When should my sale be open?

There are several factors to consider when you decide on your sale’s open/close times, including when you’re personally available to run it, and how close you are to other garage sales.

But most important, especially on citywide sale weekend, is this: the peak hours for sales in North Liberty. These are the best times to get large volumes of shoppers at your sale. And more shoppers = more $$$. 🙂

Which days should my sale be open?

This data came from the last three years, which included over 200 total sales each year. Here’s the breakdown by day:

  • About 30% of sales were open on THURSDAY
  • About 70% of sales were open on FRIDAY
  • About 95% of sales were open on SATURDAY

In short, Saturday is the best day for your sale to be open, so you can capitalize on high numbers of out-of-town shoppers. That said, there are usually over 200 sales on Saturday from 8AM-12PM—that doesn’t give shoppers much time to get to all of the sales.  

What hours should my sale be open?

In general, the peak hours for sales across all of North Liberty are:

  • Thursday: 5PM-7PM
  • Friday: 8AM–4PM (peak between 10AM and 3PM)
  • Saturday: 8AM–12PM (peak between 9AM and 12PM)

My personal favorite shopping time is Thursday evenings. I love a good sale that’s never been shopped, and Thursday night tends to be busy in the bigger neighborhoods.

Real-time: most popular sale time

Once the list opens, you can visit the List Stats page to see real-time stats about the list. As more sales get added, you’ll be able to see the hours each day that the most sales are open. This can help you plan your own open/close times.


When in doubt, start EARLY

Serious yard sale shoppers plan their routes in advance, and they aim to be the first shopper at every sale. If your yard sale starts a little earlier than the rest, you’ll be the first stop on their routes. Don’t set a starting time that’s later than other area sales. By the time your sale starts, your potential customers may be out of both steam and cash.

Some do’s and don’ts with scheduling

DON’T choose an open-close time too close to when you need to be somewhere else. You’ll need to do a few minutes of setup before you can officially “open” (setting out driveway items) and some take-down before you can “close” (e.g., taking the driveway items inside).

DO find someone else to work your sale for you, or wait until another weekend, if you can’t be open on the most popular peak times.

DON’T open your garage door—not even halfway!—until you’re ready for shoppers, even if you don’t have a sign out. People love to be first at garage sales, and I’ve heard stories of folks shimmying under barely-open doors to be first.

Your location

We know from past years that the “big 4” North Liberty neighborhoods have a lot of sales. I’m talking about Cedar Springs, Fox Run, Deerfield, and Arlington Ridge. So if you’re in one of these, you’ll likely get good foot traffic pretty much whenever you’re open. Even if your hours are wonky, there’s a good chance someone else in your neighborhood is open at the same time as you.

If you’re located in a neighborhood with fewer sales, it’s even more important to align with the peak hours. Folks are less willing to trek to a neighborhood with only one garage sale, especially if they are just browsing.

Try to partner with your neighbors and be open the same days and times, if possible. Try asking your neighbors on Nextdoor when they plan to be open, then match up if you can. That will help all of you to get more traffic.