How to Spread the Word
Tag-sale veterans say that attracting buyers to the sale should be your top priority. But first make a quick call to the town hall. Some towns require a permit to hold a tag sale. If yours does, get one―it will usually set you back $10 to $25. Others have strict rules about where you can post signs. Some, for example, allow you to place them only at a central intersection, as with political advertising during election season. Once you know the local rules, here’s how to get the word out:
- Advertise in your daily newspaper (your ad should run on a Friday for a Saturday sale), as well as in a weekly newspaper or two in your area. If the paper has a special tag-sale section that readers can cut out, make sure you’re in it. An outlay of $100 should cover three newspaper ads plus flyers and posters.
- Get the word out via social media. Post notice on Facebook and Twitter; Instagram a few of your most noteworthy items.
- Post flyers at gathering places around town (the supermarket bulletin board is a good place to start). They should list the best offerings, including any recognizable brand names (Ethan Allen, Crate & Barrel, Frigidaire, etc.), and details of the sale. Head flyers with classic attention-getters, such as “cleaning out the attic,” “1,000s of items,” “moving after 30 years,” and “first-time tag sale.” Save any lengthy descriptions for the flyers placed where readers can pause to peruse them.
- Don’t forget good, old-fashioned signs, which can be what separates a blockbuster from a bust. Large, waterproof posters should use arrows to point shoppers to the sale. Place them at busy intersections on the morning of the sale. Keep the messages short and sweet: “gigantic tag sale” should do the trick. (Of course, if your sale is relatively small because you’re simply getting rid of, say, your college-age son’s belongings, don’t advertise falsely.) Carbone advises that you use a single color of paperboard for all your signs so potential shoppers aren’t confused by inconsistent signage (black marker on a bright, light- colored background, such as yellow, will be highly visible).
- Designate someone to drive around the neighborhood about three hours into the sale to make sure the signs are still up. Sometimes the wind (or sneaky neighbors who are also having a sale) will have taken them down.
- You can place free ads for your sale at craigslist.org, garagesalehunter.com, and yardsalesearch.com.