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Back to the future: The Garage Sale Trail returns

By Madeleine Gray on October 7, 2016 in News

Photo: Biff Tannen

Photo: Biff Tannen

On a scale of never to always, how often do your grandparents wax lyrical about ‘the good old days’, when kids would play on the street instead of online, and lemonade stalls were the building blocks of the national economy? And then, after they’re done, how often do they ask you to help them change the channel on the TV because they can’t work out how to use the remote? Exactly.

There has to be a better way – a way in which the community-building values of the ‘good old days’ can be combined with the technological savvy of the younger generations.

The founders of Garage Sale Trail have worked out how to do just this. Back in 2011, the first Garage Sale Trail was held in Bondi. Locals and visitors could peruse the streets of Bondi, finding old treasures, recycling ‘trash’ and enjoying the simple pleasures of local exchange and banter.

Fast forward to 2016, and the Garage Sale Trail has met the future. Using interactive online maps and the ingenuity of smartphone applications, the humble garage sale has been well and truly heralded into the 21st century.

This year’s Garage Sale Trail will be held on October 22, with over 13,000 garage sales happening all around the country – hundreds of them in our very own Eastern Suburbs. Stallholders are encouraged to register their sales online, detailing what they will be selling, and why they deserve your patronage.

A spokesperson for the Trail explained that the “real magic happens with funny sale names, hand-made signs and incentives to lure people to garage sales that would make Richard Branson proud”.

Potential buyers can go online, check out what will be on offer, and then ‘add’ individual garage sales to their online ‘Treasure Trail’.

“You can use your Treasure Trail to invite friends to join you on social media, navigate around your area using the map on your phone or print a simple list to take with you,” a Trail spokesperson told The Beast.

This year Aussie fashion designer Kate Anderson (ex-head designer at Finders Keepers, now behind new label So it Goes) is the Trail’s ambassador, a position she’s not taking lightly.

“Garage Sales offer the perfect opportunity to hunt out those hidden gems that ware often at the bottom of someone’s old pile,” she said. “The best part about fashion is the ability to mix and match old with new.”

Ms Andersen said that she thought the online aspect of the Trail was a real game-changer.

“You can hunt through all the sales in advance and see the pieces that others are selling and then create your own ‘trail’.

“There’s no time to waste on a day where there are over 13,000 sales happening around the country.”

“Plus, I found my favourite treasure at the bottom of a garage sale pile many years ago: my John Farnham t-shirt – one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure!”