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For yards sale success, it’s all about the signs

Updated 18 minutes ago

When it comes time to sell a bunch of unwanted household goods, the traditional American way of doing so is via the yard sale.

Frequented by early rising seniors and bargain hunters alike, yard sales are an indelible part of the summer season on par with fireworks and ice cream trucks.

There’s just one problem: having the yard sale isn’t enough. You’ve got to do some marketing.

The conventional means of attracting customers is the old-fashioned, hand-drawn sign, complete with directional arrow, and word of mouth. Indeed, as the weather turns warm, more and more yard sale signs are popping up on utility poles throughout the Alle-Kiski Valley.

Some work better than others, though, according to the organizer of one local yard sale, Joe Gabelli.

Gabelli is hosting a multi-family sale Saturday in the 2000 block of Kimball Avenue in Arnold.

Gabelli said last year he had the idea of getting creative with his signage.

“It’s not enough to just put up a piece of cardboard with an address on it, you have to draw people in with something that catches their eye,” he said.

A product promotion supervisor, Gabelli said he enjoys the opportunity to get creative, but more than anything else, he knows that his somewhat silly signs are effective.

“The idea is to get people’s attention and, last year, we made about £800, so it definitely works,” he said.

Gabelli’s signs include a declared, “Zombie Free Zone,” a promise to “Make Yard Sales Great Again,” complete with a Donald Trump likeness, and guarantees that no dinosaurs will attack customers (the last dinosaur attack in Arnold was more than 7 million years ago, according to Gabelli, give or take 60 million years).

One sign claims that Kimball Avenue families need “money for beer.”

Fritz Fenner, a Kimball Avenue resident who found out about the sale through Facebook, said past multi-family yard sales have brought hundreds to their quiet corner of Arnold.

“This street was just filled with people in years past,” he said.

Gabelli hopes this year is a repeat of past sales.

Matthew Medsger is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

Reach him at 724-226-4675, [email protected][1] or via Twitter @matthew_medsger[2].


  1. ^ [email protected] (triblive.com)
  2. ^ @matthew_medsger (twitter.com)

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