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Get garage sale ready for the Garage Sale Trail

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You never know what you’ll find at a good ol’ garage sale but if you’re looking for a bargain or keen to find the treasure in your neighbourhood then you’re in luck this Saturday. The Garage Sale Trail has finally arrived. Now in its third year, this grassroots idea has blossomed into the biggest community and sustainability event in Australia.

Each garage sale you visit will be a different experience, and sometimes you may just leave empty-handed but either way there’s something satisfying about picking up a bargain or getting rid of the clutter in your home. So whether you’re selling or scouring here are a few tips to help you through the day and a round up of the top 10 garage sales worth checking out tomorrow.

Scouring the sales?

1. Plan your route

Before you even pick up your car keys know exactly where you’re going. Make a list (with the addresses) of the garage sales you want to explore and how long you plan on spending out. Not all garage sales start and finish at the same time so be sure to take factor that in too. Over at the Garage Sale Trail you can build a Treasure Trail to map out your personalised Garage Sale Trail journey.

2. Make a Shopping list

Sounds silly, but decide what you want to buy ahead of time and make a list. The worst thing you can do as a bargain shopper is spend more money than you wanted to on things that you’re never going to use. Having a list means you’ll only buy the things you truly want. You can even create your Treasure Trail based on the items on your shopping list, not just the location.

3. Early bird gets the worm

There’s a reason why garage sales tend to fizzle out come 1 o’clock. It’s because the early birds have had their pickings and rummaged up the best buys for themselves. Go early in the morning to get the best bargains.

4. Keep it small

Forget the credit or debit card, and don’t even think of writing a cheque. Take plenty of cash in small notes and coins as it will be much easier when it comes to paying for stuff. If you have to leave an item to get some more cash, then put a deposit on it with your name and number, (trust me, you won’t be burned that way).

5. Haggle, barter and negotiate

Never settle for the price that’s marked on an item. Offer a little lower first and odds are they’ll come back with a price a little higher than your offer. Don’t be intimidated to ask the person running the garage sale to lower their price or haggle to get a price that is acceptable to you both. Just remember do so politely and respectfully. If the seller won’d budge, swing back later in the afternoon, when the sale is about to end and the seller is tired.


6. Think smart

If you have a bigger car or ute, then drive it especially if you’re hoping to find furniture. Leave the big handbag at home and instead carry your money, licence, keys and phone in a smaller bag that you can throw across your body while scouring through the sales.

  • Pack some snacks and a bottle of water or two to keep your energy levels up and to avoid the temptation of a sausage sizzle at each and every sale.
  • Throw a tape measure in the car too for those big piece items and if you’re looking to fill a space in the house specifically, have the measurements written down in a notebook to take with you.
  • Have some recycled bags on hand to stow away your treasures in the car.

Selling your clutter?

Virginia Wells from Well Sorted offers up the following tips if you’ve cleared out the clutter ready for tomorrow’s garage sale…

  • Pull out all of your plastic bags and allow them to free up your cupboards! You can use these to bag up items to your buyers.
  • Clean, wash or wipe down all of your items – first impressions count.
  • Keep items off the floor where you can – put them up on tables or even on upside-down boxes.
  • Have a giveaway section setup at the back of your sale and put signage up outside to lure customers in to rummage and linger.  This would be the items you were going to donate for instance.
  • Have a plan for unsold items. Don’t undo all of your hard work by leaving them sitting in the garage until the next clear out.
  • Store your valuable items in eyesight.
  • Have everything labelled clearly with prices – either individually labelled or a sign on/above the table that says “All items $10 each” or “3 for $15.’
  • Hang clothes if you can. A portable wardrobe hangar can be picked up for about $20 from a bargain store. It could be the difference between making $20 or $200.
  • Make your items as viewable as possible – they don’t want to have to rummage too much (e.g. line books up with titles showing rather than thrown in a box).

HerCanberra’s Treasure Trail

With help from the Garage Sale Trail team, we’ve rounded up the top 10 garage sales for you to visit…

  1. Pack rat ready to release, Conder – A self-confessed collector, crafter, quilter, organiser, creator, and designer, is holding a household sale boasting a wide array of items and vintage collectables. Some of these include vintage collector crocks and decanters, entertainment wares, art work, and much more.
  2. ACT Greens Community Garage Sale, Turner – A community group sale taking place in Turner, with various good being donated by the ACT Greens and supporters, including books, home wares, clothing, and more.
  3. 3 houses into 1, Wanniassa – Household sale that claims to have everything one could think of. 3 households have combined their pre-loved goods to bring together an eclectic mix of treasures. A vast array of items up for sale, including a lizard and its enclosure, a motorbike, lawnmowers, and possibly even a car.
  4. Longstaff St Garage Sale, Lyneham – A yoga teacher/mum/wife/environmentalist/ runner/silversmith/gardener has arranged a community group sale in Lyneham. Bikes, camping equipment, kitchenware, household bits & pieces are all up for sale. In addition, there will be free outdoor yoga sessions, a live DJ, a BBQ, slack line, and other outdoor fun.
  5. Charity Garage Sale, Wanniassa – The Canberra Coordinator of Opportunity To Do, a not-for-profit organisation, is holding a community group sale, boasting goods for babies through to seniors. Handbags, sports gear, perfume, nursery items, and loads more on offer.
  6. Material Pleasure’s Factory Fossick, Fyshwick – A self-confessed label lover and owner of a local business will open her doors selling designer and contemporary clothing and shoes, with 100s of dresses, skirts and summer tops. Designer labels from Australia, NZ and afar.
  7. North Belconnen Giant Community Garage Sale, Evatt – A community group sale is taking place in Chomley Court that claims to be the biggest and friendliest garage sale in Canberra. With over 60 stalls, the range of items for sale covers everything from children’s toys to furniture. A family day out with a BBQ, cafe, jumping castle, live music, and face painting.
  8. Kitty Kat Rummage Sale!, Downer – A household sale with a giant selection of goods, including bikes, golf clubs, surfboards, clothing, vinyl, and much more. In addition, there will be a sausage sizzle and DJ.
  9. One Epic Sale, O’Connor – Three girls in their 20s hosting a garage sale to support a good cause – Cure Cancer Australia, who provide startup grants for young cancer researchers. Selling new and pre-loved womens clothing, mens clothing, furniture, and much more. Homebaked goods, sausage sizzle, and music on offer too.
  10. The Change of Lifestyle Sale, Kambah – A household sale that provides the chance to grab some great vintage bargains. Items including 60’s Classic Malibu surfboard, old surfing magazines, vintage 60’s and 70’s Glomesh bags, bikes, golf sets, fishing equipment, and much more on offer.

And one more for fun!  Ted’s Trash and Treasure Trail, Weetangera – A self-confessed octogenarian with baggage is holding a household sale, selling an array of items including china, glassware, bikes, wardrobes, and much more.

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