With yard sale season coming up, I know a lot of you are looking for tips on how to make signs that will actually grab people’s attention and bring in the crowds.
Well, you came to the right place!
As someone who has hosted their fair share of yard sales over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about signage through trial and error.
I’ve made some super sad, boring signs that barely got noticed, and I’ve made some fun, over-the-top signs that had people lined up before I even finished setting up!
So in this guide, I’m going to share everything I wish I knew earlier about making yard sale signs that are impossible to ignore. I’ll cover:
- Exactly what info needs to be on the signs
- Creative design ideas to stand out
- Where to place signs for maximum exposure
- When to put up and take down signs
- Helpful tips for signage at the sale itself
- Legal protection signage
Plus I’ll sprinkle in examples of great signs I’ve seen over the internet and images to spark your creativity!
My goal is to make sure your yard sale is a big success, not a flop. Let’s dive in!
What To Put On a Garage Sale Sign
The first step is deciding what to write on a yard sale sign.
You want to strike a balance between providing necessary details without cluttering up the sign and making it unreadable from a distance.
Here’s what to include:
1. Sale Type
Start by indicating the type of sale – yard sale, garage sale, estate sale, etc. This immediately gives people an idea of what to expect.
For example, an estate sale signals that higher-value items from the entire contents of a home may be available.
I once went to an estate sale run by a professional liquidator when a nice older woman in my neighborhood passed away.
They had priced everything to sell quick, from fine china to furniture, because the family just wanted to empty the house. I got some great deals!
2. Dates and Times
Be as specific as possible with the dates and times of your sale. There’s nothing more frustrating than driving around looking for a sale, only to find out it was last weekend!
I like to include not only the days but the exact hours I’ll be open for business. For example:
Friday May 5, 8am-2pm
Saturday May 6, 8am-4pm
If it’s a multi-day sale, be sure to note that as well.
This is arguably the most critical piece – make sure the actual address of the sale is prominently displayed on signs.
There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing signs for a sale but having no idea where to actually go.
I like to use bold font and/or a contrasting color for the address so it pops. You want it to be easily seen as people drive quickly by your sign.
3. Items or Categories
Give shoppers a little teaser about what kinds of goodies you’re offering at the sale. You don’t need to list every single item, but call out 2-3 hot categories. For example:
- Toys, books, baby clothes
- Tools, electronics, furniture
- Vintage records and comic books
This helps get people excited about the types of finds they may discover. Recently I went to a yard sale just because the sign said “Retro Games” and I collected it!
4. Contact Info
Finally, be sure to include some way for interested shoppers to get in touch, whether it’s an email, phone number, or both. People may have questions they want answered before committing to stop by.
One yard sale I went to had an amazing sign that said “Text Jane at 555-1234 about this sale!” and it made it so easy for me to quickly ask for more details, like whether they had clothing in my size.
The seller was able to pre-answer FAQs to help drive traffic.
Creative Designs that Stand Out
Okay, so now you know what info needs to be on the signs. But simply slapping words on a sheet of cardboard isn’t going to cut it.
You need to get creative with shapes, colors and design to make your signs eye-catching.
This video by KCTV5 News channel shows some really funny and creative garage sale advertising examples.
Here are some ideas I’ve seen over the internet that work:
1. Funny/Punny Wording
Don’t be afraid to inject humor into your signs!
A funny phrase or pun will make people chuckle and be more likely to remember your sign and sale.
I once saw a sign that said
“We’ve got 99 problems but this sale ain’t one!”
“Lord help me if my wife sees I’m selling this stuff!”
People love clever or relatable phrases that make them laugh.
2. Attention-Grabbing Shapes
Boring rectangles are snoozers. Get creative with the shape of your sign – make wacky outlines, cool arrows, or anything to stand out.
For my last yard sale, I cut my signs in the shape of a piggy bank to tie into my sale’s theme of saving money.
Everyone remembered it!
3. Bright, Bold Colors
You want high contrast and colors that pop against the surroundings.
Neon pink, yellow, and green work great to be visible from a distance.
Also, use bold fonts that are easier to read from a car driving by.
Don’t be shy – the bigger and bolder your text, the better!
4. Fun Motifs
Pick a fun theme like cow print, nautical, 70’s groovy etc and decorate your signs to match. This helps your signs look coordinated and memorable.
My neighbor did a beach theme and made amazing signs with ocean waves and beach balls that made people instantly think of summer fun!
Where to Place Garage Sale Signs
Now let’s talk about where exactly you should be placing your signs to maximize visibility. Location is key!
1. Main Intersections
Focus first on major intersections and entry points to your neighborhood – you want signs where you’ll get maximum eyeballs driving by.
Place your signs at least 30+ feet before the intersection so people have time to react and turn. And use directional arrows so they know which way to go!
