Each summer thousands of Ottawa residents descend on the Glebe for a Saturday filled with bargain hunting, found treasures, street-side entertainment, and baked and grilled goods as far as the eye can see. This May the Great Glebe Garage will celebrate its 25th anniversary – since 1986 this event has been bringing neighbours together in the organizing of the event and bringing both young and old out to explore the main streets and back streets of this unique and historic neighbourhood.

The Turnip thinks we can do this too! And so the Turnip hereby proposes the first annual Great Northend Garage Sale.

What: A community-wide garage sale in Sydney’s Northend

Who: All residents of the Northend are invited to stage their own yard/garage sales simultaneously. The Great Northend Garage Sale organizing committee will make this event known to Cape Breton residents far and wide increasing the likelihood that you’ll sell all of your new-to-somebody-else treasures, including that box set of Kenny G records.

When: Saturday June 19th 10am-3pm

Rain Date: Saturday June 26th 10am-3pm

Why: Thinking of having a yard sale in the spring or summer of 2010? Why not let us do the advertising for you? The organizing committee of the Great North End Garage Sale will spread the word on the sale with press releases, posters in downtown businesses and generally just talking about it endlessly to anyone who will listen. If we all plan to vend our goods and services on the same day, not only will we have a ridiculously good time but we’ll be able to attract many more buyers than if we were to each venture out on our own.

How: Let us know (by phone 270-6013 or e-mail thenorthendturnip@gmail.com) that you’d like to participate in the sale and we’ll include your address in our promotional materials and special map insert in the June edition of the Turnip. Just give us a quick call or drop us a line before May 20th.

If you decide after these promotional materials that your used treasures of all sorts are starting to pile up – no problem – you can still participate! Just set your tables up and set your things out by 10am on June 19th and there you are – part of the best community garage sale this side of the causeway.

Got little ones (or not so little ones) looking for a way to help out? What a great opportunity for a bake sale and lemonade stand! Or a hot dog stand. Or a hamburger station. Dust off the juicer or bbq and help them hone their culinary and commerce skills simultaneously!

Turnip Tips for Yard Sale Success:

1. If you don’t think you have enough for-sale items to host your own table in your own yard why check with your neighbours to see if anyone else might want to partner-up and host a multi-family sale in a single yard

2. Be prepared – leave yourself enough time to locate, sort, clean, test, repair (if necessary) and label the items you hope to sell.

3. Make sure you have hangers for clothes and a big table so your treasures are properly displayed. Organize different objects by category (clothes, books, electronics, kitchen items and so on) – with smaller objects wrapped in sealed bags to increase their appeal.

4. Take some time to put prices (in advance) on the top of each item (better than putting prices on the bottom). It is a lot of work, but worth it because you will not have people asking every five minutes “how much for this”. Often there are a lot of people who will not ask the price of an item even if they are interested in it. If you do not have the time to price everything individually, you could use a sign like “All Books 25 Cents”, “All Clothes $1.00” or “Anything on this table 50 Cents”. Volume pricing (for example 25 cents each or 5 for a dollar) will stimulate the sale of more items.

5. Make sure you have small change, plastic bags, boxes and tissue paper for fragile items. Also have an extension cord and batteries on hand to show that certain articles are in working order as well as measuring tape for furniture.

P.S. The organizing committee is always looking for more organizers! If you ‘d like to lend a hand with anything from planning to poster design to poster posting drop us a line (thenorthendturnip@gmail.com). Many hands make for light yard sale work.