Please stop making bad yard sale signs

Your yard sale information has to be visible by drivers. Sure, this sign is visible, but the information isn’t.

This blog post is directed to you, the person desperately trying to get people to show up at your yard sale, the person who’s never done one before and isn’t exactly sure how to go about it.

In particular, we need to talk about your yard sale sign.

There are lots of ways to do a really good yard sale sign. There are just as many ways to do a bad one.

We’ve offered tips before on this, but we’re going to do it again.

Why? Because we saw the sign you see at right and we couldn’t believe how awful it was.

So once again, here are the Do’s and Don’ts of yard sale signs.

  • DON’T try to fit tons of information on your sign — like the hours of your sale. Just take the sign down when it’s over.
  • DO create or draw a highly visible arrow pointing drivers in the right direction.
  • DON’T use tiny lettering on your sign.
  • DO make big, bold, black, highly contrasting letters on your sign.
  • DON’T use colored markers to make it more “pretty.”
  • DO make sure that a driver can see it and read the information in just a few seconds.
  • DON’T buy pre-printed signs that offer you no space for putting the simplest details of your yard sale. The one at right is quite useless.
  • DO make your own sign. All it really needs to say is “YARD SALE” and the address.
  • DON’T hide your signs behind bushes or other obstructions.
  • DO ask property owners if you can place a sign on their property.
  • DON’T forget to take your sign down within a few days of your sale. The one at right was there a full month after the sale had ended.

So there you go, yard sale newbie, it’s really very easy. It’s also nothing to be lazy about. Good signage can bring a lot of customers to your sale, and the more customers the more money you make.

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Craft supplies come cheap at yard sales

The rain only battered the area early Friday morning, despite dire threats by the weatherman. That left the rest of the weekend clear for yard sale shopping.

Here are some of the great items we found.

We walked into one West York yard sale and the seller immediately said “everything’s 50% off,” which is a horrible strategy for making money. We very well may have bought items at the prices they had marked. Anyway, among the items this person had was a basket full of crafting supplies, as shown in this picture and the next one. The stamps were tagged at $1 each, but they and everything in these two pictures were sold to us for one low price. (More details below)

As we mentioned in the photo above, the items in this picture and that one came to us at one great price. Guess how much? $20? $10? Nope, the seller practically begged us to take this stuff for just $5. You can’t see them well in this picture, but there’s at least $5 worth of hot glue gun glue sticks in this group. There’s also a number of unopened items, including a utility knife and decorative stars.

This little book cost us just 25 cents and tells us everything we need to know about seashells. It’s small enough to put in a back pocket. As a comparison, we priced a phone app that also promises to help you identify shells. It would cost $3.99. We’re more than happy to take the cute little book to the beach.

This handsome piece of rooster wall art was $5.


Have you got a great yard sale story to tell us? An amazing find? Maybe a funny customer? Or how you prepared your blockbuster event. If you want to tell us, send an email or leave a comment below and we will contact you for the details.

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Best Bets for August 10-11

Get ready to fill your trunk with a weekend of yard sale fun in York.

Now is the time for yard salers to start the hunt for back-to-school items. We scour every sale for nice clothes, packets of pens, backpacks and unused notebooks. You might not have to do it this year though, because The York Dispatch, our blogging host, is running a Facebook contest to win a $50 gift card for back-to-school shopping. Find out the details here.

Now that you have the stress of back-to-school shopping off your back, you can have fun at this weekend’s yard sales. Here are our best bets:


  • 3143 Seaks Run in Glen Rock has a slew of guy friendly items: hunting, boating, camping and fishing equipment, a golf cart and even some Air Soft items.
  • A Dover yard sale at 3231 Altavista Road has DVDs, CDs, a Nintendo Game Cube and, most interesting, some wrestling action figures


  • Red Lion’s Kendale East is holding a neighborhood sale Friday and Saturday. Plug in an address at Hope Drive, and your GPS will get you there.
  • The Lakeview community in Spring Grove is ready for its sale this weekend. Look up Lakeview Drive to get you there.
  • Ascombe Farms in Dover is another community sale this weekend. Head out to Fox Run Road for that one.


