There are some sure signs of summer. One sign of summer is all the yellow flowers popping out of the ground, but another is the popping up of Yard or Garage Sale signs that can be seen every weekend.
The history of yard sales can be traced back to the 17th Century when they were called rummage sales and were held on the docks of England’s ports. They use to sell cargo goods that were unclaimed or damaged. The items would be hauled out of a ship’s hole and sold right on the docks.
By the 18th Century the sales had moved off the docks to the warehouses and storehouses and by 1890’s various church groups held them to help in the charitable causes they supported.
After World War II the yard sale took off in North America. As industry produced more and more newer, modern products people realized that a yard sale was an excellent way of getting rid of products they no longer used. As more homes came with a garage attached the yard sale morphed into the garage sale format.
Today people have a number of reasons for holding a garage sale. Many seniors moving to a smaller home will use the opportunity to lighten the items they no longer use. Some will hold them to remove clutter, while still others see it as a way to make some extra money.
Individuals who visit garage sales also have a number of reasons for attending. They may find this an excellent way to add to their reading as books normally are at a huge discount. They maybe a collector and are looking for that hidden gem, or just get lucky as one woman who paid $25.00 for an old table only to sell it years later for $490,000.00. Others are just looking for something they want but don’t want to buy new, like a bookcase, or a recreation room sofa. Still others attend just for the fun of it and to meet the people that live in their community.
Some tips many buyers use are to know where you are going, go early, and bring cash in small bills. Don’t overlook Community or Church sales as they generally have more items you may be looking for like books or dishes.
Today the internet has added a new dimension to garage sales as people can now advertise days or even weeks before the sale for little or no cost. Sites such as Kijiji even allow you to run a sale right on the internet.
Garage sales are generally unregulated with few municipalities requiring a permit. In North America it is estimated that garage sales account for over 2 billion dollars annually.