Regarding how to hold a garage sale, I could write a simple article with a few general and thoughtful ideas, but Egaragesales already has a 'Tips and Hints' article that thoroughly covers this. They give a step by step plan full of tips and hints even 5 weeks before the actual sale, thus you can be sure that your preparation of the garage sale is impeccable. I highly recommend you check this out if you are planning to have a garage sale.
Thus, this article will just be about the general advertisement of the sale.
Who: When posting an advertisement, make sure you clearly emphasise what type of items you will be selling so that the customers who show up are more likely to be interested in the goods you are selling. For example, women's clothing, children and baby's items or comic books are likely to have a niche market so of course you want the right sorts of people showing up.
What: Even just a few years ago, garage sales were predominantly advertised by little cardboard pieces placed at the end of streets and a small advertisement placed in a local newspaper, however with the increasing number of people using the internet and the uses of the internet increasing exponentially, advertising your garage sale online is now the norm. Letterbox distribution of flyers is also a great idea, as residents in surrounding houses are more likely to come when the garage sale is just around the corner. Consider that although cardboard signs may seem insignificant and dated, and spur of the moment buyers can make up a high percentage of the sales
When: Regarding when to advertise, advertise online as early as possible, to give buyers plenty of time to organise their day. Usually online advertisement is a one off fee, so maximise your money by advertising for as long as possible. With leaflet distribution, a few days prior to around a week's notice would be optimal, so that people will have enough time to plan their day, however the sale is soon enough to remain relevant in their minds.
Where: There are many websites that specifically advertise garage sales, for example Egaragesales and What Garage Sale. A basic ad on Egaragesales costs $10, with time limit for the ad and unlimited word count. To upgrade with photos this costs $15. On What Garage Sale, your ad will only display for up to two weeks prior to your garage sale date, however cost is only $5, again with unlimited word count. A valid alternative to these two sites is Melbourne Gumtree, for which posting ads is free and photos are included, however this website is not just dedicated to advertising garage sales, hence exposure may not be as prominent.
Why: Good exposure of clear and concise advertising is the key to any successful garage sale. Remember all these tips and start packing!
I love garage sales! I remember once, when I was younger, my parents were driving my sister and I to our dreaded weekly tutoring sessions at a family friend's house. As we wound through the streets of suburban Melbourne, we saw an impromptu garage sale, with a few kids jumping up and down in front of their house with large signs. My parents, who loved a good bargain, stopped to take a look. Inside what was probably just a dusty old garage with many wooden shelves and tables to display the goods, I found my wonderland. Being very young, I could only just see over the tops of tables, and it became a maze filled with amazing toys and sparkly objects. My sister and I ran around giddily, no doubt getting in the way of the adults, making new friends and touching everything we could reach. To make us stop, our parents said we could pick two things each. In the end, I chose an adorable teddy bear that I still keep in my room, and a delicate bronze ring (which is beautiful, but unfortunately does not fit on my fingers anymore, so I wear it as a necklace now) for only a few dollars! Of course, that was many years ago now, and although items may still be very cheap at a garage sale, I doubt I'll ever revisit one like my memory again. However, it is a hobby of mine to visit the local sales on the weekends, and I always find something nice! The saying 'One man's trash is another man's treasure' is very true.