For some people, the traditional 8-2 or 9-3 garage sale hours just aren't all that great. Maybe you're a night owl, and can't stand the idea of moving around before noon. Maybe you're a morning person, and working in the afternoon is daunting. If you find one of these things to be true about yourself, perhaps you should hold your garage sale during unusual hours that don't normally see sales popping up around the neighborhood.
There are some times that are better than others to hold garage sales. For morning people, starting around 6 a.m. will catch the early birds who are out to check out garage sales before everyone else; plus, it will likely be light out by the time you're set up and opening up shop. For night owls, starting around 3 or 4 p.m. is convenient, because regular yard sales are just wrapping up and so shoppers are still out and about.
And then there are times that no one should hold a garage sale (unless you live in Alaska, where you can do anything outside during some months in the year). Starting before 5 a.m. is just ridiculous; you won't attract anyone, especially not on the weekends. Likewise, starting after 5 p.m. will ensure that no one shopping regular hours will even know about your sale unless they're paying specific attention to your signs.
You have to approach advertising a little differently when you're holding unusual hours at your garage sale. Instead of making the contents of the sale, the arrow, or the date in large font, make the time big and bold. Emphasize that the hours are unusual, so that people won't assume that the numbers mean a.m. or p.m. (whichever makes more sense).
If customers come too early or too late to your sale, you want to attract them back. (For people who come too late, it will obviously only work to lure them back if your sale continues into the next day.) Remind them that they can do all their other shopping now and come back to yours when they've bought everything else they need. Or, if you can afford to do so, offer them a special deal if they return. For instance, you could say that people who return can have 25% better prices. Just be sure to say it quietly!
Especially if you have odd hours, you'll want to list your sale somewhere. Come advertise for free at GarageSaleCow.com! We'd love to have more yard sale fanatics like you.