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Garage Sale Signs
Make or Break Your Garage Sale

"Many a small thing has been made large
by the right kind of advertising."
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Quality garage sale signs can mean the difference between a successful garage sale or yard sale and a waste of your time. When people are driving around in your neighborhood looking for garage sales, your quality signs with lead them to your door. Here are some helpful tips when creating your signs.

What material should be used?

Unless you live in a "perfect" climate where it never rains and the wind never blows, don't use flimsy paper signs. They will soak up the rain and be difficult to read, or they will be blown over. Soggy signs won't do you any good!

If you don't want to spend a dime on garage sale signs, cardboard from an empty box is better than paper, or unused poster board from your unfinished art project. Just remember, both of these materials are still susceptible to damage from weather conditions, including humidity.

The best sign material for your garage sale signs is corrugated plastic sheets. Many real estate agents use this type of material today (often made by Coroplast®) because it is so durable. Unfortunately, corrugated plastic garage sale signs can cost more than $25 each for an 18" X 24" sign at your local sign company. Ouch!

The good news is that you can find corrugated plastic garage sale signs online for less than $5.00 each. For a small investment (so small it's almost silly to call it an investment), your garage sale or yard sale will have more traffic and better results.

Garage Sale Sign
Simple, well written garage
sale signs make all the difference!

How big should they be?

When it comes to garage sale signs, size matters. Millions of real estate agents can't be wrong and they most often use 18" X 24" signs. Someone put a lot of money into research and determined that this size sign can actually be seen, even if you are across two lanes of traffic.

If you do decide to use corrugated cardboard or regular paper (cringe), make your signs at least 11" X 17", the size of two standard letter-sized pieces of paper put together. People need to be able to see and read your signs.

NOTE: Check with your local authorities to see if they have size restrictions for garage sale signs, yard sale signs, etc. Some communities (my community, for example) restrict the size to 18" X 24", allowing for standard real estate signs but nothing larger.

How many should you make?

That depends on where you are located. Try to hit every intersection near where you live so more people will find you.

For major intersections, try to post a sign at each corner to ensure the most traffic. Remember the bread crumb trail? Lead people to your location and your garage sale or yard sale will be a bigger success.

NOTE: Remember to check with your local authorities to see if they have restrictions on signs. Many communities are quite lenient when it comes to garage sale signs, but you need to take them down after your garage sale or that leniency may disappear.

What should they say?

When you are making or ordering your garage sale signs, you are not trying to win an art contest. You want people to come to your garage sale. Consequently, you should limit your fonts or print type to common, easy-to-read text and include the following, critical information:

  • What is it? (Garage Sale, Yard Sale, etc.)
  • When is it? (FRI & SAT 9-4, SAT & SUN 8-3, etc.)
  • Where is it? (1234 Any Street, Mt. View Grange, Etc.)

Garage Sale Sign
If you have long streets or roads
leading to you, place several signs along the way.

When printing your signs or having them printed, be sure the "What?" part is in large, bold letters at the top with lines that are 1/2" to 3/4" thick. If you use thin letters, people won’t be able to read your sign.

When printing the "When?" part, don't use a specific date if you want to be able to re-use your signs in the future. Abbreviate the days (SAT, SUN, etc.) to save space.

When printing the "Where?" part, use your street address (123 Any Street) or the name of your building (Mt. View Grange) to help people find you. It's also a good idea to use arrows pointing in the direction of your location. Use a contrasting color like red.

Where should you put them?

Place your signs at as many intersections leading to your location as possible. If you have arrows on your signs (which you should), be sure they point to your location.

If you have long roads or streets leading to you, place signs along the way with arrows pointing up so people will keep driving straight ahead in your direction. Remember to check with your local authorities to see if they have restrictions on the placement of garage sale signs, and don't put your signs on someone's private property unless you have their permission.

Mount your signs on sturdy wooden stakes or low-profile metal sign holders, usually available where you buy your garage sale signs. If you attach your signs to a wooden stake with screws, use galvanized or stainless steel screws to keep the rust (steel does rust!) from ruining your reusable signs.

NOTE: Just because someone else mounts their garage sale signs to telephone poles doesn't mean it's OK. Some communities or utility companies prohibit this activity. Better to be safe than sorry.

When should you install them?

If you mount your signs the night before your sale, expect to have people driving by your location that night or really early in the morning. Garage sale and yard sale junkies are a unique breed. They want to be up and moving at first light for an early kill.

If you don't want late or early on-lookers, place your signs in the morning before your sale begins. If you don't mind a little early traffic, place your signs one or more days in advance.

Take them down

Good planning will make this part easy. Before placing your signs, make a map or a list of where you plan to place your signs. You can also do this as you are installing them.

When your garage sale is over, just follow the map or your list and remove your signs. Be a good citizen and a good neighbor. If you use quality signs you will also be able to store and use them for a future sale.

Helpful Resources

After completing your successful garage sale or yard sale, you should store the things you are going to keep in an organized manner. For a great selection of helpful garage organization tools, check out the Stacks and Stacks website where you will find a wide variety of shelves, cabinets and other helpful garage-related items.

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