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Yard Sale Signs

Updated on July 11, 2011
12x12 Yellow and Black Yard Sale Sign
12x12 Yellow and Black Yard Sale Sign | Source

Yard Sale Signs are an important element of a successful Yard Sale. If you have poor yard sale signs it will be a lot harder for people to find you. People may see your sign, but it may be so hard to read that they just drive on by. Good signs, on the other hand, can draw in large crowds of people and increase how much you sell.

One of the best yard sales I've held was my first one. I had decided to put up most of the signs the evening before, that night it got really windy and I found out after my sale was over that most of the signs had been blown down. But, at both ends of my street I had put two huge yard sale signs made out of Styrofoam sheets my dad was going to throw away and some red paint. My neighbors at both ends of our street had chain link fences and I attached the signs to the fences with wire that I poked through the Styrofoam and twisted around the chain link fence. Those signs grabbed the attention of a lot of people just driving by.

Other successful yard sales I did with some friends of mine that also involved large signs that we designed on my computer with Open Office (which allows you to turn your document into a PDF file) and took to the printers and had them make several copies. We chose to make the signs on 11x14 paper, made the margins as small as we could, chose a bold font and made the font as big as we could (in the drop down menu area for font size it may show the largest size as something like 72 0r 96, but you can hand type a larger number in that box).
A lot of people who came to the yard sale said that we had the best signs and that they played a big factor in their coming to our yard sale.

Handmade vs. Commercially Made Yard Sale Signs

Should you buy yard sale signs or make your own?

If you hold a lot of yard sales it may be a wise investment to buy durable yard sale signs that you can use again and again. Another reason to purchase yard sale signs rather than make your own is it can save time. Commercially made signs can also be very easy to see and read (be sure the area where you hand write the address is large enough though).

Handmade signs can be cheaper and that is a great advantage. Another advantage to handmade signs can be the character that convey. I've seen some amusing, cute, or simply artistic, but still pretty legible yard sale signs.
Disadvantages can be the time it takes to make them. The tendency of handmade signs to be too small, illegible. And sometimes people can get too creative with them...contributing to the signs being hard to read or otherwise be confusing.

Yard Sale Signs Basics

The most important elements of a yard sale sign are:

The Description
What kind of sale is it? Usually it will simply say something like "Yard Sale" or "Garage Sale." It should be something simple and to the point. If you've bought pre-made signs this will already be on the signs. If you're making your own signs you can change things up a little. I saw one sign that advertised that it was a "Weird Sale"...which could backfire and keep people away, or it might make people curious and draw people in.


Choose paper or poster board wisely. Paper can be too flimsy in many instances. I've seen too many signs made of paper stapled to a skinny post and as the wind blows it folds the paper over so it can't be read. If the post you are attaching it too is wide enough that the sides or corners can be tacked or taped down then paper is okay. Otherwise poster board, cardboard or other material that won't bend in the wind is a better choice.

Include directions. This usually includes the address. In some cases the sign will just include an arrow. If there is room it's nice to have both an address and an arrow.

Include the date and time. Be specific. Many people find it frustrating to see a sign that says, "Yard Sale on Saturday." Only to find after driving around that the yard sale was for last Saturday and the sign was just never taken down. (Always take your signs down after your sale!)

Take your signs down after a sale. Yes, that repeats what was said up above. Leaving the signs up is very inconsiderate to your community, neighbors, others holding yard sales, and those who shop at yard sales.


Don't use paper or poster board that is too small. A regular 8.5 x 11 piece of paper is generally too small.I've seen people, in an effort to be more economical, cut their poster board to approximately this size or smaller. Making it impossible to make the lettering big enough to read. An 8.5 x 14 (legal size) is still small, but those couple of added inches can really help.

Don't write too small. Even if you take a large Sharpie or other large permanent marker and write tall and wide letters, that probably isn't going to be good enough. The lines of the letters will be too thin to read. The lettering needs to be thick, or fat, as well.

Get "too" creative. If your creative sign is hard to read or otherwise off-putting you defeat the purpose of the help you sell stuff and make some extra cash.

Tools for Making Yard Sale Signs

Marks-A-Lot  Jumbo Chisel Tip Permanent Marker, Black, 1 Pen (24138)
Marks-A-Lot Jumbo Chisel Tip Permanent Marker, Black, 1 Pen (24138)

The bigger the marker for handmade yard sale signs the better.


Creative Yard Sale Signs

Think outside of the box...and look inside the boxes of stuff you have for the yard sale and see if any of those items could be used to help create an attention grabbing yard sale sign. If you have an oversized stuffed animal perhaps you could make a sign for it to hold and perch that out in front of your sale. In another blog post I found a picture of a Power Rangers mannequin to help display their garage sale sign.

One of the most creative signs I have seen was shown on blog I was reading of a yard sale sign made from used clothing, to make a sort of "man" with a hand made from poster board pointing towards the direction of the sale. You could create a variation of this sign by using gloves for hands that point to the direction of the yard sale.

If you are getting rid of some old t-shirts try placing a piece of cardboard inside the t-shirt and write your yard sale sign on the shirt with permanent marker or paint...then post that to your street signs or lamp posts.

In the small town where I live we are no longer allowed to post signs to stop signs and the like. As a result people have started creating their signs on cardboard boxes that they'll place on the corners of streets and put rocks in them to prevent the wind from blowing them away. One year when having a yard sale I had a bunch of vintage suitcases, the kind with a hard body. So I taped my signs to those and filled them with some heavy items to prevent the wind from knocking them over and placed them on the corners of the streets. Although they were low to the ground, rather than at eye level, people did notice them.

What fun ideas can you come up for yard sale signs that will grab people's attention and draw them into you sale?


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