You've chosen a summer weekend and your hours of operation. Your garage sale is almost ready to proceed. But wait! There's one very crucial thing you're missing: clientele. It turns out that it's pretty simple to bring flocks of bargain shoppers to your driveway -- you just have to turn to the right outlets.
Of course, it is a garage sale requirement to hang signs around your neighborhood. Use bright cardstock sheets to draw attention to your sign -- especially during the peak months of garage saling, when signs will cover telephone poles, stop sign poles, and public grass. Make your dates and times bold, add an arrow to direct them towards your house, and maybe put a line or two about what shoppers might find at your sale.
Before you finalize things, see if you can get your neighbors to join in. Even if they don't want to setup a sale in their own yard, you can offer to sell their items for them in exchange for some word-of-mouth advertising. Ask them to speak with their local friends and any garage salers they know, and make sure to give them the correct time and date to share.
Your community newspaper likely has a section in the classifieds for garage sale notices. If you live in a larger city, or in the suburbs of one, it could be expensive to purchase an ad of any substance; but do some digging to see if you can turn up a local paper that is looking for community sales to advertise for free.
Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth advertising! Talk to people in the groups you're involved with in your community: church, co-op, childcare, school, library, or even book group. Let them know when your sale is and ask them to pass the word along if they think about it. And often, community groups have bulletin boards where you can post a flyer for free.
Another potential place to hang flyers is at your local stores. Make sure to speak to a manager before taping anything to their windows, but lots of grocery stores are more than happy to let you put up a sign as long as you make sure to take it down in at timely fashion. Gas stations may also be open to letting you hang signs.
And don't forget the power of the internet! If you have a blog with local followers, post a notice; if you have a solid social networking circle, let them know. If your community newspaper charged too much for their print edition, check out their discussion forums for an announcements section where you can post for free.
The web resources go beyond your personal circle -- garage sale databases like GarageSaleCow.com provide like-minded people with a chance to share listings and events coming up. Your yard sale could draw attention from people in the next neighborhood over who found you on GarageSaleCow.com!