Kiara Hartley, 12, of Ballina and young Tom Palmer checking out the toys on the Garage Sale Trail in Ballina.
Kiara Hartley, 12, of Ballina and young Tom Palmer checking out the toys on the Garage Sale Trail in Ballina. Doug Eaton

Bargains galore in the garage

BEFORE the sun rose on Saturday, hundreds of Northern Rivers residents had already embarked on the Garage Sale Trail.

As part of the Garage Sale Trail, more than 7741 garage sales were held around Australia and 170 were in the Ballina Shire.

Residents registered their garage sales online prior to Saturday so potential buyers knew when and where they would be.

Professional buyers and curious locals, including Dyonne Garrett of Bex Hill, were among early birds trying to find bargains.

"I've set aside Saturday just to look at the garage sales," she said.

By 9.30am, Ms Garrett had already visited 12 and at a garage sale in Alstonville she took interest in a green miniature karaoke machine.

"I've never seen one of these before," she said.

Unusual items were on show at many of the garage sales and Leeane Paskins of Ballina had hand-made some.

"I make my own hair ties and accessories," she said.

"I've had quite a few people come through and have a look.

"The second-hand stuff has been selling well, like the clothing and the toys and I've had a lot of interest in the mak-eup products."

Garage Sale Trail is an annual event and Ms Paskins said professional buyers often used it as a way to acquire cheap stock.

"What they do is drive by the garage sales really early and if they see antiques or something valuable they stop and bargain with the owner," she said.

"They can spot it a mile away if someone doesn't know what their own antiques are worth, so they might end up paying $50 for something and selling it for $300."

However, the garage sales were not just a good way to clear some space or find a bargain and Ballina Shire Council Mayor Philip Silver said they helped the environment by allowing old and unused items to be reused and recycled and ultimately avoid landfill.



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