Last call for garage sales

Published 11:40 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If household items stowed away in remote corners of your basement or attic stood in the way of  spring cleaning, Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce has just the incentive to inspire you to roll up your sleeves and discard those long-forgotten former must-haves.

Dowagiac’s third annual Community-wide Garage Sale Weekend, May 26-28, has inspired numerous families in Dowagiac and at Sister Lakes to begin cleaning closets, basements and attics, and pricing items of which they’d like to free themselves.

Hosted by the Chamber and Dowagiac Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the three-day promotion opens Thursday, May 26, at 8 a.m. and runs through that Saturday.

Vickie Phillipson, Chamber/DDA program director, who put out the last call for registration forms Wednesday morning, will continue signing people up through Friday.

Some folks have asked what makes participation in a community-wide garage sale weekend different than a homeowner simply having their own sale?

“It’s a numbers game,” Phillipson said. “Just as a shopping mall appeals to some families due to the number of stores and retail choices it offers, the more residential garage sales held within a confined five- to 10-mile area, the more bargain hunters and garage sale and antiques enthusiasts the promotion is likely to attract. The bottom line is additional foot traffic at your garage sale and more income for you.”

“For bargain hunters or antique’ers, a community-wide garage sale weekend provides the perfect hunting ground for good finds and terrific bargains,” Phillipson said. “Businesses will also benefit from the promotion, especially those stores that are having sidewalk sales.

Participating sites that have already registered for the promotion are well stocked in apparel for adults and children, household goods, kitchen and glassware and bedding and bath.

Some locations plan to feature antiques and collectibles, scrapbooking and craft items and even designer purses.

One-of-a-kind items include a safe, manufactured in 1904, and a 300-piece porcelain doll collection.

Families looking for furniture will find a good selection, along with household appliances, patio furniture and electronics.  Participating homeowners pay a nominal $8 registration fee to be included in the Buyer’s Guide and Map.

Monies earned from participation fees are earmarked for advertising in the classified sections of 10 to 11 publications, including The Leader’s six publications, The South Bend Tribune, Herald Palladium and Paw Paw Flashes shoppers’ guide.

Buyer’s Guides, available May 24, will help the public navigate the residential sales by use of a city map that identifies each sale location.

The Buyer’s Guide will also contain a general list of merchandise each sale plans to feature, as well as those locations that will be holding estate sales.

Locations of individual garage sales will be grouped together in four sections, representing quadrants of the city.

Organizers used Division Street, along with N. Front Street, Cass Avenue and Wilbur Hill Road as dividing lines.

Sales within Sister Lakes and those toward Cassopolis will also be grouped in categories.

“For the day visitor who may be unfamiliar with the community, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to navigate from one residential garage sale to another,” Phillipson said. “As such, we will provide them with two means to do so.”