Friday, July 18, 2008

How to Write A Memorable Yard Sale Ad

I'm sick of seeing crazy people with enormous egos write absurdly fraudulent yard sale ads. They all claim to be the biggest in town, to have everything, and to be huge and amazing. It sounds enormously trashy, and read in the right voice, they could be describing porno films instead of yard sales.

THIS is how you write a distinctive yard sale ad. Free cookies and change in rare currency! It's appealing and it's not a blatant lie that any idiot can immediately spot. Further, if I go there, I can get a cookie!

I'll let you know if I end up getting to that one, and how the cookie is.

EDIT: I did not end up going there - my route led me elsewhere and there just weren't many other sales in that part of town (which is beyond the sale holder's control, but still a factor when planning a yard sale route).

I see I'm getting lots of hits for this entry through Google. I'm thrilled that people are trying to look this up and take the effort to write a good ad, so I will make a point to write a proper article on the topic in the near future. In the meantime, the best advice I can give is to be clear and honest - use your space to give useful info (start and end time, address (at least to the street name), some details on what you're selling (especially if you're only selling clothes or baby things, you should note that), and any other relevent info (Are you in a new area that Mapquest and Google Maps can't find? Are there parking concerns? Is this a multi-family sale?)). As mentioned above, nobody takes you seriously if you talk about how huge your sale is or how much stuff you think you have - skip the hyperbole and stick to describing things accurately. If you can, take out an ad on Craigslist (a free classifieds website) and go into detail there - since there's no space limit (newspapers charge by the line), you're free to explain more.

If you do have a specific question about writing good ads, feel free to write me at - I am a seasoned yard sale shopper, with over 10 years of being out there early nearly every Saturday morning. I'm generally pretty fast at responding to short e-mails, but on Friday nights I'm likely busy planning my yard sale route.

No comments: