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Early Bird Gets the Worm at City-Wide Garage Sale

If you were cruising around the Santa Clara neighborhoods on Saturday you may have noticed a number of garage sales. That is because this year the City is organizing two city-wide garage sales. The second one in August is during the time of year neighbors are more familiar with, as this past Saturday’s April date snuck up on some folks. Some residents decided to join in last minute and didn’t register with the City.

From the sights and sounds of an early afternoon stroll around the City, it was clear that those who prepared early in the morning benefited the most. A common theme among most residents participating was that people were walking around prior to 8 a.m. before sellers had even gotten all their stuff out into their driveways.

“We listed with the City that we were going to start at 7:30,” commented Susanne Prince. “I got up at 6 a.m., we were out here at 6:30 and there were already people here. You’re not even ready, you’re still putting stuff out.”

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“We posted we were going to start at 9 a.m., but people saw us coming out, so they were out here as early as 8 o’clock,” added Nancy Blair, a Santa Clara native. “I ask people if they were aware that it was the city-wide and they were like ‘yeah’ and the people who just left were disappointed that there weren’t more people participating.”

By mid-afternoon it seemed as if most houses that were participating were wrapping up for the day. For Prince, it was overall a very successful day. When things did happen to slow down, her children were having a blast waving down cars and pedestrians from a more visible street corner.

“One lady said, ‘I hope you’re giving them a commission because they got me to come in here,’” chuckled Prince before noting her most successful sale. “We sold a large bureau and a bike for $100. The bike was going for $50 and bureau for $60, and the guy wanted both, so we gave it to him for $100.”

In one sense it would seem counterintuitive for everyone to have garage sales all at the same time, increasing competition. However, with a seemingly lower number of participating sellers, it was a sellers market. Lots of people were out to shop and buy need items that were simply going unused by the previous owners. Furthermore if residents put on their own garage sales on random weekends, it would be less likely for customers to be out and about looking for good deals.

The next city-wide garage sale will take place August 12 with registration opening on July 10.

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