While it's true that you can have a successful sale -- with careful planning, of course -- any weekend of the spring or summer, being wise about when you choose to have your yard sale can maximize your sales and your overall experience.
You're probably already aware that weekends are the best choice for holding a garage sale. It might seem like a good business move to hold it on a weekday, as there will be no one to compete with you, but honestly no one is looking for garage sales during the week. For one thing, many people are at work, and for another, most will just dismiss your signs as leftovers from the last weekend. Unless you're specifically targeting stay-at-home moms who are out running their errands near your neighborhood, choose a weekend.
The first sunny weekend of the year is not a wise choice, because once the sun comes out, people get restless and head on mini-vacations to enjoy the sun. In most places, any weekend in May is the perfect choice -- the weather is nice and people start expecting to find garage sales, but there are no major holidays to take people out of town.
Holiday weekends in your neighborhood can be quiet and empty. The Fourth of July is particularly bad, although Memorial Day and Labor Day are also seen as perfect vacation opportunities, so unless you live in a vacation town, don't waste your time on a holiday weekend. Local events, such as parades and rallies, will also distract potential shoppers.
So what are the best times to hold a yard sale? Try any weekend after a holiday. Your would-be customers are back in town and refreshed from their get-away the week before, meaning they're up for perusing garage sales and probably won't be leaving home again for a while. There's the added bonus of you being home that weekend, too, without losing any vacation opportunities.
Weekends leading up to the return to school are perfect for targeting families with children who will soon start classes again. With all the expensive clothes and supplies that come with a new school year, many parents seek deals elsewhere besides the department stores, and garage sales are a popular target for the thriftiest. Make sure you note on your signs if you have any children's clothing or potential school supplies to bring moms and dads flocking to your yard.
If you do choose to hold your sale during the off-season, here are some special tips for a successful fall or winter yard sale:
- Prepare for wet weather! Try to get some shelter, or hold the sale inside your garage. If you don't have any other way to protect your items, at least keep tarps on hand to cover them until you can transport them inside.
- Keep your items in covered boxes if possible and tell customers they're welcome to peer inside.
- Laminate your signs to avoid running and dissolving.
- Sell hot chocolate or coffee. Customers will be grateful for the warmth.
No matter when you choose to hold your yard sale, GarageSaleCow.com can help. Post your listing for free and draw on the world's biggest online garage sale community to help you advertise and find more customers!