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Are garage sales on the decline?

sign to a garage sale
sign to a garage sale
taken with permission

Trending topics and hash tags tend to gauge the pulse of popularity these days. But they are not the only indicator of what is hot and what is not.

Garage sale passion, with all its fervor, zeal and excitement, is alive and well for sure. It has not abated whatsoever; however, it seems as if the number of garage sales is declining.

Are we in a down-cycle for up-cycling or recycling? Or are other factors at play?

A little analytical set-up is in order to answer the question. The passion for garage sales may not serve as an incentive for a garage sale seller (and he or she is the one conducting the sale). Usually, the seller is motivated to earn the funds raised by the event. Money is the goal, purpose and rationale for most, if not all, the efforts expended in organizing and holding the garage sale.

  1. If the seller does not “need” the money, he or she will not go through the efforts to have a garage sale. Economic pundits decree that the economy has improved and perhaps the fewer number of garage sales is a positive (or is it negative?) indicator of that.
  1. On the other hand, charity groups can never raise “too much money” for their cause. As a result, there are more and more cause- driven garage sale events. Those tend to be held when volunteers are in greatest supply. The summer means vacation and the end of summer means school has just started its sessions. Enough said.
  1. There are sellers willing to host a garage sale, even if they do not want or need the money. These sellers are interested in de-cluttering and purging. It seems as if such activities are more prevalent in the spring or at the beginning of lifecycles. As a result, there are lulls, ebbs and flows in timing of garage sales.
  1. Phone calls and post cards seeking donations inundate the homeowner. The availability to donate with little or no effort may have impacted a seller’s practice of accumulating stuff. Without a bunch of stuff, there is not an impetus to have a garage sale.
  1. The garage sale is not the only venue to sell or buy stuff cheaply anymore. Ebay, Craigslist, consignment sales and stores are just the tip of the proverbial garage sale iceberg.

If and when you attend a garage sale, say your thanks to the folks in charge. After all, they did not have to go to the trouble to hold a yard sale. They had other options!

Let your garage sale Examiner know if you have observed this “trend” as well and what you are going to do about it. Send a tweet to @agaragesale.