questionswhat day(s) of the week are best for a garageā€¦

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Friday and Saturday. Sunday is church day. The estate sale companies always have their sales on Fri and Sat.

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Every estate sale I have ever seen has been the full weekend, with items discounted on Sunday, usually 50%. Church tends not to last all day.

This has two bad effects. First of all, since they know they are going to discount it 50% on Sunday, the original price is twice (or more) what it really 'should' be. So if they want $50 for the item, they will price it at $100 on Friday and Saturday. I used to love going to estate sales before they started this crap. Also, random idiots calling their crappy garage sale an estate sale. If there's not a real estate sale company behind it, I'm not going.

The other bad effect? You can't get within a mile of the place at opening time on Sunday.

I don't know where your wife got Wednesday and Thursday as good days. People tend to aim for the weekend because that is when people have time to go looking at garage sales.

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@stile99: I still think the weekends are best for the most traffic even though my wife sees different. I think what might be part of my wife is seeing is the neighborhood we live in (and surrounding areas) are, how do I put this correctly, mostly "upper class". So there are lots of "stay at home wives" who have lots of free time to go "shopping" during the week. I guess we will see what happens. I plan on updating this question after out garage sale is done.

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I'm firmly in the "your wife is misguided" camp. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Saturday being probably the best day. This is just my own personal experience from having my own. Friday you'd get some business, Saturday a whole bunch, and Sunday about 1/3 less than Saturday.

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@jbraunonline: Once your wife has actually had to organize and run a yard sale or two, she'll happily and quickly back off the idiotic concept that a Wed-Thurs or four-day sale is a great idea.

A successful yard sale takes a lot of customers. Just because those "upper class" ladies might be home during the day doesn't guarantee they'll be either available or interested. And believe me, those with the most money tend to be the absolutely cheapest, tightest buyers when it comes to yard sales.

Aside from the fact that most folks aren't available on Wednesday or Thursday and are accustomed to Fri-Sat-Sun schedules, it's just a major PIA to get it all assembled and set up, spend 6-7 hours tending to it, and then have to move all the stuff inside or to the backyard or secure and cover it overnight, only to start all over the next day, let alone the next three days.

I can't wait to hear how her first Wed-Thurs sale goes. You will report back, right?

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@jbraunonline: One other thought: sales such as this get called various things, depending on the locale; yard sales, garage sales, tag sales, [faux] estate sales, etc. Different names and different physical settings can make a big difference in attracting casual, drive-by impulse shoppers.

(I've had to move one yard sale onto a way-too-small screened porch due to a torrential rain, which meant almost no customers and a quick sale to a dealer who offered me enough to make it worth giving him everything I had.)

You used the term "garage sale." I've seen sales literally in garages and driveways. I'm sure you're quick enough to know that if there are people wandering around inside your garage, you'll need to have someone with an eagle eye in there at all times. A surprising amount of stuff you didn't plan to sell can disappear in three minutes of inattention.

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So far all of our stuff will fit inside if bad weather comes.. we don't care much if anything "leaves without us noticing". Everything that doesn't sell is going to be donated to the DAV. and yes I will update when it is done. :)

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@magic cave: Seriously, you are spot-on about the Eagle Eye thing...have extra help if you can to watch the door to your home, etc. Stuff you NEVER INTENDED TO SELL can walk away too.

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To answer the original question, Friday is the best day in my experience. To plan a 4 or 5 day yard sale, you must be much younger and more energetic than I am! If you have good stuff, you can make good money, but a lot of it is just luck, the weather, or how much advertising you did. Do let us know how it goes!

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@magic cave: My mom and dad did a garage sale when I was a kid. She was helping answer some questions and turned around to see our bikes were being loaded onto a truck. The guy had literally wheeled 8-10 bicycles up the driveway and into his truck in 3-4 minutes. They were being stored behind the house 100 feet from the garage entrance, so there was no chance they were for sale. She was able to stop the guy before he drove off, but 30 seconds more and they would have been gone forever. He claimed that someone at the garage sale pretending to be in charge had claimed they were free. She called the cops and gave them his tag number even after he unloaded them. People like that are the scum of the earth.

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@capguncowboy: I hope we do not have that issue at our place!! We live in a good neighborhood so I'm not too worried but maybe I should hire a bouncer... any volunteers?
Also, we live in a townhome so there is no back yard to sneak into and grab stuff. the front door will be locked and the only other access to our "not for sale" stuff will be the garage, where we will be hanging out.

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@jbraunonline: They lived in a good neighborhood too. Unfortunately, the sale wasn't limited to local residents. You can't control the type of people that show up.

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@jbraunonline: @capguncowboy is spot on -- the neighborhood you live in is actually more likely to attract thieves. Very experienced, clever thieves. And some of them may even be your neighbors or their teenage kids.

Remember the infamous Willie Sutton, who, when asked why he robbed banks, said because that's where the money is? In his autobiography, Willie denied having said it, but he also said it was pretty obvious.

A sale of this sort needs at least two people and preferably three or even four, since everyone needs a restroom break sooner or later.

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@jbraunonline: Seems like most of the important points about sales have been made pretty well (especially re: thieves).. And I think someone else may have said it already, but if you live in a nice neighborhood, thieves are more likely to show up because nice neighborhoods typically have nice things :). And don't think there's a stereotypical thief - I've seen parents use their kids to steal.

The other thing I would say is, if you're wanting get as much exposure as possible advertise on Craigslist a few days ahead of time, also in any local newspaper/freebie ads and stick up a couple of road signs (if that type of thing is legal in your area). Corkboards/local community bulletin boards are also a good place to advertise if you know of any.. Different people check different places for current sales, so it's a good idea to cover as many bases as possible.