2. Throughout the Neighborhood
Create a “trail” of signs for 2-3 blocks leading right up to your street. I like using balloons or ribbons to connect the signs so people know they follow the right path.
Every single corner should have an arrow guiding people towards your sale. Nothing is more frustrating than getting lost trying to find the signs again!
3. On Vehicles
Put yard sale signs in your car windows or tape them to the sides of the vehicle. Park strategically on busy roads near your sale.
We also moved the car every few hours to different intersections so the signs were in more spots throughout the day. More exposure!
Important: Yard Sale Sign Regulations
Before you start staking signs on public property, make sure you understand the local regulations. Many towns prohibit posting signs on telephone poles, road signs, etc.
You don’t want to get fined for littering if you don’t take down signs promptly after your sale. Do your homework so your signage is legal and safe.
When to Put Up and Take Down Signs
Timing is also really important when it comes to yard sale signs. Here are my best tips:
- The Morning Of The Sale
Don’t put signs up too early!
Wait until all your items are priced and displayed, usually 1-2 hours before the official start time.
Otherwise, you risk drawing early birds before you’re totally ready for them. I learned this lesson the hard way – never again!
- Day Before The Sale
You can place signs the day before your sale, but I suggest leaving your address off so people don’t show up prematurely.
Then on the morning of the sale, go around to add the address to each sign before the crowds arrive.
- During The Sale
Make sure to check on your signs throughout the day! Wind and rain can lead to signs falling over or getting damaged.
Drive around occasionally to fix any issues and replace signs that have disappeared. Maintain your trail of breadcrumbs all day long.
- End Of The Sale
As soon as your advertised end time hits, take down ALL signs around town. Get any signs on public property picked up promptly to avoid littering fines.
You don’t want your yard sale signs to linger days later causing confusion for people. Pick up every last sign and call it a success!
Helpful Signs to Have At the Sale Itself
You’re not done once buyers arrive at your house or driveway.
Here are some additional signs you’ll want to have handy:
1. Section Signs
Use signs to label categories of items so people can easily find what they’re looking for. For example:
Organization is key – help people zero in on areas of interest quickly. Less hunting makes for happier shoppers!
2. Price Signs/Tags
Place signs indicating prices for larger items like furniture, equipment, and any big-ticket purchases.
This saves you time answering the “How much is this?” question repeatedly.
Guide buyers around your property with signs pointing out relevant areas. For example:
- More items in backyard!
- Books in the garage
- Free box – help yourself!
You don’t want people missing hidden treasure spots!
Explicit directionals help them navigate.
4. Sold Signs
Have SOLD signs ready to slap on items that get purchased but can’t be taken away immediately.
This lets other shoppers know something is no longer available.
Bonus tip: Include the buyer’s name or initials so they know it’s being held for them.
5. Safety Signs
Place CAUTION or WATCH YOUR STEP signs anywhere there’s a potential hazard or slippery/uneven walking surface that poses a risk.
You don’t need any liability issues – better to have too many safety signs than not enough.
Legal Protection Signage
Here are some important legal protection signs you’ll want prominently displayed:
1. No Refunds/Exchanges
Make sure people understand all sales are final by posting NO REFUND/EXCHANGE signs visibly around the sale area.
Cover yourself in case someone tries to come back later wanting their money back because they changed their mind or found an issue with an item.
2. Sold As-Is
Similarly, you’ll want signs that state:
- All Items Sold AS-IS
- No Warranties Expressed or Implied
This discloses that you make no guarantees about the condition or functionality of items – let the buyer beware!
3. Injury Liability Waiver
Though it likely holds no legal power, a NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURIES sign reminds people they are responsible for their own safety.
Hopefully, you’ll never need these signs, but better to be safe and have proper disclaimers posted just in case.
Final Tips for Yard Sale Sign Success
Well there you have it – everything you need to know to make stellar yard sale signs people simply can’t ignore. Here are some final tips:
- Check local regulations so your signs are legal
- Make sure signs are sturdy and durable if rain or wind is expected
- Include your personality – funny and clever signs grab more attention
- Place signs early the morning of (not before) and remove promptly after
- Use bright colors and bold fonts that stand out from a distance
- Add section labels, prices, and directions to guide shoppers once they arrive
- Display legal protection signage like “no refunds” clearly
The bottom line is you want eye-catching signs that create hype and draw people in.
Use big fonts, bright colors and clever designs that individualize your sale.
Note key details like dates, times and your address. And place signs strategically around town to cast a wide net.
If you follow these tips, your yard sale is sure to be a big success pulling in hordes of eager buyers and maximizing your profits!
Let me know if you have any other questions – I’m happy to offer my yard sale experiences. Now get out there and start creating some awesome signs!
Hey there! I’m Rohit Lohia, a passionate SEO enthusiast and the proud founder of Branded Bucks. I’m all about helping small business owners achieve success online through my blog. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore ways to make money online and build a thriving digital presence.