December 19, 2022

When Is the Best Time to Have an Estate Sale?: Winter & Here’s Why

best time for estate sales

Is winter a bad time for estate sales? 

We stay busy year-round with good reason. No time is the wrong time to have the sale, but there is a time of the year when you’ll be most successful. So, when is the best time to have an estate sale?

Contrary to popular belief, the coldest season is the best time for estate sales

Here’s why you shouldn’t be concerned if you need to have your estate sale during winter.

Winter Is Better for Sellers; Summer is for Buyers

Spring and summer are packed with garage and estate sales.

Fortune favors the brave; if you have a sale during the winter you will surely see more people come through the sale. More people means more potential buyers.

Dealers and resellers have fewer options in the winter. When there are 10 garage sales to hit, a dealer may not even make it to your estate sale. But if you are the only estate sale going on, they will likely show up.  

Typically they are willing to spend more in the wintertime because they have fewer options to buy from.  Dealers and resellers need the stuff to sell since that is how they make a living.  And if your estate sale is the only option, they are going to show up and buy. 

 So far, you have more buyers, willing to spend more!

Collectors Need Gifts Too

We all have that one close person who can be tough to buy gifts for. They don’t want a typical store-bought gift or gift card. But they may love a rare or unique item from an estate sale.  

During the holidays we have people who say, “I’m so happy I found this, my Uncle is so hard to buy for and this is going to be the perfect gift!” 

People Like to Go Out During Winter

People get a little cabin fever during the winter and are looking for a reason to get out and do anything.  There are often people who show up every week no matter where we are in the city.  

Often, in the winter, I hear our regulars say “We are so glad you had a sale this week so we had something to get out and go do.”  Sometimes, they will even bring in their friends or family from out of town. This way, we get double the number of customers.

With the holidays allowing folks to be off of work or school, it frees them up to hit an estate sale on a Thursday or Friday. Normally, they can only come on Saturdays.  So instead of only showing up for half-price days, they show up on a full-price day and spend more!

Holiday Decor Sells Better

Christmas and other holiday decor can be tough to sell. But during the holiday season, lights and trees that don’t get a second look during summer, are suddenly hot tickets.  

Venders love to pick up holiday decor to decorate their booths or stores for the holiday season. People will also buy the strangest items during the holidays for that perfect White Elephant Gift Exchange.  I mean, who doesn’t need an olive green 2-foot-long plastic shoe horn from a gift shop on Route 66 that closed 20 years ago?

The reality is that the only thing that can really affect a sale negatively in the winter is a significant snow or ice storm right before the sale.  If this happens we stay flexible and shift the sale to a later date that accommodates everyone.