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Garage Sale – The Vanguard

20 Apr

We went to a different kind of Garage Sale today held at The Vanguard, a live music venue in Newtown, Sydney.

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The cool people who work at the live entertainment bar & restaurant were selling their wares direct from the venue. I love this concept!

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We were happy to take a few of the larger items off The Vanguard’s owner, Russall’s hands including a piece of its history. His old beaten metal trunk is destined for life as a coffee table at our place. Sold for $20. Russall even threw in a huge red bean bag for free (because he wanted it gone & because my kids REALLY wanted it) My protests fell on deaf ears and next thing I know the kids are happily squished in the back seat of the car with a ginormous red bean bag. So yeah thanks Russall, the offspring have been dragging each other around the house with it all afternoon & are currently watching TV in it on top of the lounge!

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The little vintage suitcases were only $5 each. These have become quite collectible so unfortunately I never see them in op shops anymore. I’m sure they will be happy nesting with my existing vintage luggage which hasn’t been added to in years. The large metal Moroccan light fitting once hung in The Vanguard’s bar, I snapped it up for only $20. You can’t see in the photo but it has tiny red glass beads in all the punched holes. I would have also taken the much larger brass one (as seen in the pic above, centre) if only I had a space high enough to hang it. This one will be part of our own bar, hung in our outdoor entertaining area. I just love that we’ve been able to take home a piece of The Vanguard and that it will rock on with us for years to come. Priceless.

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The Vanguard support live local music and so should we by supporting these venues. They do an awesome dinner & show package but you need to book early as seats fill fast. The Vanguard also support the increasingly popular cabaret entertainment that is Burlesque with their troupe, The Jaded Vanities regularly creating new shows for The Vanguard and touring the country with them. My beautiful friend and memorizing burlesque performer, Tasia is a regular on stage here. Be sure to see her in the spotlight, it will take your breath away.

The Vanguard, 42 Kings street Newtown, Inner Sydney.

Facebook Garage Sales

13 Oct

I’m hooked on a new way of selling the unwanted items I can’t bear to throw away, items I know I can recoup money on. I’ve sold at markets and I’ve found I just don’t have the patience for it. It’s a long day and the stalls are increasingly expensive. I’ve had flings with ebay but I always struggle with the admin side and who wants to lose money on those pesky fees? I recently discovered mass garage sales operating via Facebook.

These are a cross between your weekend garage sale and ebay. Facebook Garage Sales are Group pages set up by ordinary Joe Bloggs type people, they are not a business nor operated by Facebook. Do a Facebook search for Garage Sale in your local area and see what pops up. The one I use covers the whole of western Sydney, which is a MASSIVE area. Too broad if you ask me. There are simply too many people uploading too many items at such a rapid rate that they seem to get lost in a black hole of sorts. Still its great to see that there are tons of people happy to buy second-hand goods. It kinda helps balance out our obsession with mass consumerism.

Here’s how it works:

Members upload a photo of their item for sale into a specified album, for example women’s shoes.  Writing their ad in the description box including price, condition and suburb it is located. Buyers write SOLD as a comment if they want to buy the item and then negotiations can begin about collecting the item. Once the item has been collected the seller must delete the photo from the album. Pretty simple huh?

Like a garage sale, haggling over prices is common place and so too is competing with fellow buyers but the admin put rules in place to keep a sense of order. If you also want to buy the item that someone else has already commented Sold on, you can type Sold Next in Line (NIL). If the first buyer falls through (which often happens for various reasons) then the sale falls to you, the next in line.

What I like about this type of garage sale is that it is relatively easy to manage if you are fairly adept at Facebook. I love not having to post items like ebay. Calculating postage is not my forte no matter how many things I post and I always seem to have irregularly shaped or large items making local pick up the only option. On Facebook buyers pick up their purchases from the seller or they arrange to meet at a public place. My kids love being able to sell their toys they have outgrown. It’s a great incentive for them to let go. They have outgrown the Toy Story philosophy that toys given to the op shop go onto live second lives with other children. Now they just want the cold hard cash.

What I don’t like is that it can be very time-consuming. It can take a long time to sell an item after constantly bumping it to the top of the wall on a daily basis. Like real life some people are really lovely to deal with whilst others have no manners at all. In my mind, if you write sold on an item then you have committed to the conditions of the sale. You don’t muck me around for a week about when you can pick it up and then Pass on the sale at the last-minute or leave me waiting for you while you don’t show to pick it up at all. I just don’t understand these people?

So far we’ve had success selling off some large items and kids toys but I have to reserve my designer/collectable items for ebay. It’s just not the target market for those goods.

Have you had experience with these types of sales via Facebook? Please share your thoughts.

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