Ahwatukee is jumping with garage sales this spring. If you're planning a garage sale, remember that good signage is your number on marketing strategy.
A few guidelines apply:
The bigger the better. 30" x 20" or poster board size is a good, readable size for a car whizzing by.
The more the better. Plan on having two signs on every major intersection within a half-mile of your house, and more signs up to a half-mile farther out from those on major roads to prepare people to turn. Eight to 20or more signs is ideal.
Consistency. It's best to have all signs the same color with the with the same big, bold printing.
Keep it simple. A large black arrow on a neon sign is all you really need to attract buyers. Most people around here know it means you'll find a garage sale at the end of those guiding arrows.
An arrow with a five-inch width by 20-inch length will be clearly seen. (How many times have I had to slow down to read a tiny sign with one-sharpie-width scrawls making it hard to see which way the arrow is pointing?) Writing “sale,” “yard sale,” “huge sale,” “moving sale,” or “garage sale” is fine above or below the arrow. But the arrow should be the largest item on your sign.
Hours for your sale are helpful for people who can't stop right now but may want to come back later. Garage sales in the spring are usually 7 a.m.-noon, or 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. As it gets hotter, people close earlier. Your address is not necessary.
Placement of signs. It is illegal to use any public property – stop signs, street signs or street light poles – to hang your sign. It gets the poles all gunked up with sticky tape residue. It is an especially big no-no to wrap tape round and round a saguaro to hang your sign, like one intrepid person did on Chandler Boulevard.
Materials. Bright poster boards of the same color, black extra wide sharpie pens, and packing tape. Tape your signs to boxes. Place the boxes on their sides next to the sidewalks and weigh down with bricks, large rocks, or even canned food or water bottles.
An alternative is to buy premade garage-ale signs made of plastic corrugated material and mount it on an "H wire" stake. Pound it into the ground with a rubber mallet. The ground is pretty hard around here, so most people opt for boxes.
Hanging signs. The night before is ideal. Waiting till the morning of the sale tends to be overwhelming.
Taking down signs. Start taking the signs farthest from your house down first. Work your way towards your house. It's ideal if you can get a good friend or handy relative to do this for you, as you'll be exhausted by this time.
Extras. "We accept credit cards" written on your signs will bring in more buyers. You can order a free card reader to plug into any cell phone at squareup.com/free. They do charge 2.75 percent per sale but people do tend to spend quite a bit more.
If you're holding your sale on extra days, such as Friday or Sunday, write that on the sign so people will know the sign is not meant for Saturday only.
Reuse. Give your signs to a friend with an upcoming sale, or offer them free on craigslist.org, the Freecycle Ahwatukee, or a Facebook Ahwatukee yard sale group.
You might have so much fun you'll keep your signs for your next sale. Just remember: don't hang your sign on a cactus.
-Contact Garagesalegirl@kellyathena.com with news of upcoming sales.