Bob Swisher: Advertising is key to a successful sale

Bob Swisher: Advertising is key to a successful sale

I made a living before I retired as a graphic artist. It extended my belief that the need for advertising should be the No. 1 consideration in selling anything. While most of my experience in production advertising was with direct mail, I worked in both newspaper and television art departments so the only area I am totally without knowledge is the Internet.

It has opened endless opportunities. Most people think advertising in general is expensive. There is a flaw in that thinking. We cannot prove how many people bought an Egg McMuffin because they saw it in the newspaper, heard it on the radio, saw it on TV or on the Internet. We can prove that McDonald's sells twice as much breakfast meals as any other competition.

Try holding a garage sale without putting out a sign or running an ad in the newspaper. Just fill your garage and open the door and see what happens. Unless you live on a busy intersection you will be disappointed. You do not need radio and television for a Friday-Saturday garage sale, but you do need posters or signs in the area and should advertise on both Friday and Saturday at the minimum.

In fact I would do at least Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Thursday gives you advance notice of the sale. Why Saturday, you say? You have already told them with your Thursday-Friday ad. A lot of people just take the newspaper on the weekends. The majority of people work a 40-hour week and do not even think about going to a garage sale or an estate sale until Saturday morning. If you are in an area where you do not get a morning paper, then running your ad on Saturday mornings would not help.

Word of mouth is still the best and least expensive way to advertise. Next to no advertising, rain, snow or bad weather is your worst enemy. There is no such thing as bad advertising, only no advertising fits that bill.

Bob Swisher has been a collector since he was a child. Questions or comments can be mailed to 807 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, or emailed to

Sections (1):Living
Topics (1):Housing