Coming to a Yard Sale Near You

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July 2012 Best Darn Yard Sale Sign Contest

What contributes most to a successful yard sale? Well, here at, we think that great signage is one of the most important factors of success. We’ve all seen some really horrible yard sale signs – you know, the ballpoint-pen-on-a-piece-of-cardboard sign that no one can read? But we’ve also seen some really great signage – clear and succinct with stellar design and placement.

Since we’re right in the thick of yard sale season, we thought we’d stage a contest. For the first 3 Saturdays in July, the team will be roving the streets of Salt Lake City (and the surrounding areas) in search of the best Yard Sale Sign. The winners will receive a summer prize and the recognition of Best Darn Yard Sale Sign.

Not in the Salt Lake area? Don’t worry, from now until July 29th, post a picture of your yard sale sign (or of a yard sale sign you liked) to our Facebook contest page. The highest voted on image will win a prize.

Here’s where we’ll be:

  1. July 7th: Areas East of I-15 and South of I-80
  2. July 14th: Areas West of I-15 and South of I-80
  3. July 21th: Utah County

Here’s what we’re looking for:

  1. Easy-to-read signage (clear text with large lettering).
  2. Good placement.
  3. Clear directions to sale.
  4. Uniform design (all signs should be the same color or theme).

While we’re at it, we thought you might also enjoy some tips to stage a great sale.

  1. Start your sale early in the morning. Especially when the weather is hot, people like to get out there early and wrap up by lunchtime.
  2. Team up with friends or neighbors. The bigger the sale, the more people will stop.
  3. Stop at the bank the day before the sale to pick up some small bills and change.
  4. Post signs the evening before the sale so that people driving home from work will be aware of your sale the next day.
  5. Wake up early and get your yard sale set up well before opening time.
  6. Advertise in the local newspaper and online classifieds.
  7. Price things right—most items should be $5 or less. For bigger items, be prepared to offer a steep discount, or list those things through online classifieds.
  8. Set up an extension cord so that prospective buyers can test out electronic items.
  9. Place signs in major intersections near your home; then place them every few blocks, leading the way to your sale.
  10. Gather grocery bags and boxes for people who purchase multiple items.
  11. Offer multiple-item discounts, especially on items such as books or DVDs.
  12. Keep money in a money belt; don’t put it in a shoebox or leave it sitting out.
  13. Keep pets inside during your sale.
  14. Display items on tables; take them out of boxes or they won’t sell.
  15. Cash only; don’t take checks.
  16. If someone needs to return later to pick up a large item, take a non-refundable deposit.
  17. Smile and say hello to everyone who stops by, but don’t hover.
  18. Consider letting the kids sell lemonade, soft drinks or candy.
  19. Block your driveway with a sawhorse or table so that people won’t pull in or try to use the driveway to back up.
  20. Place some items in a “FREE” box and place it near the front of the yard sale.

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