Writing an effective garage sale ad requires some serious thought. You can't just call the newspaper company (or open up craigslist or GarageSaleCow.com) and think you can stammer off a few lines and call it good. No, you have to prepare! If you're trying to figure out what to include in a garage sale ad that will be available to the public -- as opposed to advertising via social networking -- then here are some crucial pieces of information you should not forget.
It's very important that the garage salers know where to go, so be sure to put your exact location. Give out a street address, certainly, but if it's difficult at all to find your particular house, you may want to include some more clues: landmarks, directions, or pointers. If you prefer, you can just note what neighborhood you're in, if you're afraid of creepy people using your address (the likelihood is pretty low, though), and then let your signs guide them from there.
Because newspaper sometimes mess up, and because people are prone to forget what day it is, you'll want to include the time and date in very clear terms. Don't just say "this Friday," say, "this Friday the 18th." Never put vague words like "tomorrow" or "in two days," because depending on when someone picks up the paper, they could be confused. Also, make sure you state what time you start so that if early birds show up, you can point out that you announced you weren't open yet.
Garage sale shoppers often sift through sales by figuring out which have items they're interested in, so you may want to include a few words about the main merchandise you're selling. Emphasize whatever it is you've got the most or the best of: books, baby clothes, car parts, or school supplies. Depending on the time of year, it may be prudent to mention seasonal items, such as a kiddie pool or Christmas decorations.
Finally, it's important to include some sort of descriptive line that expresses how you feel about shoppers. Sound vague? It's not. A short blurb along the lines of, "Stop by soon!" makes it clear that you really want shoppers to come and that you'll be a friendly host.
Ready with your brilliantly composed garage sale ad? Don't just pay for expensive newspaper ads -- get some free circulation with our website, GarageSaleCow.com!