Garage Sales

Suane

Senior Member
Slovakia
Is the garage sale, or selling your personal things on your backyard common or usual in your country or is it a special thing, seen only in few countries?
How would be a garage sale seen in your country? Would anyone come and buy if a person organized something like this in the place you live?
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    These sales of personal property are common in the U.S. They go by a variety of names, but the conduct is the same in all cases.

    Garage sale (whether or not one has a garage or uses it for the sale!)
    Tag sale (a reference to price tags, which are often not used, but are replaced by adhesive labels.)
    Yard sale
    Estate sale (Implies that the sale results from the death of a member of the household.)
    Moving sale
     

    alexacohen

    Banned
    Spanish. Spain
    They're not common here at all. And it's a pity.
    People sometimes leave furniture they don't want or need anymore, or toys, out on the sidewalk. More or less as garbage.
    There may be many beautiful things to be found among the garbage, but they're not sold, they're picked up.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Cuchu's right...Americans love their garage sales! :) I'll expand a little on his answer.

    Mothers find cheap prices on gently-used baby clothes, guys find tools that do...well, who knows what guys use their tools for?

    I used to like to go sometimes and look at the books for sale. I have found some old books in perfect condition and bought them for a dollar each. That excites me!

    There's also plenty of junk at these sales, but that's my opinion, and apparently somebody's buying this stuff.

    If you look at a map of Michigan, glance at the thumb of this state. This past September, they held a garage sale that extended around the entire eastern shore of that thumb. It was huge. You could get in your car and drive up along the water and everywhere along the way for miles and miles were garage sales! It was amazing.

    We also have here in the U.S. something called Consignment Shops: places where you can take your stuff and the store will sell it for you and then give you a piece of the profits.

    I think there are actually "High-End" (exclusive & rich) shops that sell NAME merchandise in places like Beverly Hills, California.

    There are all economic levels of this style of shopping and selling.

    Americans love their bargains...and we love to spend money.

    It really is a money-saver for moms whose kids grow faster than the women can keep up with them!

    With so many families selling their homes, people also have "Moving Sales" as chuchu mentioned. These are bigger garage sales where they sell lots of home items...large ones like furniture and appliances.

    "Estate Sales" is just a fancy name for a "Moving Sale." Or it could be held to sell items of a person who has died and the surviving family want to get rid of all the things they don't want to keep themselves.You can actually hire people to come in and get rid of your stuff, which in this case, could include precious family heirlooms.

    Don't ever get the idea that Americans waste their stuff. We are very big on recycling everything. ;)

    AngelEyes
     

    PABLO DE SOTO

    Senior Member
    Spain Spanish
    As Alexa said, garage sales are almost nonexistent in Spain, and I say almost because I have heard of car boot sales organized by foreign residents, mainly British, in the areas where they use to live, like Málaga or Alicante.
    Not many Spanish people get to know these sales and when we know their existence, we use to think....mmm typical "guiri" (blonde foreigner from northern Europe) things.
    We prefer brand new stuff bought in a brand new shopping mall.
    Most of us don't see the the use of an old mirror or a shabby sofa.
    Few precious things can be found in these sales or ...maybe not, I don't know.
     

    Chaska Ñawi

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Some of my more exciting yard sale finds:

    plants: heirloom roses, black walnut seedlings, divisions of peonies and hostas

    books: various out-of-print and first editions, too numerous to be listed

    CDs and records

    a do-it-yourself henna bridal kit (which I gave to my niece)

    Basically, if you wait long enough you can buy everything, including the kitchen sink, at a yard sale. An added benefit is that the money stays in the community and we reinforce the ties with our neighbours.

    As a matter of principal our family buys locally and second-hand as much as possible. Yard sales are often the most entertaining way to do this.
     

    tvdxer

    Senior Member
    Minnesota, U.S.A. - English
    Is the garage sale, or selling your personal things on your backyard common or usual in your country or is it a special thing, seen only in few countries?
    How would be a garage sale seen in your country? Would anyone come and buy if a person organized something like this in the place you live?
    Not at all unusual in the U.S.

    They are also called "rummage sales" here. They usually take place in garages, which front either driveways or alleys and allow the family to sell merchandise while maintaining privacy in the rest of the house.

