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Seller Tip: Leave out your address.

Stored under Selling Tips by Kevin on November 30, 2005 at 11:11 AM

I have seen my share of tips from other people about successful garage sales but one that I see often is that they recommend putting your address on your sign. I however believe that this is likely a bad idea. Sign space is certainly limited and putting your address on the sign may force you to make other more important writing, smaller. Many people scour the neighborhoods and surrounding areas looking for sales and just because you put your address does not mean it will make finding the sale any easier.

Drivers are more than likely not going to have a map in their car that will help them find your sale. The job of the sign is to quickly alert drivers which direction they need to drive. You need to baby step these drivers to your sale rather than relying on them finding it themselves. Create additional signs that lead to your house on every necessary street corner. This will help make sure that people are in fact getting to your sale and not turning around in confusion.

Seller Tip: Make a 2 day sale worthwhile.

Stored under Selling Tips by Kevin on November 23, 2005 at 9:37 AM

Many people who have had a garage sale on both Friday and Saturday will notice that on the second day of the sale, it is common to see less customers. Many people believe that if you are having a 2 day sale and you happen to go on that second day, you have already missed out on the good stuff. While this obviously may be true, there are obviously still things for sale, things that your customers may still want. Early birds are most likely to attack a sale the first day and pass it up on the second so how do you bring them and everyone else in on the second day of your sale? Simply advertise twice.

If you put an ad in the newspaper, run two separate ads for Friday and Saturday. This may make the customer believe that they are really getting to the sale on the first day when in fact it may already be the second. Another way to get people to come by if you are not advertising in the newspaper is to change up your signs. If you have a sale on Friday with a bright pink sign, put a sign up on Saturday with a green background. Someone that was out the day before and had already came to your sale may be tempted to come back again without even knowing they had already been there.

While the techniques may be a bit sneaky, they are worthwhile. It is very possible to see a big improvements of a 2 day sale with these suggestions.

Weekly Finds

Stored under Weekly Finds by Kevin on November 22, 2005 at 10:25 AM

Garage sales and EBay are by far the best places to pickup baby items. Whether they be toys, clothing or furniture, you will most likely get a huge discount and have items that are still in pretty good condition. This past weekend while out hunting, my wife and I picked up this Fisher Price Sparkling Symphony Gym. This gym is a few years old seeing as it is no longer on the Fisher Price website but still in great condition. We purchased it knowing it was missing a few extra toys but the sounds and lighting still work as normal. Our newborn boy definitely seems to enjoy this as much as we enjoyed the price. I consider this a great buy for only $2.50, especially seeing as my son will be able to grow into this toy and use it for many months to come.

*notice* Always check your baby items for recalls.

Sign Analysis

Stored under Garage Sale Signs by Kevin on November 20, 2005 at 6:55 PM

My wife and I were out hunting the sales this weekend and came across the above signs. The sign on the left was the first in the series and it was located right next to a cemetery. Seeing as the arrow was pointing down, the first thing that popped into my mind was that the dead where having a sale. Luckily this was not the case. We decided to follow the sign upwards, rather than downwards and came across the next sign. Both of these signs have many good things going for them such as their size and large arrow however their positives may be outweighed by their negatives. The writing is quite large but the fact that they decided to make the wording multicolored really makes these signs difficult to read. I am a big believer that the better the sign, the better the sale. After following a few other signs similar to this, we drove around in a circle. The end result was that the sale was obviously closed down and they had not removed their signs. *sigh*

More military ordnance found, removed by Navy bomb squad

Stored under In the News by Kevin on November 18, 2005 at 9:55 AM

Garage sale are very similar to Ebay in the case where you can find almost anything you may want some time or another. It always makes me laugh when I pull up to a sale and I see a kitchen sink. It amazes me sometimes when I see something so abnormal attempting to be sold, but never the less, someone will likely purchase it if the price is right.

An elderly man recently shoppping at a garage sale came across one of these wierd items for sale. This time however it wasnt a kitchen sink, it was a practice round from the Navy. The bomb squad came out to review the ordnance and considered it safe to remove. The people who were selling the ordnance said they recently purchased it at another garage sale.

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Nettleton relaxing yard-sale rules for the week

Stored under In the News by Kristin on November 17, 2005 at 8:03 AM

If you are lucky (unlucky?) to be living in Nettleton, Mississippi then consider yourself ultra lucky because starting today through Saturday, the town will allow everyone to have a garage sale without having to pay the normal $5 permit fee. It appears that the city is trying to turn this into a yearly event which they now hope to see over 900 yard sales over the next 3 days. In addition to $5 permit fee normally, the citizens are only allowed to have a total of 3 yard sales per year. This weekend however will be considered a freebie.

It seems like Nettleton, MS will be a great place to go bargain hunting. I can only imagine the cluster of sales will be outrageous, saving you time and money. If anyone here lives near Nettleton and plans on attending this event, please take some pictures so we may see how well the city took to the freebie weekend.

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Garage sale signs a nuisance for some cities

Stored under In the News by Kristin on November 16, 2005 at 10:28 AM

Can you imagine paying a $500 fine for your garage sale sign? How about a $2000 fine? A total of 179 fines were handed out in recent months in Dallas where they are beginning to crack down on left over signs. A total of 110 signs where picked up over a recent weekend, 75 of them were from garage sales. Back in 1990, voters passed a referendum banning private signs in the public right a way. While opponents tried to fight it by telling them it would affect garage sale signs as well, 63% of voters still approved the measure.

