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Garage Sale Signs: A Guide to Live By

Good signs are the first step to a great garage sale. You can sell your stuff if folks can find your house.

Driving down the street the other day I saw one of my favorite things, a garage sale sign. I turned down the street in hopes of finding my next big bargain. Two streets down I saw a tiny sign listing a street name and address. If I’d been going three miles per hour and had a pair of binoculars I might have been able to read it. 

Even if I had been able to read the sign, was I at the right street or should I keep on going and how do I know which way to turn for house number 3257? So many questions, so little time. Below you’ll find a few tips for guiding potential customers to your next garage sale. 

Font size: Exactly how big do you think the letters on a sign need to be when the car they’re being viewed from is taking the corner at 25 mph? BIG is the answer.

I hate to try to read a tiny address, as I crane my neck and try to avoid an oncoming car all at the same time. I don’t even want your address. I’m not going to send you a Christmas card. 

Need to know: Here is all that I need from your sign. The words “Garage Sale,” the first big clue. Add a clear arrow pointing toward your house. (One can immediately see the disadvantage of pointing it away from your house.) If desired, you can add the days of your sale (Friday and Saturday, Saturday and Sunday – you get the idea) at the bottom of your sign. That’s it and that’s all.

Number of signs: Put one sign at each major intersection near your neighborhood. Make the letters SUPER BIG on these signs. Make sure to have the words “Garage Sale” and the arrow on both sides of the sign. There’s nothing worse than seeing what looks like a garage sale sign but not being able to read it because it’s facing the wrong way. Grrr.

Within your neighborhood put a sign at every applicable entrance and then put a sign at every single turn. I repeat – every single turn. You may think that folks have read the microscopic address that you wrote on your sign and will then be able to find your house. Think again.

Color: Add one additional clue to your garage sale signage by making all of your signs the same color. It can be fun. Pick a theme: calypso blue, tangerine orange, passion pink, etc. The brighter the better. Don’t forget to tie some balloons to your mailbox. 

Last, but not least, please take the signs down after your sale. Folks get cranky when they drive here and there through a neighborhood following a sign for a sale that happened last week. Double grrr.

For the garage sale itself: If possible, always put some/most of your items outside on your driveway or wherever. If everything is inside your garage, people won’t be as enticed to stop and come in. They want to see the goods. 

Happy garage sale. Get those signs ready and prepare for a great sale. If you’re a garage sale goer, I hope you find what you’re looking for; like the garage sale.

bobzmiranda June 25, 2012 at 11:45 AM
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Alpharesident June 26, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Just remember that posting signs on other people's property (including the strip between sidewalk and curb) is against the law. Only local government/specific utilities have limited right-of-way to post signs on/disturb private property along the street edge. Always get permission from the homeowner before posting signs. Their private property is not your free advertising space. In this day and age (of car GPS systems and smart phones) posting signs "at every intersection" is needless. It is the equivalent of Hansel and Gretel's crumb trail - very old-school. It is unsightly and unappreciated by most affected property owners. Just post a sign with address at the subdivision entrance and let GPS/smart phone technology handle it. With 18 yrs living on one of my subdivision's main street intersections (with a 70-home side street), I've been abused enough by thoughtless homeowners/real estate agents and their all-important signs.
Bob Pepalis (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Great point about getting permission. And with our city being the land of the cul-de-sac, I'd think fewer signs were necessary even without GPS, as once you are in some subdivisions you can't help but drive by the house with the sale.
Rich June 27, 2012 at 05:45 PM
While on the subject, please be sure to go and collect your sign(s) after your garage sale has ended. Not removing and disposing of signs after your sale is over is tantamount to littering.

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