WS Community Garage Sale Day aftermath: Open thread

garagesaledaysmalllog5.jpgDid you shop? Did you sell? Did you have fun? Since we filed so many separate updates, we thought we’d put up this “open thread” post specifically for comments wtih WSCGSD reports, if you care to share ’em. We’ll have an official survey within a few days seeking feedback for next year, but if you have something to suggest now, that’s welcome here too. (P.S., don’t forget the contests.) Thanks to EVERYONE who was part of the 4th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day in some form or another; our first time organizing it has been intense but fun! (Now it’s off to round up the sandwich boards …)

29 Replies to "WS Community Garage Sale Day aftermath: Open thread"

  • Paul May 10, 2008 (3:59 pm)

    WSB, you did a GREAT job! And thanks for the pics of our shop! This has inspired us to have bi-weekly saturday sidewalk sales!

  • Tom May 10, 2008 (4:58 pm)

    We had a great sale, got about 30% sold, 70% donated to NW Center and a bit less of a logjam at home. Thanks WSB!

    A Plea to all sellers: please collect your signs! It’s the green thing to do and I won’t wind up chasing phantom sales in the weeks to come!

  • Cheryl May 10, 2008 (5:48 pm)

    Great day! We had about seven sellers on our block. I made $161. Is there going to be a survey about the outcome? One comment I heard twice (but didn’t really understand because I did not look closely at the maps) was that “the numbers on the maps (Google map?) didn’t correspond to addresses”. One person said that last year the maps were more understandable and they were able to map their route, but this year they couldn’t. Just thought you wonderful WSB folks would want to know that. Personally, as a first time participant, I thought it was great! Steady traffic from 9 until 3:30 (we kept the shop open late). And all the neighbors came out to shop and talk. Will definitly participate again next year. Thanks.

  • D. May May 10, 2008 (5:56 pm)

    As a “consumer”, I appreciated the relatively high density of yard sales per area, making it possible to park the car and stroll extensively through neighborhoods I rarely spend time in. Also had some pleasant spontaneous chats with folks who were out doing yard work (who weren’t selling). All of West Seattle seemed to be in a really good neighborly mood. I found it all very pleasing and reassuring.

    And I purchased the perfect square wooden stool for my studio!

    Thanks for making it all happen!


  • TH&BGH May 10, 2008 (7:06 pm)

    Our sale was okay. We made $210.00. I think a little more sunshine would of helped but of course, we cannot do anything about that.

  • L May 10, 2008 (8:27 pm)

    It was fun to have so many sales on one day! Found some great bargains! A couple of thoughts for next year… It would have been nice to have more street names on the map. I could figure out where the # streets were, but was lost with some of the addresses with name streets. Also, those holding garage sales need to be encouraged to make BIG signs with BIG arrows. Small 8 x ll sheets are difficult to read from a moving vehicle. Great job WSB! Can’t wait til next year!

  • Mike May 10, 2008 (8:30 pm)

    I had a lot of fun. Like D I also enjoyed wandering through the neighborhoods chatting with people. Everyone was really friendly and I picked up some nifty stuff. Thankyou WSB for continuing this tradition!!!

  • Kristina May 10, 2008 (8:44 pm)

    We participated in the group sale at C&P and had fun. We cleaned out our attic (the collect-all for our unused items), spent time chatting with friends and neighbors, and our five year old daughter made $40 for Habitat for Humanity with her small lemonade stand. We were pleased to spend a day in West Seattle, to keep things in use and out of landfills, and to feel the community spirit. Thank you WSB for picking up this project when MegaWatt dismantled.

  • jump May 10, 2008 (8:59 pm)

    As a seller we had a very successful day – sold about 90% and made close to $1000. The best outcome, however, was meeting people that we wouldn’t otherwise have occasion to and catching up with neighbors. We’re greatful to WSB for organizing a very time-consuming event. From an information design standpoint, however, the maps do need some improvement. The descriptions need numbers which correspond to numbered points on a map with sale location street names marked. A note for next year. Thanks WSB!

  • WSB May 10, 2008 (9:13 pm)

    I tried like h**l to find a set of placemark icons that went beyond 99 but couldn’t; ran out of time to at least use the 1-99 numbering system for each of the “regions” but absolutely, now with a year’s lead time to ’09, we should be able to figure something out or even order a custom set of 1-199 icons (for a reasonable sum; we will be posting the accounting on the “official” site within a few days – printing and promotion cost every cent the fees brought in). Thanks for the feedback so far, keep it coming!

  • Heather May 10, 2008 (9:26 pm)

    Had a great time today – made over $350! A little more sun would probably have helped, but all in all, it was a great success! I don’t think I could have been this successful just selling on a “regular” day. Thanks for keeping the tradition alive!

