Estate Sales on Holiday Weekends

While holidays come just once a year, estate sales are year-round. Should business stop just because it’s a designated holiday or long weekend?

Only you can really decide, and learning via trial and error, talking to estate sale companies, especially those near you, and scoping out the activity in your area are all smart ways to help you make a decision.

We talked to estate sale companies to find out what they did during holiday weekends. Let us know in the comments if you have any different advice!

Halloween

When Halloween falls on a weekend, you may be wondering if you should go ahead and hold your sale, or risk it being a ghost town. Most estate sale companies say go for it! Halloween festivities, like trick-or-treating or Halloween parties usually take place at night, anyway.

Have fun with it and have your employees dress up in costume! It could be a great way to find more regulars who love your festive spirit.

Halloween Estate Sale Traffic
Graph* shows traffic on and around Halloween, Saturday October 31, 2015, indicated by the arrow. The consistent spikes occur on Thursdays and Fridays when most shoppers are searching for estate sales to attend that weekend. As you can see, Halloween had no real effect on estate sale web traffic.

Black Friday

This one can be tricky. Sure, Black Friday was created in order to get people to spend money. Plus, you can be certain many families are itching for a break to relieve their cabin fever.

That said, you may be competing with the Super Wal Mart selling the latest Apple product. It might be better to hold your sale on Small Business Saturday instead, when shoppers will be looking to buy local.

Black Friday Estate Sale Web Traffic
Graph shows the dip in traffic around Black Friday, November 27, 2015, indicated by the arrow.

November – February (aka Slow Season)

Perhaps counter-intuitive, but the months between Thanksgiving and Spring Break can be ideal times to hold your estate sale. Why? Because this is when there’s a lull from garage and yard sale season — so there are fewer sales to compete with. There are also fewer shoppers who are used to getting lower prices and want to know why your prices aren’t as low as garage sales or flea markets.

Between Christmas & New Year’s

Pros: Most say go for it. Especially if you live in a warm weather area, it’s likely people are ready to get out and about. After being cooped up with family for days on end, several estate salers are itching to get out of the house.

Cons: If you’re in a larger company and have regular estate sale employees, it might be a good time to give your help time off during the holiday season — so they can rest and recoup and be ready for business when the season starts back up again.

You may need some down time, too. The lull between the holidays and the new year may be the best time to catch your breath.

Estate Sale Traffic between Christmas and New Years
Graph shows the dip in traffic between Christmas (Friday) and New Years Day (Friday), 2015.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

The consensus here is don’t risk it! While you could end up having a lucrative sale, and many estate sale companies do, the truth is a lot of people spend those days with their parents and families. Interestingly, Father’s Day doesn’t seem to make as much of a difference as Mother’s Day did, as shown in the graphs below. 

The solution? See if you can have a two day sale on Friday and Saturday, or consider pushing it up to a three day sale that begins on Thursday.

Mothers Day Estate Sale Traffic
This graph shows a slight dip in traffic preceding Mother’s Day, compared to later weekends.
Fathers Day Estate Sale Traffic
This graph shows the traffic on and around Father’s Day. No real significant change.

3 Day Holiday Weekends

Some estate sale companies find holiday weekend sales can be quite lucrative, while others say, No way! Here’s how to weigh your options:

Pros:

  • Long weekends means people are off from work and school and can spend time hitting the estate sales.
  • If you’re planning a three day sale, a long weekend is a great way to have customers who are likely free from work/school all three days.
  • While it’s true some people leave town for holiday weekend, often this means people are visiting, too, bringing in a new crowd of potential customers.
  • You may not have as much competition from other estate sale companies holding sales.

Cons:

  • Long weekends may also mean everyone has skipped town. Consider your area. If you live in a vacation destination, holding an estate sale may attract even more customers: tourists looking for something to do.
  • Long weekends may mean people would rather go do outdoor stuff, rather than be cooped up indoors at someone’s stuffy old estate sale
  • Major holidays like July 4th or Memorial Day often have other planned events going on, so your estate sale could be competing with parades, picnics, and parties.

• Memorial Day

Memorial Day Estate Sale Traffic
This graph shows the traffic on and around Memorial Day 2015. No real significant change.

• Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Estate Sale Traffic
This graph show the traffic around Labor Day 2015. The preceding weekend shows a slight dip.

• 4th of July

July 4th Estate Sale Traffic
This graph shows the traffic went down significantly on and around Saturday July 4th, 2015.

When holding a holiday estate sale:

  • Try holding a one-day-only sale to create a sense of urgency.
  • Consider beginning and ending the sale earlier to allow people to spend part of the holiday with their families. For example, start your sale on an earlier day (Thursday) or being and end at an earlier time (1 pm, for example).
  • Check out your location. If you’re in a spot people leave to go on vacation, holding your estate sale on July 4th probably isn’t a great idea. However, if you live in a destination spot, it could be a way to attract tourists looking for something fun to do in the area.
  • If you have the resources, try offering something festive at your sale to bring in buyers, like barbecue for a 4th of July sale or sweet treats (served on vintage Pyrex?) or even holiday give-aways to keep it fun.
  • Bottom line: true estate salers love a good sale, and if it falls on a holiday weekend, even better.
  • And remember, it’s always a good idea to account for holidays sales in your estate sale contract, stating that revenue may be impacted by holidays and that potential revenue lost.

*Graphs taken from Google Analytics data for EstateSales.org in 2015.

Holiday Weekend Estate Sales

Have you ever held an estate sale on or near a holiday? How did it work out? Let us know in the comments below!