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..SYITF! It’s a no brainer, but you would be surprised how often this info is missing.
What in the Heck is “SYITF”?
My acronym for “Shooting Yourself in the Foot.”
*Ads with a one sentence description and no details: SYITF! Give us more than just one sentence please!…don’t just say “household” or “collectibles.” Such commonly used words are ignored. Yard sale junkies want details! Giving us an idea of what you have is a better come-on. Ads with no details like the one below don’t entice me to come if I have other choices. You may have a gold mine, but if you don’t tell me about it, I don’t bother.
*Timing of your post: Submit a yard sale ad at least 2 days in advance, either on Craig’s List or Facebook. I can’t tell you how many times I look at the list and see a new one I would have gone to had I known about it. DO NOT wait until the day of your sale to post an ad!! On yard sale day, I’m moving fast. I don’t take time to check all the sites to see if a new ad is posted. You either get me the night before or you don’t get me. Yard sale junkies plan in advance and will likely miss your ad entirely.
*Ads with no pictures is a TOTAL waste: SYITF! The more, the better. I frequently go out of my way when I see a picture with interesting junk. 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 a mega sale. I totally ignore and avoid these. 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” SYITF! 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: SYITF! Every time I go to these, they are ALWAYS more expensive than the sale of the average joe. Instead say, “Loads of Vintage Items,” with no hint that you are a dealer.
*Don’t say it’s a clearance sale SYITF! because I know all the good stuff is gone by the time you’re having a clearance.
*Don’t say you have painted or repurposed items SYITF! Because I know you have spent time and effort fixing something up and it will be more expensive. I’m not going to a vintage market or a fair. I’m going to a yard sale!
*Don’t say it’s an Ebay sale! SYITF! 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.
TIP *Start at your advertised time! I go to early sales, and they’re not ready. They’re still pulling out stuff. They overslept. Whatever. But I have a list and don’t have time to stand around waiting on you to finish. I’m gone!
TIP *Ideal time to start: 7-8 am. I know I’m going to get in trouble with this one! Does anyone REALLY go to 6 am sales?? Not me! SYITF unless you’ve enticed me with your pictures or description.
I’m still in my jammies at 6 am.
I’m still trying to wake up at 6 am.
I’m having my 1st or 2nd cup of coffee at 6 am so I can wake up.
TIP *And for heaven’s sake, be ready with your change! I’ve been to many sales where mama is running around trying to find the husband or the daughter or whoever…”do you have change, do you have change?” Or they’re running in the house to get it. And I’m standing there wishing I’d never picked up your item in the first place.
NEVER Say “No Junk” SYITF! 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. Dealers are your best customers! But 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: SYITF…you’re 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.
I’m talking about something like this below:
*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
*You don’t want to Miss This One
*Too Much to List
*Collectibles (please tell me what kind)
*Everything Must Go…this one kills me. I see this, I go, and the prices are ridiculously high. 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?
Those with lots of pictures and bins full of stuff. The more pictures, the better. **Take the time to take decent photos that aren’t blurry or dark.
Ads that say “multifamily, hoarder, purging, downsizing, cleaning out.”
Ads with pictures showing interesting junk. (like the one above)
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!