What NOT to Say in Yard Sale Ads

What NOT to Say in Yard Sale Ads…these are based on real ads I’ve seen on Craig’s List, and I read a bazillion of them because I go to sales every weekend. You want to draw a crowd. How should you word your ad? Scroll down for tips at the bottom. I can definitely tell you what NOT to say! Check out commonly seen ad content below:



What NOT to Say in Yard Sale Ads: 



*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 is a NO-NO!: Give us more than just one sentence please!…don’t just say “household” or “collectibles.” Yard sale junkies are looking for details! No details are a sure-fire way to eliminate a crowd. Details are great & give buyers an idea of what you have. Ads with no details like the one below don’t entice me to come if I have other choices.


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



*Timing of your post: Submit a 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. PLEASE don’t wait until the day of your sale to post an ad. Yard sale junkies plan in advance and will likely miss your ad entirely.


*Ads with no pictures is a TOTAL waste: the more, the better. Craig’s List and Facebook allow lots of photos for free. You’re shooting yourself in the foot to have no images of your stuff….take advantage!


*Try not to make it just about clothes, baby stuff, shoes, purses: These are not big draws for a mega sale. 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.


*”By Appointment” This is a death knell…there is NO WAY I’m going to a yard sale by appointment, unless there’s nothing else, and probably not even then! Remember, you have LOTS of competition!


*NEVER say “Antique Dealers’ Sale” or Booth Owner’s Sale: You’re shooting yourself in the foot again. 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’re 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. Serious yard sale junkies get up early and they’re done by then.


NEVER Say “No Junk” Stress how much junk you have and you will get more people. You would be surprised how many people look for junk! One man’s junk is not another man’s 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. We’re in a hurry and fly from yard sale to yard sale. We don’t want to get stuck in a neighborhood. Cars bunch up from house to house, with people walking all over the place. Some houses participating have almost nothing to offer. You get the picture.


*Don’t itemize with prices on Craig’s List ads: Shooting yourself in the foot…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: Having a sale ad on yard sale pages gets you quickly ignored. Not an effective place to advertise! 


*DON’T use worn out come-on phrases: You tend to get skimmed, scanned, & skipped.


*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…this one kills me. I see people say this, I go, and the prices are ridiculous, 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 Garage Sale Ad?


What not to say in garage sale ads
An attractively displayed table with interesting items


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


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!



Do YOU have anything to add to my list? Please say so in the comments below!


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As an experienced online seller for 19 years, I've just begun to reveal some of my selling secrets. One way of doing this is showing what I buy and sell for. Because most items are vintage & need TLC, I show these DIY's too. I love picking, junking, thrifting, and shabby chic style.

14 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.

  2. These are great tips Florence. Valuable for people hosting sales especially. The one about before noon is so on the money. When I go to garage sales I am up early, grab a travel mug. Have three or four garage sale addresses and thats it. By noon I am starting my day.

    Great stuff lady.

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