The Garage Sale Trail Story

What is it

Garage Sale Trail is the fire-breathing godzilla of all garage sales. It’s a giant purpose-driven marketplace powered by 150 local councils and the amazing people of Australia. With over 10,000 garage sales and stalls happening around the country, it’s a great reason to declutter, fundraise or make a little pocket money, meet a few locals, find treasure and have a whole lotta fun!

Where it all started...

Garage Sale Trail is a grass roots idea that was born in Bondi Beach way back in 2010 as means to encourage reuse, celebrate creativity and bring local people together in a fun & social way. 

The first Garage Sale Trail was delivered in partnership with the fine folk at Republic of Everyone and Waverley Council 

Back then it was part of a local community initiative called Sizzle - Bondi Beach Community Festival - which was led by Co-Founders Andrew Valder and Darryl Nichols alongside a team of amazing creatives and cultural collaborators. In addition to the Garage Sale Trail, Sizzle included:

  • The Soft On - a soft board surfing competition delivered in partnership with the kids at at Stabmag.com
     
  • Garage Art Exhibition - a showcase of local and foreign works from a mind-boogling pool of artists curated by Steve Gorrow at Insight
     
  • Garage Nights - a evening of rock'n garage bands curated by the wonderful people at Love Police and their awesome chief BT. Oh, and a not to be forgotten set by the infamous Roller Door McNeil 9!
     
  • Pop-Up Cinema - surf films projected onto a local wall and enabled by Bondi’s own Uge of Aquabumps fame.

And of course:

  • Garage Sale Trail - a idea to get as many garage sales going across Bondi on the one day to encourage reuse, celebrate creativity and see local people come together.  

Sizzle was made possible with support from the Beach Road Hotel, Waverley Council and a number of local community-minded businesses all whom deserve a special shout out for the role in helping get Garage Sale Trail to where it is today. Thank you! 

We had a dream to have 30 sales registered for the first ever Garage Sale Trail but ended up with 130 registered garage sales for the one day event and an estimated 5,000 people shopping across the sales. Suffice to say we were truly humbled by the level of local community engagement and the way the day seemed to galvanise the different types of people that call Bondi Beach home. From the older generation to families, hipster cool kids and everyone in between.  There was a real sense of local community spirit and good vibes all round. We were completely stoked!

 

Garage Sale Trail Map

Sizzle Posters

IMAGE: GARAGE SALE TRAIL MAP OF SALES DURING THE FIRST YEAR IN BONDI, SIZZLE BONDI BEACH COMMUNITY FESTIVAL POSTER & THE STAB SOFT ON POSTER

Garage Sale Trail Founders

Image: Garage Sale Trail Founders, Andrew Valder and Darryl Nichols

 

The idea grew...

In the days that followed we received an onslaught of emails and messages from local people that had been involved. Thankfully their messages were entirely positive and spoke to how Garage Sale Trail had:

  • motivated them to declutter, 
  • enabled them to find a home for pre-loved stuff that may otherwise have ended up in landfill
  • made money and in many cases fundraised for a local cause/charity
  • met a bunch of local people and forged new friendships
  • had fun expressing themselves and celebrating their local community 

Approximately 2 months later Garage Sale Trail was announced as a finalist in the NSW Government Green Globe Awards. Attending the awards ceremony at NSW Parliament House was a big enough buzz for us let alone actually winning an award, which we did. A couple of weeks later we also picked up a local award for Community Contribution of the Year which made us even more excited by the potential that existed to generate significant positive impacts - if only the idea could be brought to life on a bigger scale. And so we resolved that our only option was to have good old Aussie crack at doing so and with that decision set out to take the Garage Sale Trail national. 

 

Garage Sale Trail Today... 

Fast forward to 2018 and Garage Sale Trail is supported by over 150 Councils and 5 State / Territory Government departments Australia-wide.   Without them, and the thousands of Aussies who get involved every year, Garage Sale Trail would not be possible. We’ve been fortunate to be bestowed with almost every environmental and sustainability award in our fine nation in addition to an International Green Award in London (kinda like the Oscars for sustainability) which is crazy for an idea about garage sales.

Its been a remarkable and inspiring journey thus far. From TED to presenting at No.10 Downing Street and to Prince Charles Advisors at the Royal Household in the UK, we’ve found ourselves in some unlikely places talking about garage sales. 

 

Garage Sale Trail in the UK

 

We continue to be inspired by the way garage sales are interpreted by the community in such different ways, and the breadth and depth of items that get listed for sale each year. Who would’ve thought you’d be able to find a hovercraft on the Trail, a definitive collection of 1970’s Rolling Stone Magazines, a miniature goat, a barn full of 100+ vintage pianos, a house and all of the contents inside it and even a couple of grandpas! 

The next national Garage Sale Trail will be happening on the weekend of Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October 2018. This flows from widespread public interest in the inaugural weekend-longGarage Sale Trail of 2017.

 

 

Positive Impacts

Garage Sale Trail is run by Australian not-for-profit, Garage Sale Trail Foundation which is on a mission to create positive social and environmental change. We believe that big change begins with small actions and that sustainability is best when it's fun and social. 

We take measuring our impacts very seriously and couldn’t be prouder to report that last year's Garage Sale Trail  in 2016 saw 321,000 Aussies get involved at 15,151 sales nationally.  These sales represented over 2 million items listed for sale/reuse. The average household sale made $379, community groups $650 and schools $1,500 which made for just on $3.9 million changing hands across the nation. Best of all the average participant made 44 local community connections via the day and 86% of participants said that they were now more conscious of the role they can play in decreasing waste. Win!

 

Garage Sale Trail impact 2016

 

By making the move to a weekend-long event we hope to grow the positive impacts that are being achieved and to help drive greater awareness about the importance of reuse and building stronger communities.

A BIG thank you to everyone who has got involved over the years and helped grow Garage Sale Trail from a local grass roots idea into a national movement. There have been so many amazing people, collaborators, and partners who’ve helped get the idea to where it is today. Not to mention all the super people just like you who get involved by hosting a sale or shopping on the Trail each year. Love your work!

So welcome aboard, we hope you have as much fun hosting a sale or shopping the trail as we’ve had building it. And if you’re open to it please do help us spread the word, there’s a bunch of stuff you can use here to tell your neighbours, huckle your mates, share on social, send to your local newspaper and more.

 

Cheers & happy trail blazing,

Darryl & Andrew