It is no glaring epiphany that yard sales aka garage sales are a beloved part of American culture. The familiar signs, sometimes professionally printed, but more often scrawled on cardboard with a black marker, punctuate any weekend drive through American neighborhoods. For some, these signs point the way to untold bargains, and sometimes even, hidden treasures, but for the poster, they simply announce the intent to shed unneeded items. Either way, yard selling is an institution, an American tradition - one with its own cadre of dedicated enthusiasts.
All across the country, on any given morning, there are thousands out before sunrise stocking tables on their dew covered lawns with items from the basement, attic or garage, while others cruise the streets, sleepy eyed, coffee in hand, searching for those nocturnally placed signs. Others have moved into the information age, and utilize websites such as Garage Sales Tracker to advertise their sales or to plan their shopping strategies on a much wider neighborhood scale.
It is certainly no wonder that yard sales enjoy such a beloved place in American custom. Aside from the work of hauling items to the yard, there really is no downside for all involved. Sellers get to cleanse their homes of unneeded, unused, or unwanted items, creating lots of new living and storage space while adding cash to the coffers. Shoppers save tons of money buying tax-free articles at pennies on the dollar. Even the kids can cash in on the flow of shoppers with a lemonade and cupcake stand.
When you think about it, there are many reasons why garage sales are so wonderful. Need money for a charitable cause? Yard Sale. Trying to afford something new for the home? Yard sale. Moving out and don't want to haul all your stuff to the new place? Yard Sale. Moving in and need to furnish on a budget? Yard Sale!
The list goes on and on. They may be the only place where one can find treasures to furnish with a retro look, or maybe even finding a bridal gown for just a few dollars, the good old American yard sale is a treasure in itself.
Those in the know are aware that yard sales often are the final act of those who are moving out and an early exercise for those who are moving in. This knowledge can empower one to utilize yard sales in ways that pay off in ways that many may not imagine. Yard sales are a great indicator of homes soon to be on the market or areas where homes are selling.
May is the start of yards sale season, and this season promises to be busy. Folks are into saving money more than ever, and lots of moving is going on all across the country. Jobs change, lifestyles change, young people are heading to college and new Americans arrive everyday. All of the above are good reasons for the existence of the yard sale tradition.
So are you ready to be a yard seller? Do you have your magic marker and poster board ready? Are you setting your clock for four a.m. to go out and look for signs? STOP. Yard selling has changed. Like everything else in the American culture, yard selling has gone high tech.
While day glow poster board signs and pre dawn cruisers will never disappear, there are now more efficient ways to advertise and find yard sales. No more wasting gasoline hoping to happen on a sale, now you can log on to the internet and search by area. No more trying to decide which telephone pole will get the most traffic for your sign. You can log on, post your sale and wait for customers.
Internet sites like Garage Sales Tracker have brought the age-old tradition of the American yard sale to the 21st century. Sellers can post sale times and locations months in advance, as well as photos of items and driving directions. As a seller, you can get unlimited word count and national exposure for less than the cost of an ad in your local newspaper. There is even a rainout guarantee!
Buyers using the net can benefit as well by searching for specific items and getting fuel saving directions to the right sale for the right item. In addition, buyers can contact the seller beforehand with questions.
So save an hour’s sleep, forgo the signs (Okay the kids like doing them so have them anyway), and beat the early bird cruisers by knowing where all the sales are ahead of time. Log on, sit back and make your plan. It is the new wave of an old tradition, and who doesn’t want to be on the cutting edge?