    Occasionally multiple families will get together and have a big collective garage sale, but single-family / household sales are more common.

    Any Thursday, Friday, or Saturday during the summer you can find numerous garage sales going on in this city of 85,000.
     

    Chaska Ñawi

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Any Thursday, Friday, or Saturday during the summer you can find numerous garage sales going on in this city of 85,000.
    Is there a by-law prohibiting Sunday garage sales? Here Saturday and Sunday are the most popular days. Long weekends are far and away the most popular times to hold a sale, especially by multi-family yard-salers.

    I forgot to mention that many groups (churches, fire-ladies auxiliaries, parent councils, scouts) use yard sales as a fund-raiser.
     

    paper

    Member
    Uk English
    As Alexa said, garage sales are almost nonexistent in Spain, and I say almost because I have heard of car boot sales organized by foreign residents, mainly British, in the areas where they use to live, like Málaga or Alicante.
    Not many Spanish people get to know these sales and when we know their existence, we use to think....mmm typical "guiri" (blonde foreigner from northern Europe) things.
    We prefer brand new stuff bought in a brand new shopping mall.
    Hmm, are you sure about that? From what I've seen, the mercadillos (flea markets) are very, very popular in Spain, among Spaniards and guiris alike. Although it's true you don't usually buy second-hand stuff there, you can definitely get hold of a lot of useless, tacky junk... and sometimes a good bargain too.

    For me, "garage sales" are a typical North American thing. I think it's to do with the suburban environment and lifestyle that don't really exist anywhere else in the same way. I've only ever been to one here in the UK and I think the person who held it got the idea from an American TV program. I can see how it wouldn't work well in Spain because most Spaniards don't have garages and live in flats/apartments, right?

    As mentioned, in the UK we have the insanely popular "car boot sales". The difference between these and garage sales is that you don't sell from your home to people in your neighbourhood, rather you pay a fee to sell from the back of your car at an arranged event that people come to looking for bargains (sometimes even professional antique dealers). So I'd say the two things are quite different.
     

    argentina84

    Senior Member
    Argentina Spanish
    There is nothing like that here in Argentina (as far as I know).

    The first time I saw a "garage sale" was on an American movie. I remember my brothers and I saying "Poor kids! when the mother took some of their old toys to put on sale.
     

    PABLO DE SOTO

    Senior Member
    Spain Spanish
    Hmm, are you sure about that? From what I've seen, the mercadillos (flea markets) are very, very popular in Spain, among Spaniards and guiris alike. Although it's true you don't usually buy second-hand stuff there, you can definitely get hold of a lot of useless, tacky junk... and sometimes a good bargain too.

    For me, "garage sales" are a typical North American thing. I think it's to do with the suburban environment and lifestyle that don't really exist anywhere else in the same way. I've only ever been to one here in the UK and I think the person who held it got the idea from an American TV program. I can see how it wouldn't work well in Spain because most Spaniards don't have garages and live in flats/apartments, right?

    As mentioned, in the UK we have the insanely popular "car boot sales". The difference between these and garage sales is that you don't sell from your home to people in your neighbourhood, rather you pay a fee to sell from the back of your car at an arranged event that people come to looking for bargains (sometimes even professional antique dealers). So I'd say the two things are quite different.

    Yes, flea markets are very popular, but most of the stuff sold there is cheap or fake, but new.
    There are exceptions like the famous Rastro of Madrid, and surely some others, where there is a lot of second hand stuff, but even these traditional flea markets are being invaded by fake and cheap items.
    Of course, they are different from those garage sales, unknown here.
     

    Lingvisten

    Senior Member
    Denmark
    garage sales exist in Denmark, but more common are the flea markets. especially in the summer, they are everywhere. The things sold on the flea market are old stuff, people sell because they don't need it anymore, and even more old and anthic stuff which some people, "kræmmere", has specialiced in selling. They travel through the country, usualy in a minivan, and sell it on the markets. There are some of these persons in my wifes family, and they buy the interior of dead old peoples houses. They pay a price, and then empties the whole apartment for the relatives, who probably haven't got room for it anyway.
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    The most and best Garage Sales were, you guessed it correctly, in ....California.
    Lots of space, lots of folks with garages, weather nice enough to sit
    out almost any day of the year.
    Often they turn into real neighborhood/community events with people
    taking advantage of a great opportunity to leisurly rummage through all
    that stuff while socializing.
    But there a pros who buy regularly, get there early (sometimes before
    you are ready!) and might have a cleverly planned itinerary for the day,
    where to go first and so on.
    What do they do with all those things? Well, have another Garage Sale, of
    course!
     

