I loooove a yard sale. I rarely go to them, but I often think fondly of them when rising from my bed on Saturday morning...the treasures, bargain-basement-priced treasures: I really should go.
Though I don't go to many yard sales, I host a yard sale almost annually. And I've learned a few things, most of them the hard way.
Sidenote: FAVORITE YARD SALE MEMORY:
When a little boy unzipped his pants and almost peed on several items for sale until his dad noticed and shifted his aim at the last moment. I was glad nothing took a direct hit.
Not advertising.One year's yard sale was a particularly half-hearted effort. I threw up a few signs at key intersections close to our house, but they shriveled up after one night and you couldn't read them. I sat outside for three hours that Saturday, and two people stopped by.
If you are going to have a yard sale, 1) advertise on Craigslist and 2) make decent signs with large letters, and put them up on Thursday or Friday. Use pizza boxes or foam board, not poster paper.
If you are too cheap to advertise in the newspaper, like me, these two advertising avenues are critical. Having said that, I have plenty of yard sale friends who just drive around and stop if they happen to see a yard sale in progress. BUT I personally have to map it all out and print out directions from place to place. It keeps me sane. I am not free enough in my spirit to wander aimlessly early on a Saturday morning.
Yardsalequeen.com has some classic examples of bad signs. She also has a lot of helpful tips.
Have the yard sale Friday afternoon AND Saturday morning.