  • Pam May 10, 2008 (9:47 pm)

    We, as buyers, had a great day. Must have hit nearly 30 sales today. We used a gps system we’d bought at a previous garage sale and programed in our first 10 sales, then drove around following signs. Got some good deals – loveseat and two tables for $15, lawn edger $15, Better Homes and Gardens cookbook – the red and white checkered one – for 50 cents!! It was a great community event and the usual tunnel vision of garage sale buyers who tend to endanger anyone else on the street as they look for the house and a place to park was minimal today. We dun good West Seattle!

  • shoemama May 10, 2008 (9:52 pm)

    thank you to the generous person who left a GIGANTIC ruby red bean bag chair on their curb for FREE. my 2 and 5 year old sons spent the entire day lounging and jumping on the thing. it was a perfect find for us and an omen of how fun the wonderful WSCGSD was to be! thanks to everyone who organized!

  • changingtimes May 10, 2008 (10:16 pm)

    next year they should think about doing an all weekend garage sale!!! I really wanted to go! but saturdays i find myself shipping the kids all over seattle from dance class to swim practice and birthday parties (about half the kids in my daughters class are born in may!!!)and couldnt make it back to the west before it was to late :( im sad, but going to reserve the date for next year!!!

  • WSB May 10, 2008 (10:43 pm)

    We even put it on the printed/printable map version — and will put it atop after the last post-sale business (contest announcements) is over on Monday — May 9, 2009!

  • rjb May 10, 2008 (11:29 pm)

    I’m sorry. I was massively disappointed in this. It seemed more like people trying to get rid of their garbage than a true garage sale. My husband and I were joking that the stuff people were asking money for – they should be paying us for taking away.

    We found for sale:
    A large, very rusted chain
    Old pill-boxes, still with something inside (metal, and rusted, I couldn’t even open)
    An old gas meter
    Cans of food and frozen dinners
    Printers, printers, and more very very very old printers

    Tape cassettes – the best, not even joking! – I could find was “Marvin Gayes Greatest Hits”
    Playstation I (1) hockey games
    A pair of white chairs with nasty looking stains on them (asking for $25/each)

    And my personal fave… a worn and very dirty box, probably circa 1985, that read “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Open the box, and a small, plastic..sorry WSB, penis was the innards. And this was at a sale on California and Gennesee. High traffic. We saw a few children open this box. The sign at this sale, spraypainted on cardboard was “BUY OUR JUNK”. It was junk.
    I’m done with the WS garage sale. I have garbage too. But I’ll take it to the dump. Not think my neighbors are so idiodic that they would pay me for it.
    I really hope this isn’t deleted by the WSB Gods.

  • WSB May 11, 2008 (12:49 am)

    It’s not “the” garage sale, it’s Garage Sale Day, and we’ve got no control over what people choose to sell … this isn’t billed as “the best of” yard sales, just a day for one community to have yard sales en masse in hopes of drawing shoppers from around the region if they enjoy garage-saling (and heaven knows, many people don’t). We saw some good stuff (nearly new bicycles, art glass, jewelry, cameras, barely worn kids’ clothes) at many of the 20 or so locations one or the other of us managed to make it to cover, maybe just the luck of the draw. But as for junk … that’s the stuff garage sales are made of, going back to when my grandma used to haul my little brother and me around in her then-new ’66 Mustang to “rummage” sales that she jokingly and lovingly referred to as “rubbish” sales. At least the “buy our junk” people at California/Genesee (I am guessing that’s who you’re referring to, we saw their sign) practiced truth in advertising!

  • Alki Girl May 11, 2008 (6:24 am)

    Thank you so much WSB for keeping the WS Garage Sale alive. Organizing something like this takes time, attention to detail and communication. WSB hit it outta the ballpark! If anyone has tried to put together an event even close to this you know where I’m comming from.

    Our garage sale was fab, we priced everything to SELL and we are at least 90% lighter than when we started Saturday morning. I think it helped we were in the courtyard next to Hotwire Coffee, we had a ton of folks stop by.

    WS Christian is having a garage sale to raise funds for kids, I think they are accepting items beginning this Thursday.

  • kirida May 11, 2008 (6:31 am)

    I absolutely loved the sales, especially the Community School of West Seattle. They were extremely well run and had tons of stuff for my two-year-old. We made it to about five sales before it was time for his exorcism/nap. Would it be possible to have a pre-sale forum for buyers to ask if sellers had specific items? Granted, I loved the hodgepodge of goods, but I was on the hunt for outdoor kids toys and stopped at most of the sales that had “kids” in the description. If there was a way to narrow down a search, that would be great (especially for people like me who have to tow around a toddler who doesn’t understand that mommy is saving money now and would you please stop re-enacting scenes from The Exorcist?).