    Mate

    Senior Member
    Castellano - Argentina
    There is nothing like that here in Argentina (as far as I know).
    And what about the "Feria americana"?
    Wouldn't it constitute the Argentine version of a garage sale?.
    "Ferias americanas" are intended mostly for (women) used clothes, but you may also find all sort of used things there too.
     

    chics

    Senior Member
    Catalan - Spanish
    Hello!

    In Spain we don't live in houses with a garden and a private garage... the most similar thing I know is what we call Mercados de Intercambio and mercadillos de cosas usadas / de segunda mano. Exchange markets are quite popular in villages and also in some big cities like barcelona, where they're called mercat d'intercanvi, in catalan. People go with things they don't want anymore and give them or change them for others, for example, a tv (when I buy a new one) by a fridge. Books by homemade jam (very appreciate!), a tv by three jars of jam, etc. There are always a lot of guiris aprovechados looking for having free tv and fourniture.

    In France people are very found of vide-greniers (storage rooms emptying / hacer un hueco en el trastero). They're open-air markets where people sell the things they want to throw away. There are lot of horrible things but also others very interesting: there're always books at 1€ or packs of four or five new books at 2€, and the "seller" will explain if he liked it, etc. Also for baby clothes and toys, they're new, beautiful and very cheap, big toys that become junks are sold at 10€ or 15€, bodies at 1€, sweaters at not more than 5€, etc. They also sell jam, of course!

    The French do also "garage sales" at their homes in cities. They put a note on the entrance door usually whith the things they sell and prices, and their neighbourgs come and buy them for themselves or others. It's very practical to furnish a student flat, for example, and... to know your neighbourgs!

    Salut!

    Sorry for my so bad English...
     

    Pie Crust

    Banned
    England English
    As well as garage sales and car boot sales, we also have 'jumble sales'. These are normally held in village halls, church halls or school yards. People are asked to donate items. The proceeds are for worthy causes such as the boy scouts, church organ restoration fund, hospices, playground equipment for the local community's children, outings for the elderly, etc. etc.

    These jumble sales are well advertised in advance and, if you go to one, you would be well advised to arrive at least an hour before the start to get to the front of the queue. It is advisable to take an umbrella or walking stick in order to fend off 'pushers in' once the doors are open.

    This is where all notion of the British sense of 'fair play' goes out the window. Jumble sales bring out the most undignified behaviour in people. As soon as the doors are open, all hell breaks loose and there is a general stampede. People elbow each other out of the way in order to get a close look at the stalls. I've even witnessed women almost ripping a garment in half, both shouting, "I picked it up first!"

    The categories of items for sale are - women's clothing, men's clothing, children's clothing, books, vinyl records, cd-s, videos, DVD-s, toys, kitchen equipment, household linen, home-made cakes; last, but not least, BRIC-A-BRAC or WHITE ELEPHANT. The latter are extremely popular. We occasionally hear of someone who has bought an obscure item for a few pence. This then goes into a London auction house and sells for several thousand pounds. Rare, admittedly, but it does happen. You need to have some knowledge of what is valuable and what is junk.

    I have been very fortunate at jumble sales in the past, finding some really good bargains - the prices are ridiculously low. But you need to be prepared for battle . . . .
     

    Bilma

    Senior Member
    USA
    Spanish Mexico
    In some places in USA, people buy things in garage sales to resell in another garage sale. I would say the "industry" is growing, at least around here.
     

    surikata

    Senior Member
    London(BBC)English
    In Padborg, Denmark, a group of us British workers kitted out a house with fixtures and fittings from the local Secondhand Store. I believe all was donated to the store rather than be dumped. In Germany i believe a day is set aside for unwanted goods to be placed on the sidewalk and you help yourself. I am told the divorce rate soars shortly after, eg the wife who put an old pair of boots out not knowing one contained her husband`s hidden cache of money. I fully endorse Piecrust`s post re Jumble Sales.
    Ian
     
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