Garage sale ads that attract buyers

What to put in a garage sale ad

To see what should go in an garage sale ad, look at the ads on garage sale websites (eg http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites or http://www.backpage.com/) and from last week's edition of your local newspaper that your ad is to go in and make a note of the ads that catch your eye. Try to identify why they work and why the others didn't work.

To help you work out what makes a good heading, I extracted some Garage Sale headings one day from Craigslist. Check them out. This is the sorted list of 900 garage sale ad headings.

What makes a good ad?

Consider not including the close time

Having said that, consider including the close time

Make your garage sale ad a bit different

Dealing with early birds

Early birds are the keen bargain hunters who will arrive up to an hour before your opening time to try and get the best deals before the others. Don't waste your money on including "No Early Birds" because it goes without saying and shoppers will either expect that or ignore it. Refer to Best early bird strategies for more tips and strategies.

Make it easy for buyers to find your garage sale - but not too easy

Include a few words to help buyers find your street. For example, first left off Main Street or near a popular landmark. Don't include your house number because this will make it too easy for early birds to find you.

Advertise early and everywhere

Advertise multi-day sales as separate sales

If you are having a 2 - 3 day garage sale, treat each day as a separate one-day garage sale and place ads for each day. If people know it is a 2 or 3 day garage sale, they naturally will assume that all the good stuff has gone by the first day and not bother to go one the second or third day. If they think it is only a "one day" sale then they will more likely come on the second or third day if they haven't noticed your previous ads.

Advertising in a multi-cultural neighborhood

If you are in a multi-cultural neighborhood then consider putting in a non-english ad too.

Don't upload photos directly to Craigslist.org

When including photos in Craigslist (and you should) don't upload photos directly to Craigslist as you will loose a lot of clarity. Instead, upload them onto a photohosting site (eg Flicr or Photobucket) then add a link to these photos in your ad on Craigslist. More details here.

Include your online ad's identifying number or code

This will help people find your ad online to get more details of your sale.

How to advertise if you are in a rural area

You can't rely on a great deal of passing traffic so advertising is crucial.

Make sure you cancel your ads if you decide not to hold a garage sale

Your local authorities may just check the ads and match it to the list of permits issued to identify sales without a permit rather than actually visiting each sale to check if it was actually run before posting a fine. This person found this out the hard way. How would you prove you didn't have a sale on that day?

An ad that caught my eye

MOVING HOUSE AFTER 25 YEARS ....THIS IS ONE HUGE GARAGE SALE...WAY TOO MANY ITEMS TO LIST...EVERYTHING FROM FURNITURE, HOUSEHOLD APPLINCES, BOOKS, CLOTHING, ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES, GARDEN POTS AND WOOD & TOOLS ETC ETC.

 

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