  • karen anne May 11, 2008 (7:56 am)

    I had a great time – and came home with a few treasures and $$ still in my pocket. I also vote for the “weekend” sale idea – I ran out of energy yesterday. But I’d love to do it again today !

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there too.

  • Bernicki May 11, 2008 (9:46 am)

    I made $100, my mother-in-law made $47. (Of course, you don’t do this for the money.) I loved hanging out and meeting the people who came through. I must say, last year we had more shoppers; it was either the weather, or the fact that so many huge sales were going on in the Junction etc. Next year, I’ll be doing the shopping, not the selling!

  • Keith May 11, 2008 (3:20 pm)

    We walked around some sales in the north Junction area with no intention of buying anything but wound up with the perfect birthday present for a pal.
    I was also surprised at some of the things people put out for “sale” (like old food) but was wondering if maybe we had missed all the good stuff since we started around 11. We saw a guy driving down a street where several sales were happening, calling out of his car window, “Is anyone selling a juicer?” Pretty funny. I guess some people might consider it a waste of time to spend a couple of hours strolling around the neighborhood and interacting with your neighbors, but we had fun.

  • Ahmed May 11, 2008 (5:37 pm)

    I had a lot of fun going to all the garage sales around me. I managed to pick up several things I wanted, and was finally able to start my herb and vegetable garden! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to locate the big plant sale over by Alki :(

    Another plus was finally meeting the West Seattle Kiwanis club! I’ve been meaning to stop by a meeting, but yesterday finally gave me the opportunity to!
    I moved to west seattle back in October, but I haven’t really taken the time to really meet the community, and this was the perfect opportunity! Met many interesting and wonderful people, and because of that, I attended the farmers market today and met some more people! Thanks WSB for holding this fantastic event!

  • WSB May 11, 2008 (7:46 pm)

    Thanks for the comments, keep ’em coming. Re: Alki Girl’s notes about organization … though our personal domicile has always been a shambles, professionally I somehow managed to stay organized … in TV, I was always the one who organized the big coverage events like elections, Fourth of July fireworks telecast, etc., and we figured if we had experience doing that, we could manage the organizational end of a community garage sale day. Biggest achievement, we managed not to leave anybody off the map or screw up anybody’s address or listing … or if we did, they haven’t bothered to call or e-mail to tell us! Wish we had some control over the weather, though. Grrr. It stayed dry 9-3 but that 8 am shower probably discouraged at least a few people. At least we had better luck than Greenwood/Phinney, the original neighborhood-garage-sale-day community in Seattle; they’ve been doing it since 1993 and this year their sale day (last month) had snow and hail as well as some rain!

  • T&B May 12, 2008 (8:50 am)

    We had a FANTASTIC day! A coupla bikes, lawnmower, big tv and a zillion cds & dvds lighter, for sure. I vote for a weekend sale next year as well. Thank you, WSB. You rock (as always).

  • Jim May 12, 2008 (9:31 am)

    We’re up @ 50th @ Genesee and had a ton of people stop by. Quite a few asked if “something special was going on?” Unloaded lots of stuff: vintage furniture, clothes, quilts, rugs, a glass block window we couldn’t use. Ended up at $281. The shoppers were having fun and it didn’t rain! We’ll participate again next year. Good job WSB!

  • kb May 12, 2008 (11:06 am)

    We had a great sale, steady traffic, got rid of the majority of our items and made $310 for the Orca Network. Pretty amazing considering we priced most stuff $1.00 or less. Met some new neighbors, talked to some great people that were out and about. All in all a good day. We’ll participate again next year. thanks WSB. I agree though, better maps would be helpful. A few shoppers mentioned it was difficult to map a good route to hit as many in one area as possible.

  • Julie May 12, 2008 (8:00 pm)

    We held our sixth annual plant sale at 39th & Ida St. and had a great turnout. Met lots of nice folks, saw plenty of neighbors, sold almost all of our plants. Lyla, Erika & Hannah from down the street set up a cookie stand at our sale, which proved to be a popular addition! We enjoyed the whole day, and appreciated the chance to be part of the WSCGS. We’ll plan on doing it again next year. Thanks to the west Seattle Blog for providing the effort, organization, and publicity for this event!

  • L & N May 13, 2008 (9:40 am)

    We came up from Gig Harbor!! We had a fabulous time. We found things to be nicely organized with lots of unique treasures. We did not see a lot of traditional “garage sale crap” We even got to see a sweet little cottage that was going on the market…before it was listed!! We know someone that would be very interested in buying it.
    Our only challenge was finding the sales without the street names on the map….we didn’t know the area at all and it really wasn’t too easy. Also the sales needed bigger, brighter signs individually. We are saving the date for next year!! Thank You West Seattle!!

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