The Garage Sale Trail takes place again this October 25th in a plethora driveways, front yards, car parks and where-ever-will-do’s. Supported by the City Of Sydney’s campaign towards a sustainable future, the nationwide event hopes to see the upcycle, recycle and re-use of formerly neglected goods. Green Villages, the residential sustainability campaign and blog has teamed up with a couple of ought-to-know’s like Josh Pyke and Megan Morton for some lists on what to look for and how to get punters looking, here they are.


Josh Pyke’s Instrumental Instruction:

1. You never know when someone will decide to let go of that dusty old acoustic guitar
-Make sure the neck isn’t bent or bowed. Hold it up to your eye, like a pirate looking through a telescope.
-Look out for cracks, or signs of dodgy patch jobs.
-Push gently down on the body and listen for creaks. If it creaks, the bridge might be bust – best to walk away.
-If you have one of those little guitar tuners that clip onto the head of the guitar, bring it along. See how it tunes up to check the intonation.

2. Vintage keyboards and samplers make amazing sounds
-Take a variety of sizes of fresh batteries to check if the unit actually powers up
-If you hear crackling, slide any faders up and down a few times to get rid of dust.
-Play every key, B flat might not be important to the old owner, but you might find it pivotal in your next composition!

3. Kids’ toys often make the best studio instruments
-Everyone wants their studio sounds to be unique, so why not think about sound-making devices that were never intended for the studio?
-Kids pianos, glockenspiels, recorders, tiny drums and miniature keyboards are great finds, they make unique sounds, and can usually be bought super cheap, so they’re a great bargain.

4. If you’re into vinyl, you will definitely score cheap records at a garage sale!
– Always pull the record out from the sleeve and hold it up to the light to look for obvious scratches, warps and wobbles.
– Feel the weight of the record. The more it’s been played, the less it’ll weigh, and apparently heavier records generally last longer.
– With CDs, obvious scratches should be avoided, unless the scratches are on CDs by 90s boy bands, in which case they should be actively encouraged.
– Finding old indie releases of bands that you used to go and see in your misspent youth is particularly cool, and creates an instant bond with the seller!

5. Vintage original band t-shirts
“One of my favourite second-hand items are original band T-shirts. You can pick these pre-loved items up really cheap, and relish in the knowledge they were probably purchased at a show sometime in the past. There’s something very cool about being a part of that history.”

– Often even big bands only print a few thousand units of a particular shirt, especially tour t-shirts, so you’re bound to be buying something pretty rare.
– If the shirt doesn’t fit, cut out the image and sew it onto a jacket!

6. Pre-loved music mags and zines
– You can find some incredible old music magazines at garage sales. People hold onto magazines a lot longer than you might think, and old copies of Mojo or Rolling Stone are in abundance at garage sales.
– Before the internet and blogs, people made limited edition zines, and they are rare treasure if you can find them. I’ve found zines featuring interviews with bands like Heatmiser and Horsemen of the Apocalypse before they were household names!

7. Old sheet music
– Whether it’s notation for classical music, guitar tabs of The Beatles, or those ‘Hits of the 70s compilations, sheet music is a great score at garage sales.
– Pick them up on an inspirational whim, but if you don’t end up piecing together the tunes, you can always use the sheet paper for more crafty purposes. Seriously, search ‘sheet music’ on Pinterest. It will change your life. (Or not.)

Megan Morton’s Style For Sales Tips:

1. Remember we all choose with our eyes. Put the best items you have in your sale front and centre, then weave other good items throughout your sale so people have reason to keep fossicking

2. Don’t shy away from bunting. It says, ‘Hey there, come in, I’m friendly!’

3. Be fair with your pricing – it’s a garage sale. People shopping at garage sales are grateful to find pre-loved things at a great price.

4. Think about how you display your goodies. Don’t just plonk them on a table, organise them in colours, themes or things (all vases together for example)

5. Add some ambiance! Whether this is playing some records from a vintage record-player or a mix-tape of cassette favourites. A little background music goes a long way.

6. Expect to have a nice time selling your pre-loved stuff – a garage sale is also about meeting your neighbours and others in your local community…Enjoy!



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