It is unfortunate that there are sellers that cannot be responsible and pick up the sign immediately after their sale is over. Removing the sign serves dual purpose as it will officially close your sale and keeps your streets clean. There have been numerous times that I have seen the same sign on a street corner day after day on my way to work.

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Buying Tip: Name your price.

Stored under Buying Tips by Kevin on November 16, 2005 at 9:57 AM

It is not uncommon to see garage sales with their items out on display and no prices to be found. The average person will look for an item of interest and turn to the seller and ask, "How much for this?". This is the wrong question though.

When a seller does not spend the time to price their items, it is now your chance to name your price. It is pretty much standard for a seller to start their price high but in this type of situation, you get the chance to start the price low. If you find an item that you would like to purchase, ask the seller if he will take a price that you have chosen. This is the time to start low, there is no reason not too. If the seller refuses the initial price, simply raise it until to reach a limit that you set before hand.

Baby Strangled By Crib Parents Bought At Garage Sale

Stored under In the News by Kevin on November 14, 2005 at 12:51 PM

Its a thought that may not cross the mind of many of the average garage sale shoppers, and that is safety. An unfortunate situation last month where a baby girl was strangled to death after her parents had in her a crib that they purchased at a garage sale. While the crib appeared new, the detectives discovered a small crack in the wood which allowed her head to slip through.

These types of stories, while unfortunate, hopefully help people understand that they need inspect their purchases, especially baby items. Its a fact of life that some items that are being sold, have been recalled and the sellers simply don't know so. Any baby item should be inspected through the Recalls.gov website.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has the following guidelines to determine if an old crib is safe to use:

  • The mattress should be firm and tight-fitting. You should not be able to fit two fingers side by side between the mattress and the side of the crib.
  • There should be no missing or broken hardware or slats.
  • Slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the width of a soda can).
  • Corner posts should not be higher than 1/16 inch above the headboard and foot board. If longer, a baby's clothing could catch on the post and strangle the baby.
  • There should be no design cutouts in the headboard or foot board.

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Signs in Question.

Stored under Garage Sale Signs by Kevin on November 14, 2005 at 9:46 AM

This weekends garage sale hunting took me up north and when I got there I was confronted with a couple new signs that I had never seen before. These signs were on street corners just as any other garage sale sign would be but they didn't seem to fit in. I was a bit curious to find out exactly what these signs may lead me too but unfortunately I did not have the time. Any have any suggestions on what these signs may be related too?

Can You Spot the Sign?

Stored under Garage Sale Signs by Kevin on November 12, 2005 at 9:12 PM

As a kid, I used to love the Where's Waldo books. They were a bit of a challenge but not too tough that he was impossible to find. When it comes to garage sales, no one said that hard to find was the way to go. I recently took a short trip up north and did my fair share of hunting in the morning. I snapped a picture of what I found after turning down one of the roads. Can you spot the garage sale sign? Let me give you a hint, its not the yellow sign.

Let me emphasize that this is not the type of sign that will attract customers. This sign was so short that I nearly ran it over without even noticing it. I had not see one person follow that sign and I can fully understand why. I can only hope that the person next time follows some of the suggested tips from this site.

User Contribution: Funny Sign

Stored under Garage Sale Signs by Kevin on November 9, 2005 at 1:46 PM

Here is a sign that a fan sent in that he found. I am not certain how well this type of advertisement would do bringing people to your garage sale but regardless, its a funny sign and may have just attracted enough people to buy this persons 'crap'. The funny part is that they spent the time to design a clear sign in the first place.

Thank you Joe for sending in this picture. If anyone else finds some funny, bad or great signs, please submit them and they may just be featured on the site.

Tips to creating a great sign.

Stored under Selling Tips by Kristin on November 9, 2005 at 9:56 AM

We have all seen what we consider good and bad signs. Unfortunately though, bad signs would likely outweigh the number of good signs that people create. A sign needs to give information quickly and accurately as well as catch the eye of the driver. Here are a few tips for create a productive sign.

  • Do not simply write on a brown box, try a white background.
  • Use thick black ink for the writing.
  • Make sure the writing is clear, let your child help elsewhere.
  • Accurately point to the direction of your sale.
  • Write the day and hours of your sale.
  • Make sure your sign is stiff enough and wont bend in the wind.
  • Attaching a balloon can catch many peoples eyes.
  • Know your laws and where it's illegal to place a sign.

Weekly Finds

Stored under Weekly Finds by Kevin on November 7, 2005 at 11:43 AM

I had very little time this weekend to go hunting and furthermore was only able to get out on Sunday. However while coming back from work I stopped at a small townhouse community that had a surprising 5 garage sales. Certainly an abnormally large amount of sales within a community such as this. None the less, after navigating the long passages and dead ends, I came to stop at a couple sales and picked up some decent quality Disney books. These are dated from 1974 through about 1980. A great find that I will get many uses out of with my newborn son as I enjoy reading to him. Not a bad steal for $1.25.

Begin hunting early..

Stored under Buying Tips by Kevin on November 3, 2005 at 11:59 AM

The general rule of thumb is that garage sales open between 8:00am and 9:00am. This rule normally applies to Friday, Saturday and Sunday sales. One of the strongest tips that anyone can give for a successful garage sale trip is simply to beat the competition. You must get to the good stuff before the next guy. If that means losing an hours worth of sleep on the weekend, so be it. To be a garage sale professional, you must sometimes sacrifice some things. Never in my past experiences have I ever been told to leave a garage sale when the people were still setting up the displays. "The early bird catches the worm" has never been so dead on when it comes to garage sale hunting.

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