  • A sale at 3631 Kingston Road in York promises “HUNDREDS” of childrens’ outfits and “TONS” of baby and kid items.
  • A Mount Wolf sale at 198 South Seventh St. promises that it’s antiques and vintage items only, as the result of a dealer close out.
  • Looking for the finishing touches to your new deck? A sale at 4080 Mulberry Road in Dover has some porch rockers.
  • Or looking to add to your statue collection? A 218 Holly Drive sale in Mount Wolf has Cat’s Meow and Cook figurines for sale.


The weather seems a bit iffy for Friday, with a chance of thunderstorms. Saturday looks more yard-sale friendly with partly cloudy skies. Both days will see temperatures in the mid 80s.

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How to recognize a ‘permanent’ yard sale

Some yard sales stick around for so long that the weeds have time to grow around the tables.

“Permanent” yard sales.

We hate them.

Regular yard sale attendees are sure to know what we’re talking about here, but just in case you haven’t been clued in, a “permanent yard sale” is when someone keeps trying to sell the same stuff over and over again.

  • Some of them tear down the sale at the end of the weekend, and just put it back up the next weekend.
  • Some of them wait a year in between the sales, but they always have the same stuff.
  • Some of them don’t even bother to do either, they just leave their tables and merchandise out — all year long.

For the Yard Sale Secrets team, there’s nothing more aggravating than getting excited by a new classified ad or following some signs and then arriving at a permanent yard sale — one we’ve been to before.

With that in mind, here’s our tips to recognize a “permanent” yard sale.

You know you’ve stumbled on a permanent yard sale when …

  • Thee grass under the table is taller than the grass next to the table.
  • You pick up an item and see that the table is a different color under the object.
  • The glassware has stains on it from where last week’s rain evaporated.
  • The florescent price tags have been bleached white by the sun.
  • You remember the signs from the last time you were there.
  • The oil on that “brand new” car part has leeched into the table.
  • You remember the hosts from last year.
  • A swarm of wasps is nesting in the old football helmet.
  • You have to knock on the front door to buy something.
  • You recognize the address from the classified ad.

The glassware on this table has been on this table since about 2005.



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Best bets for Aug. 3-4

Here are our best bets, as described in the York Dispatch’s classified section:


  • A sale at 114 S. Rockburn St. off Eastern Blvd. has a sale on Friday and Saturday starting at 8 a.m. features medical equipment, Christmas items, furniture, quilts, area rugs and much more. Not sure about buying used medical equipment, but it might interesting.
  • At the corner of Honey Valley and Sparton Rds. in Dallastown has a Singer sewing machine and an electric typewriter for sale. The sale runs Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day. While people still use sewing machines, we wonder about typewriters. They do look nice on a desk though.
  • First sale in 20 years! 1386 Druck Valley Rd. in East York. The sale will be held on Friday and Saturday from 8-2. Lots of treasures for everyone. Rain or shine. Note that they mention “first sale in 20 years.” this could be good.


  • There is a huge sportsman’s yard sale at the Manchester Fire Hall at 201 York Street in Manchester. This sale has a juke box that plays 45′s, hunting, fishing and trapping supplies, lots of fishing rods, guns and hunting clothes. The sale is on Saturday ONLY from 7-3.


  • In Loganville, the annual Logan’s Reserve community yard sale will be held on Saturday from 8-2. 30 or more families are participating in the sale. Take Susquehanna Trail; turn onto Reynolds Mill Road at new Rutter’s and True Value. They issue a “no early birds” warning, by the way.
  • Rain or shine neighborhood yard sale on Thornbridge, Northvue, Butternut Roads is holding a sale on Friday and Saturday from 8-4. Collectibles, furniture, Longaberger baskets, holiday decor, school and office supplies, car parts and baby, kids and adult clothes.


Friday is going to be mostly sunny with a high of 92 and Saturday will be cloudy with a high of 90.

Start your yard saling early before it gets too hot!



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