11 November 2022

There's about to be an explosion of garage sales - what's going on?

| James Coleman
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garage sale

The annual Garage Sale Trail is on this weekend and next. Photo: Garage Sale Trail.

Juneffa will join tens of other households in the ACT and Queanbeyan-Palerang region by rolling up the garage door this weekend and welcoming all comers to grab a bargain.

“I’m in the process of downsizing, so there’s a lot of homewares, such as cushions and vases, furniture including a TV stand and room screen, picture frames, electronic stuff, DVDs and books,” she says.

Several items from her wardrobe, including several “really fancy” Pakistani quilts, are yet to come.

The name of her garage sale – ‘Glamorous Merchandise, Fabulous Crap on Sale’ – is one of more than 20 in the area to join this year’s Garage Sale Trail.

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Invented by two Bondi Beach residents 11 years ago, the annual Trail event is described as Australia’s festival of pre-loved stuff, built on the adage that one person’s trash is sure to be another’s treasure.

Funded by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy initiative and supported by local councils and the ACT Government, more than 200,000 Australians registered their garage sale on the Trail’s website last year.

Together, this is estimated to have extended the life of more than 1.5 million kilograms of stuff that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

This year’s Trail event spans two weekends, 12 to 13 and 19 to 20 November.

Garage sale trail 2021 marketing image

The Garage Sale Trail was kicked off by two Bondi Beach residents in 2011 and has gone national. Photo: Garage Sale Trail.

For the first time, Garage Sale Trail has partnered with PayPal to enable cashless payments for this year’s event. After they have downloaded the PayPal app, shoppers and sellers can make and accept secure, touch-free payments by QR code.

The ACT Government and Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) are on board for 2022. QPRC mayor Kenrick Winchester describes the Trail as a “fun and social way for residents to reduce waste, meet their neighbours and make or save a few bucks”.

“The garage and group sales registered locally will see around 10,000 kilograms of good stuff saved from landfill,” he says.

Charity-run sales are a key part of the event, with Vinnies and Salvation Army op-shops getting in on it. The Queanbeyan area will be headlined by a group sale in the nearby Burra community, with over 50 stalls. Buy-back centres in Braidwood and Bungendore will be open as normal, and the Queanbeyan Library will be selling a selection of old books, DVDs and audiobooks.

The bulk of the action, however, goes to individual garage sales.

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Teena Bacon from Jerrabomberra is joining it for the first time, keen to make some space in the garage for their new fleet of P-platers.

“Our kids are now teens, and we have lots of things they have outgrown that can have another life with smaller children,” she says.

“I heard about the Trail and thought it was a great idea. It is good for the environment, encouraging reuse, repurposing and reducing waste which was appealing to me. We have previously donated our things. However, this time, we thought we would try to make some Christmas spending money too.”

Teena’s sale will largely consist of toys, books, musical instruments, sports equipment, games, baby linen, kitchen items, furniture, garden tools, picture prints, teenage girls’ clothes, and “other bits and pieces”.

Garage sale sign

Signage and bunting are supplied. Photo: Garage Sale Trail.

Danielle Kenway, also from Jerrabomberra, is another first-timer with a lot of odd things in the mix, including horse riding gear, dog training equipment and collectables, including coins, stamps, vinyl albums and “some really old books”.

“We’re trying to find someone to value our collections, but we don’t know where to start.”

Wendy Rodriguez from Karabar has done the Trail before, but only when she can’t stand the clutter of clothing, shoes, electronics and children’s toys in her home any longer.

“I am doing it to de-clutter my home and [I want] to avoid many of my things going to waste in the landfill,” she says.

Lauren Waite from Crestwood is almost a garage-sale veteran. She and her husband hosted a couple of garage sales in Goulburn before they moved to Queanbeyan in 2019.

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“It’s always good to meet fellow bargain hunters and op-shoppers, especially when, like us, they like to hear the stories behind some of the items you’re selling.”

She says a successful sale starts with a letterbox drop of the area in the lead-up to the day, followed by bright signs and bunting, which this year are provided by Garage Sale Trail.

Then there’s how to deal with the inevitable hagglers.

“If we put cheap prices on each item, people are more likely to buy or haggle rather than when we have no prices on – bargain hunters feel less inclined to ask the price,” she says.

“Having some interesting items on the verge and leading down the driveway is also much more inviting to passers-by than if they have to go far down a narrow driveway.”

Find your nearest garage sale by searching your postcode at Garage Sale Trail. Opening hours for each are included.

Original Article published by James Coleman on Riotact.

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