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Garage Sale Trail

G-Online

Be a part of Australia’s largest garage sale on April 10.

Garage Sale Trail
Garage Sale Trail2
Garage Sale Trail3

Rocky Elsom is captain of our national Rugby Union team, the Wallabies, and a fierce sustainability advocate.

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The first Garage Sale Trail was held last year in the Sydney beachside suburb Bondi and saw more than 125 garage sales raising an estimated $100,000 for sellers. This year it’s national, and over 230 sales have already been registered.

With Australian households contributing to nearly 13 million tonnes of landfill, the idea is to promote reuse before recycling.

“One persons trash is bound to be another’s treasure – although I certainly wouldn’t call our stuff trash,” says Andrew Duckmanton who together with his wife is hosting a garage sale called Funky Grandma's Phat Rocking Threads in North Bondi.

“I think our addiction to cheap imported products is really bad for us. Older clothes last a lot longer, they’re made from better materials, and they have better sewing and construction materials in them. Rather than going to landfill, someone can get a whole new life out of them.”

This is Duckmanton’s first garage sale, but he’s a self-confessed hoarder who admits he stops to look for a bargain whenever he sees a sale, or “anything that stops us being these massive consumers of new goods”.

“My wife has a bit of an obsession with vintage clothing, and we’ve bought far too much of it and it’s just overflowing into storage... So if we can sell it we’ll pay less on storage, and I’m happy about that.”

“The Garage Sale Trail have made it really easy. And it’s good because there’s a whole heap of PR behind it.”

“I think the hardest part, if you do a garage sale, is getting the people there. But if there’s just one sale in the street, do you really get the people there? Whereas something like this brings attention to your sale all over the city and I think it’s a great idea.”

There are around 30 councils participating, and they’ve agreed to publish a map of garage sales in the local community press. Participants also get a pack that includes a trucker hat, T-shirt, biodegradable balloons, and a guide. There’s even a free iPhone app and a bunch of useful hints on how to hold a successful garage sale on the website.

Garage sales can be registered (and de-registred if plans change) right up until the day of the sale.

If you’re thinking of getting involved and having a sale, Duckmanton recommends you “get all your stuff out and look at it. Have a look and see what you’ve got. Make sure that you’ve got enough.”

“Make sure it’s clean, make sure it’s washed, make sure it’s what you’d buy… If I’m not going to buy it, I wouldn’t expect someone else to.”

“We’re going to put up a gazebo in the street, so at least it’s under shade. Just be prepared that you’re going to be there for the day."

“And be prepare to haggle.”