Lessons learned from another garage sale

I feel a bit like a broken record.

No matter how much I talk about advertising and promoting garage sales, people still don’t seem to heed my advice. A friend of mine had a garage sale this weekend, and even though I’ve given him pointers throughout the whole process, he didn’t follow through on the signage.

He did pretty well with the sale itself, but he made a few key mistakes when promoting the sale. He created nice, big signs, but then got a little fancy with the colors and letters. When you get too creative (ie. using a different color for each letter or making your font swirly or stylized) it can often be hard to read. Keep in mind that most people will see your sign for just a few seconds as they’re driving by. If it isn’t simple and bold, they won’t be able to figure out where they should be going. Not to mention, you have to include an address or arrows. My friend did not do this, and he lost a lot of business to a sale a few blocks away. Shoppers saw that sale first and assumed it was the one they were trying to find. Some never made it further down the street to the right sale.

This sign has the right idea. The sign is large, and the text is easy to read. Plus they included an arrow directing you toward the sale.

When it comes to garage sale signs, keep it simple. Here’s the basics of what you need to remember:

  • Make at least 20 large signs.
  • Use white poster board with simple red or black lettering. You don’t need to get any more fancy than that.
  • Include arrows and an address.
  • Put your signs up a few hours before the sale.

In addition, always advertise your sale on TagSellIt and Craigslist – they’re both free! Then let your friends know about your sale on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media sites you use. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll have a much better turn out at your next sale. And the more people that show up, the more sales you’ll have.

One last thing – Watch out! because you never know when I’ll show up at your garage sale and use your sale as the next topic on this blog!


Good luck, and happy hunting!


Watch out for my feature on Yahoo.com on Tuesday, June 11. You’ll get to see me help a New Jersey family throw a garage sale!

To learn more about Aaron LaPedis, visit www.thegaragesalemillionaire.com or contact him at [email protected]