-hard yard sales goers who often buy daily newspapers just to find out if there’s a scheduled sale in the area. They’ve gotten so used to shopping in a stranger’s driveway that they find retail prices ridiculously high.

Investing in this method of advertising might not be a terrible idea, even if it’s old-fashioned. If you wish to get the most out of it, you could schedule the ad to run the day before the sale.

Remind the news agency to print the ad on their online portal as well, if they have one. In this digital age, most people feel comfortable subscribing to such pages, instead of buying the actual paper. The information in there should answer the question of “when” and “where”. You don’t have to add any other witty detail that might cost you more.

3. eCommerce Websites

How to Make a Yard Sale Listing on Craigslist
Image By: techwalla

Assuming you’re living in a big city like New York, you’ll want to utilize a tool that can grab the attention of a wider audience. Something like Craigslist, for example. This thing of con artists taking advantage of unsuspecting, naive shoppers has given the site a bad rep the past few years, but so many folks still use it.

Create a compact ad that has your address, date, time, and a few of the items on sale. It’s probably a good idea to add landmarks or names of popular streets in the description, to make it easier for anyone planning to show up. Make sure your ad has some of the keywords typically searched for by yard shoppers while looking for scheduled sales.

4. Community Bulletin Boards

Image By: dailydiylife

These boards are usually installed in our communities to help inform the public of what’s going on and to facilitate interactions. That’s why they are situated in high-traffic areas, for example, next to a coffee shop, grocery store, or college. Even if the people passing by aren’t interested in showing up to the yard sale, they’ll convey the message to someone who does, who’ll ask a friend or family member to tag along.

5. Word Of Mouth

How To Improve Word of Mouth Marketing + Branding
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Any astute businessperson will attest to the fact that word-of-mouth is by far the most effective marketing strategy, in comparison to paid ads. This free form of advertising entails spreading the word about the sale or items on sale, through friends and family.

When one person shares the news, you’ll now have two people who know you’re planning to hold a yard sale. Those two people will share the same news with two other people, and the list goes on. On the day of the sale, you’ll probably have plenty of potential buyers in attendance.

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How To Determine the Price of The Items on Sale

Apply The 10% Rule

In this business, we have rules that are strictly observed though unspoken. And one of them is the 10% rule, which dictates that no yard seller is to charge their prospective buyers more than 10% of an item’s actual retail price.

That’s to say, if you bought a piece of furniture for $100, your selling price shouldn’t be more than $10. You’ll only be excused if the item on sale is a luxury product. But even then, you still can’t go above 20%.

Scout Other Sellers

This is a perfectly competitive market. That means other sellers can enter and leave at will, and the prices are predetermined by buyers. Competition is normally cutthroat in these situations, so if you want to increase your chances of selling, you have to make sure that your items are fairly priced.

Quantity Transcends Quality

Remember, you’re not running a huge profit-making business here. You just want to dispose of the items and get some extra cash in the process. Your buyers already know that they are buying second-hand products that might not be of the best quality. So, they’ll only come to see if they can get more items for less money.

Set The Price Based on Categories

You need to have a section for books, shoes, furniture, jewelry, decor, clothes, etc. And each section has to have a price range. For example, in the clothes section, you could have the price range from $0.25 to $1. That way, it will be easy for anyone looking for clothes to see what you have and move on to the next category.

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For a yard sale to be successful, you have to be proactive. The first step is preparing all the items before letting everyone know that you’ll be holding a sale on such and such a date. Your advertising strategies will determine how many people show up on that particular day. So, take advantage of your social media platforms, send ads to the local news agency, and ask friends and family members to help you spread the word.

Featured Image Credit: Suzanne Tucker, Shutterstock


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