What is it about spring time and yard sales? Maybe it's the first time in months you've gone into the garage to get out your lawn chair or bicycle and (gasp!) you realize how much junk has piled up in there since last year! In this rough economy, yard sales are a great idea, because more consumers are looking for thrifty deals and considering second-hand purchases.
But putting a table on the front lawn and sitting out there all day won't help sell your stuff. Unless you live in Times Square, if you want foot traffic and profits from your yard sale, it's wise to market the sale online and with printed materials such as banners, flyers and postcards. Below are some yard sale marketing ideas to get you started: 1. Print snazzy flyers If you print a flyer to advertise your yard sale, make it stand out in a size larger than the standard 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper, and use bright paper stock or colorful images. Some print vendors offer custom die-cut flyers. A die-cut shape like a star or even a circle will be eye-catching if your flyer is competing for attention amongst other postings. Include the date of the sale, location, cross-streets, time frame and some key items or phrases such as furniture, frames, books, etc., that you think will draw people in. Use a large enough font so the main details are easy to read. If you have space, throw in a photograph of one of the best items for sale. It could be an autographed baseball, a piece of furniture, an appliance or piece of jewelry. 2. Print photo postcards Making an artful postcards that showcases photographs of your merchandise will generate interest. First you'll need to take some DIY table-top photographs of some of the yard sale items that you believe will have the most crowd appeal. Jewelry, clothing, artwork, housewares and furniture are all good items to shoot. Then take a 6-inch by 9-inch or larger postcard and print a headline across the top that says something catchy like, "Yard Sale Blowout." Underneath the headline, use a grid to lay out the photos of your leading items with nice clean borders and maybe a caption or suggested price under each one. On the reverse side of the card, print all of the details such as time and location. 3. Distribute your marketing materials Designing awesome flyers and postcards is the fun part, distributing and posting those materials is tough work and crucial to your yard sale's success. You will need thumbtacks, nails, good weather and heavy-duty tape to effectively distribute the promotions. Tack postcards and flyers on message boards in stores and coffee shops around the neighborhood. You should also flyer telephone poles within five to 10 minutes walking distance of your location. Finally, at work, church, the gym, the local bar, wherever you go in your community, have a few postcards and flyers handy for anyone who might be interested. 4. Promote online Craigslist.org is the go-to website in many communities for promoting yard sales. Some local Craigslist.org sites will have a garage sale category under "for sale." Post information about your sale here, and also post classified ads for your big ticket items under the appropriate categories. This way, if someone is looking to buy a used barbecue and they find your ad, they will also see that you're having a large yard sale with even more items and may be inclined to visit. 5. Create same-day signage On the day of the sale, be sure to have a lot of signage around one to three city blocks or five minutes walking distance from your location. Especially at any major intersections or near local business with tons of foot traffic. The neon posterboards sold at the pharmacy, a ruler and a few sharpie markers will do the trick. But, take your time and create a decent couple of signs. Chicken-scratch on a poster board will not convince folks to walk out of their way to visit you. If you have enough merchandise that you think you can justify the cost, then printing a large 2-foot by 3-foot vinyl banner is a really professional way of advertising your sale. Keep the copy on the banner generic, for example, "Yard sale at 840 Robin Road" and you can use the banner again in the future, too!