With that said, if you're wanting to limit exposure to your geographic area, you probably just want to stick to nearby road-signs.

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Hey, according to the text box that^ was a perfect comment! Exactly 0 characters remaining! That's gotta mean something right?
Got a pretty good feeling about that acceptance letter from Hogwarts

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Most of the garage sales around here are Thursday-Saturday, though some are Friday-Saturday or one day only. We had a garage sale a couple weeks ago on Thursday-Saturday and did most of our sales on Thursday. Saturday afternoon was reaaaaaaaallllly slow.

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@drchops: Oh yeah, good point about Craigslist. We advertised on Craigslist and brought several people in by doing so. We posted pictures, a map, and a general list of items. I think this really helped.

We also had a lot of really large signs that people could see from further away. Keep it simple: Garage Sale and address.

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@jbraunonline: Even though you will be around your door to the inside in the garage. Please lock it. keep your key around your neck. Sorry to say too many thieves around that are quick. One distracts you , the other slips in and out.
I hope you will be there with your wife. I would never recommend anyone having a sale on their own.

Be a little extra vigilant after your sale. You just posted your address and maybe had some folks stop in to scope things out .
Don't mean to look for worse case scenario. Just "Safety First" .

Borrow a big dog if you don't have one. That way anyone seeing your place will not be so enticed to come back. Or at least record one barking and have it play from inside every so often ;-) " We have to keep Brutus inside, he isn't nice to people he doesn't know"

Saturday mornings the best days around here. By Sat afternoon everyone is off doing their own thing.

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@drchops: I have seen the results of advertising on craigs list and while it works you want to have a lot of helpers that are big to discourage potential trouble. The Runaway bikes in one of the previous posts is a potential problem and someone could put a different ad on craigs list making your sale the target of people who thinks the items are free.

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I've only had a couple garage sales in my life, but my neighbor across the street is basically a pro. Friday and Saturday are the best days if you want a good turnout. I also wanted to add that if you live in one of those neighborhoods that do community garage sales (everybody on the same day), you can get a pretty good turnout, but you will not sell as much.

If your aim is to get rid of your junk, do it. If you want to make money, temp work is probably a better way to go.

One last thing: if you have some cute kids or know of any that would be available, set up a lemon aid stand with it. It draws people in and then they look around a little to. The last one I did, my kids made $50 over a couple days at 25 cents a cookie/glass of lemon aid and had a lot of fun.

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Stick to the weekend. Extending your hours to Friday is good for early birds, but bad for Saturday traffic. When I go out for yard sales, I want to hit as many stops as possible. So even if I had the day off, I wouldn't go to a lone Wednesday sale.

If I can only go on a Saturday, then I'll save the Friday-Saturday sales for last. Nobody wants to go after all the good stuff is gone. The longer the sale, the fewer people you get toward the end. Even if there's more people out.

If you do Friday, then stick to evening hours - 4-7pm is good. That way you can catch commuters on their way home.

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If it's allowed, make sure to put a sign on the main drag. My friends and I spend Saturday mornings doing various kinds of shopping, and if we see a garage sale sign we will follow it, but we rarely cruise neighborhoods looking for them and never pre-plan to attend a specific one. Put your address on the sign. I can't count the number of times we have followed a "Garage Sale" thataway sign with no address and never found the garage sale. Also, if you have some nicer or more unusual stuff for sale, make it visible from the road. We cruise by and if all we see is clothing and kitchen things we don't stop. We are usually looking for furniture, tools, art supplies, picture frames, lawn stuff. But if the assortment of stuff looks interesting then we will stop and we usually buy something.

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Also, if someone asks you to hold something for them and you say yes, do it. I often encounter garage sales while out walking my dog, ask them to hold the things I want, walk home and come back immediately in my car with money. In most cases they have my stuff bagged up and I pay them and move on. But one lady down the street from me said she'd hold five items for me, I told her it would take me about 15 minutes to get home and get the car, she agreed. As I was walking up her driveway she sold the main item I wanted. I watched the guy walk by with it and told her I thought she was going to hold it for me. She said the guy saw it and wanted to buy it but she still had my other four items. I said no thanks. She's had several garage sales since but I don't stop at them.

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here is an early update: We put out many signs, especially on main roads, late last night. The time on the signs and what we posted online says 10:30am start time. We have seen many people drive by starting around 8am. (we live on a dead end so we know they were coming to check it out.) A few lady's have bothered my wife to get a peek early, around 9:30. And YES, our 4 year old will be selling lemonade and cookies. :) I think we might need more security... any volunteers yet?? LOL Thanks for all your comments so far.

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@jbraunonline: 10:30 may be a late start time, but that might work out to your advantage. If there are other sales, then people can still be there right at the start without missing other sales. The only problem is how warm it might get, depending on where you are.

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@omnichad: we had to do 10:30 because we forgot to get change from the bank earlier so we had to do it this morning. And here in MN, it is pretty hot today. :( But business has been good so far. :)

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@jbraunonline: LOL, garage sales around here are done by 10:30am. They may hold out till noon but they don't get a lot of sales. It was 105 today. Nobody does outdoor activities from 10-3 unless they have no other choice.

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sorry for the delay in this last update, but for all who care: Overall it went well. Nothing stolen, made some good money. People loved the lemonade and cookies. We did it Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun. (yes we are crazy), and again on the following tues. We had most traffic in the early hours and then again around 2pm i think. All days brought people and it would be hard to guess what day(s) were best. And we still have some stuff if anyone is interested... :)