Make a dollar or save a dollar on mega sale day

Second Hand Saturday is on this weekend with more than 900 garage sales registered in the Northern Rivers region.
Second Hand Saturday is on this weekend with more than 900 garage sales registered in the Northern Rivers region. ViewApart

THE Northern Rivers' biggest garage sale day of the year is on again this Saturday and it's pegged to be the most successful one yet.

The annual event will be held in the Lismore, Richmond Valley, Kyogle, Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley and Tweed local council areas.

Last year there were more than 900 garage sales and this year is expected to be even bigger.

Linda Tohver from North East Waste said that garage sale registrations came in thick and fast with a huge range of treasures on offer to suit everyone's taste.

"From building materials to caravans, scooters, bikes and cars, household goods, quality antiques and even Elvis costumes - there will be something for everyone,” she said.

"We encourage people to shop second hand and take part in this great community event which aims to give goods a second life and reduce landfill.”


The Jiggi Uniting Church, north-west of Lismore, will host its first garage sale in the church's long and proud 111-year history.

Church member Heather Jeffery said it would be worth the drive out to the Jiggi valley for bargain hunters as there would be plenty of interesting and unusual items for sale including a church organ.

"It's a great initiative for recycling pre-loved items to happy new owners,” she said.

"We have 500 donated items and more coming in - things from farm sheds, furniture, bric-a-brac, homewares, good quality clothing and curiosity items.

"We are raising funds to restore and repaint the church which is an important piece of local and community history.”


Ballina woman Carol Maxwell will be holding a garage sale and parting with her Victor piano, along with horse gear, quality clothes, books and plenty of odds-and-ends.

"I'm a bit of a fan of recycling and not consuming new things all the time,” she said. "It's good to find a loving home for things that you don't need anymore.

"I've always enjoyed meeting people and the social side of garage sales is fun.”

In the Clarence Valley, the not-for-profit Mend and Make Do Crew is busy preparing for its sale and will have a barbecue and music to entertain shoppers.

Ursula Tunks said the crew's garage sale in South Grafton would be the place to go for secondhand art and craft supplies.

There would also be unique upcycled goods along with art and craft books, home furnishings and plants.

"We'll have everything from yarn, fabric, cotton, curtain material, buttons, watercolours, paint brushes, jewellery-making supplies, beads, mosaics, leather and bits of timber,” she said.

"We will also have consignment artwork from the Aboriginal community.

"All the money we make goes back into projects which primarily help agencies with homelessness casework.”



1. Plan to save time

Plan your garage sale expedition. If you are after something in particular, use the search app. And if you want to see what's happening in a particular suburb, go to the map. Knowing where you want to go and how to get there will save you time.

2. Don't arrive too early

Even if you're super keen, try not to arrive before the advertised start time of 8am. It takes time to set up a garage sale, and sellers need time to get organised before the big event. If you do arrive early, then wait until the seller is ready.

3. Bargain respectfully

Finding a bargain and bargaining is part of the fun of garage sale shopping. Do not expect that all garage sale sellers will necessarily want to haggle, though. Be fair and respectful of the prices they elect, but also don't be shy to ask for a small discount. Don't expect freebies unless offered.

4. Smile and be polite

Sellers will be very thankful for a smile and a simple "hello”. They have probably been up late or super early, organising their goodies, so offer them a smile and a courteous "thank you” even if you leave empty handed.

5. BYO bag

Don't forget to bring your own bag!

6. Leave big bills at home

Money in smaller notes and coins will help make sure the seller doesn't run out of change.

7. Check working order

Check your items before you leave to make sure they are in working order.

8. Keep hydrated and your sugar levels up

Don't forget drinks and snacks to keep you going, and save you time on the road. Reusable drink bottles, travel mugs and snacks in reusable containers are ideal.


Good for the environment

With millions-of-tonnes of waste being sent to landfill by Australian households each year, the humble garage sale is an easy way to reduce landfill and do your bit for the environment.

Perfect fundraiser

A garage sale is a great idea for a fundraiser. You could hold a giant garage sale to raise money to buy new equipment for your local club or perhaps raise funds for a charity close to your heart.

With free promotion across the region it's the perfect chance to spread the word about your cause and raise some money.

Clean up and de-clutter

Are you sick of tripping over all the "stuff” lying around the house or yard? A garage sale is the best excuse to have a big spring clean and de-clutter the house.

It's also a fun and active way to teach the kids about reuse and recycling.

Meet the neighbours

Why not get together with your neighbours and hold a street garage sale with a barbecue at the end of the day to celebrate? You could even hold a "free” garage sale, "pay what you think it's worth” or "swap sale”.


Presentation is vital

It's important to make sure your goods shine on the day so you get the best chance of a sale. Organise your items and make sure they look good. Some things might need a quick wash or wipe. The better your secondhand goods look, the more chance they have of being chosen for purchased.

Set the price

Everyone loves finding a bargain at a garage sale, so set your prices with this in mind and be willing to negotiate. You may be able to charge a higher price for items that are near-new or for antiques and collectables.

Manage your money

Make sure you have plenty of change ready for your garage sale. It's always better to have more than not enough so you don't run dry outand miss out on a sale. Take note of the total amount of cash at the start of the day so you can tally up your profit at the endof the day.

A second, "leftovers” garage sale day is on Saturday, October 1.

Topics:  garage sale, north east waste, second hand saturday, whatson

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