How To Advertise For A Garage Or Yard Sale

The success of your garage sale will be directly proportional to how many people attend it. They can only come if they know about it so make sure you tell as many people as you can. You need to plan your advertising well in advance because some of the best methods will require some planning and some lead time.

So how do you get the maximum amount of eager shoppers at your sale? More importantly, how do you get them to your sale first while they still have lots of money?
You must use as many methods as you can within the constraints that you have. Those two constraints are time and money.

You will need to spend a little time advertising your sale but if you can afford to spend a little money on advertising, your sale will attract A LOT more shoppers.  However, spending money will depend on what your advertising budget is and if you have enough good inventory to make the advertising spend worthwhile.

I want to give you some advice on how to advertise your garage sale. Here is a list of the best ways to advertise your garage or yard sale.

  • Classified adverts
  • Flyers and circulars
  • Display adverts
  • Signs / posters
  • Publicity
  • Other advertising gimmicks

Let us look at each garage sale advertising medium in a bit more detail:

Classified ads – Classified ads and signage are the bare minimum advertising that you should do for your garage or yard sale. Primarily this is because people have become so used to looking at classified ads for garage sales.

Some of the best places to place garage sale classified ads include your local press, free advert papers and free internet advertising sites.

Most classified advertising mediums have a specific section for “garage sales” For local press listings, try to advertise the week of the sale (any longer is usually wasted because people just do not plan that far ahead!) However for free online listing sites, advertise as far in advance as they will let you!

For more information about what to put in your classified ads please see good garage sale ads and examples of garage sale ads

Flyers and circulars can bring in a lot of people to your sale.

There are basically 2 different types of flyers:

1. Single flyers that will be put up on notice boards and
2. Bulk distribution flyers

Many supermarkets have such community bulletin boards where you can put up your flyers. You can also put them up on school and church notice boards. You can also ask your local shops if you could put one on the counter or up in their window.

You can get them printed at your local copy shop or print them yourself on your home printer. I would try to make these flyers full colour prints with some nice eye catching graphics or photo’s
As bulk flyers will cost more to print and distribute, a single colour print will do. You are just trying to get all of the important information to people so that they know about your sale.
Distribute them by getting your local post office to put them into post office boxes.

You should also try to get them delivered to peoples street post boxes in about a 2-mile radius of your house. You could either do this yourself but I prefer to get professional companies who specialise in this type of thing to do it. Please just ensure that there are no legal restrictions in distributing bulk flyers in any way.

Display adverts will be your most expensive form of garage sale advertising. If you do this, it will add a lot of impact to your sale but you will have to have a lot of stuff to sell to justify the expense. The price will be determined by the size of the advert and the number of colours that your ad has. Take the biggest ad that you can afford. A full colour ad will generally work better than a one or two colour ad.

You only want to place display ads in your local press. When enquiring about advertising, try to negotiate! You will often be surprised at how negotiable this will be, especially in the current economic times when everyone, even the newspapers, are looking for business. If you do take a display ad, try to also negotiate free publicity. The free publicity will often be worth more than the ad!

For more details on how to get best results with flyers see garage sale flyer ideas

Signs or posters are AN ABSOLUTE MUST!

There are 2 different types of signs that you can use:

1. A general sign advertising the sale – to be put up a week or two before the sale and
2. Directional signs which you put up on the day of the sale/s

The general principals are the same for both types of sign or poster.

Brevity is a key here. Do not put any more information on these signs than is necessary. This is because motorists will be moving at some speed and the eye can only take in a limited amount of information. You would like motorists to be able to see the boards from 10-15 yards/meters away.

How To Advertise Your Garage Sale

Just put the key information on the sign. This is especially true if they are at traffic intersections because cars are moving so the drivers and passengers do not have a lot of time to read a lot of information. You only have their attention for a few seconds.

You will have to check if there are any legal requirements for your signs with your local authority. Please do not skip this step as it will be a terrible shame if your signs get taken down before they can do their job. You can also face hefty fines if you break the law.

For more details on garage sale signgae, please see garage sale sign ideas and garage sale posters

Publicity can be the most effective way to advertise your sale. This is an often overlooked tactic.
Why? – because most people do not believe that they can get free publicity.

Well, here is the deal. Every newspaper and radio station actually has to have something to report on. This is especially true of local newspapers. You know the ones that come out every week. If you take a close look at most of them, they consist mainly of paid advertisements. The “local news” is often very limited. This is mostly because there is no real local news or it is dead boring.

Now the trick here of course, is TO HAVE AN ANGLE! You need to come up with a different slant on your sale other than that you are some arbitrary person holding a garage sale. Now everyone’s story may be different and you must find your own angle. I have found the “charity angle” to be very effective. If you have a favourite charity and you are prepared to donate a percentage of your proceeds to charity, the local press will often be happy to pick up on the story and give you a punt. I got the editor to interview me personally for my last sale and I got a photo in the paper!

Other advertising gimmicks can also be useful to attract attention to your garage sale.

Other crowd pulling gimmicks include balloons, ribbons and bunting. They always make a huge statement and people feel that there is a party or carnival atmosphere.
Put some your large or unusual merchandise outside your house that is for sale on the day of the sale.

One of the best ways to get attention is one of those inflatable mini blimps. You can rent them but if you plan to have regular sales, you should investigate buying one. You would then attach it to your house and let the sky broadcast your message.

If you would like comprehensive details including a video showing you exactly how to advertise your next sale, check out the Garage Sale Blueprint at