The simple act of buying and selling at a garage sale can do a lot of “good stuff”.
Beyond the business transaction that hands someone a little extra cash and delivers someone else a bargain, garage sales bring communities together, help save the environment and improve people’s wellbeing.
Or so says Andrew Valder, who founded the Garage Sale Trail with Darryl Nichols six years ago to encourage people to reuse their unwanted “stuff”, take responsibility for their waste and have a little fun along the way.
“At a time where we’re more isolated than ever, events such as Garage Sale Trail that bring communities together can have significant social outcomes,” Mr Valder said.
“Holding a garage sale and getting to know your neighbours means that you’re contributing to a connected community that’s healthier, happier and even more prosperous.”
This year’s Garage Sale Trail will be held on Saturday, October 22. You can register your garage sale on the trail for free at garagesaletrail.com.au. Bargain-hunters can scope out the most likely places to find a treasure.
Taking part in the Garage Sale Trail is an opportunity to stop and consider the impact we’re having on the planet and the things we can do to help make a difference, Mr Valder said.
Last year almost 3 million pre-loved items were sold through more than 13,000 garage sales registered for the Garage Sale Trail across Australia. That would fill enough shopping trolleys to stretch for 100 kilometres.
A garage sale is also a great way to bring communities together and get to know the neighbours, Mr Valder said.
Last year each Garage Sale Trail participant made an average of 22 new community connections and stayed in touch with half of them on an ongoing basis.
“We absolutely love the unexpected interpretations of garage sales that we see on the day,” Mr Valder said.
“In the past, people have sold some quirky items including a signed U2 gold record, a beachside apartment, a highland cow, a hovercraft and a definitive collection of Star Wars figurines. Two Swedish girls even set up a roller disco in their garage for the day!”
The Garage Sale Trail has grown from a grassroots event to a program powered by more than 150 local councils. The first 2500 sellers in participating council areas who register online before September 25 will receive a free promotional pack to maximise their garage sale’s success.
Fairfax Media is a partner with Garage Sale Trail to promote waste education and to unite communities.
Bring out your “good stuff” to sell on the Garage Sale Trail and you might also just make some new friends and help save the planet.