What NOT to Say in Yard Sale Ads

What NOT to Say in Yard Sale Ads…I’ve read a bazillion and been to a million. You want to draw a crowd. How should you word your ad? I can definitely tell you what NOT to say!

what not to say in garage sale ads
It’s Garage Sale Season! What not to say when writing your ad…

Ads with an incomplete address or no address..a no brainer, but you would be surprised how often this info is missing.

Ads with a one sentence description and no details: Give us more than just one sentence please!…don’t just say “household” or “collectibles.” Details are great & give buyers an idea of what you have. 

what not to say in yard sale ads
This is the total description…

Ads like this with no details do not entice me to come if I have other choices:

Timing of your post: Submit yard sale ad several days in advance…(you can do this on Craig’s List and Facebook) and every day up until the night before. This builds excitement, especially if you add a little more description every day. Don’t wait until the day of your sale to post an ad. 

An ad with no pictures is a waste: the more, the better. Craig’s List and Facebook allow lots of photos for free. Take advantage!

Try not to make it just about clothes, baby stuff, shoes, purses: These are not big draws for the mega sale that you want. But if you do have clothes, please hang them up or find a way to display them nicely. No one wants to paw through a bag of wrinkly clothes that look like they sat in the dryer for 3 days. But if you have any vintage items or junk, say so! Don’t just say…”and so much more.” Give us details!

“By Appointment” This one is a death knell…Even if I went, I would feel like an insect on the end of a pin with an owner hovering. It would be far better if you do NOT do sales by appointment. If there are any others, most people won’t bother. 

Never say “Antique Dealers’ Sale” Don’t use this description because we know your prices will be higher than the average person’s. Instead say, “Loads of Vintage Items,” with no hint that you are a dealer.

Don’t say it’s a clearance sale because I know all the good stuff is gone by the time you are having a clearance.

Don’t say it’s an Ebay sale! I’m going to assume you’re trying to unload what you can’t sell on Ebay, so why should I want to buy that? I have seen people advertise their ebay store saying they are having a sale, but this is not a good way to do that.

Try not to start later than 10 am like 12 Noon, 1 pm, or thereafter.

Don’t Say “No Junk” Stress how much junk you have and you will get more people. You would be surprised at how many people ARE looking for junk! Don’t run them off before they even get there!

Neighborhood Yard Sales. These have their place, but consider doing one NOT with the neighborhood. Most dealers I know avoid these like the plague. Cars bunch up from house to house, with people walking all over the place. Some houses that are participating have almost nothing to offer. You get the picture.

Don’t itemize with prices on Craig’s List ads: Not a good idea…you are running people off before they even get there with any suggestion of high prices. People will either conclude that everything is high and not come, or it looks like that’s all you have.

what not to say in yard sale ads
Ad with an itemized list

Warehouse Sales, Resale Shops, Flea Markets: What I’m talking about here are those resale shops that have booths. They are using a yard sale page hoping to drive customers to their shops. I always ignore these.

DON’T use worn out come-on phrases:

*Something for Everyone, (Oh yeah?),

*You don’t want to Miss This One, (Really?)

*Too Much to List (well, how about trying),

*Household items, (so what, already?),

*Collectibles (please tell me what kind)

*Everything Must Go (so price your items cheap & they WILL go).

*And above all, don’t say “No Early Birds.”You will have them regardless.

What is a good ad? 

  • those with lots of pictures and bins full of stuff. The more pictures, the better.

    What not to say in garage sale ads
    An attractively displayed table with interesting items
  • Pictures of loaded tables
  • Ads that say “multifamily, hoarder, purging, downsizing, cleaning out.”
  • Ads with pictures showing interesting junk.
  • Ads with lots of smalls, meaning small items that are easily shipped
  • Ads that say “I’m cleaning out Granny’s house” are golden.
  • Ads that say “it’s a 20 year, 30, 40, 50+ year accumulation.”
  • Ads that say you have vintage items, even better if you say what kind.
  • Ads that say you have vintage oddities, all kinds of junk

**You have this kind of ad, and you will have droves of customers!


What do YOU find are the best or worst ads?




6 comments on What NOT to Say in Yard Sale Ads

  1. Florence, this is golden. I have held many garage sales in my life and the most money we made is when we moved into my husband’s trailer. It was in a trailer court and we sold so much stuff! I gave out plastic shopping bags and let people fill for $1 and we made more money than when we have had garage sales in our new home, in a new addition, in a more affluent side of town. Yes, we had our junk, and furniture, all kinds of stuff, and it surprised me that it almost all sold!

    Your tips are brilliant, hopefully people will listen and get rid of more of their “oddities” LOL.

    1. LOL…so funny that you made more money at that one when you let people fill a bag for $1. I need to try that at my next one! Good way to get rid of stuff. I can always tell when I’m going to a sale when the person running it has no idea how to price. I used to be in that boat too.

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