garage sale trail

Garage Sale Trail – make money, save money by putting secondhand first!

garage sale trail 2020

Have you heard of Garage Sale Trail? It is a multi-award-winning community and sustainability event that takes place nationally in November.

Garage Sale Trail sees over 400,000 Australians taking part in one huge weekend of garage sales. The 2019 event saw over 16,000 garage sales held nationwide, resulting in over 3.2million kgs of stuff diverted from landfill which is super impressive.

This year, the Garage Sale Trail is focusing on helping us make and save money through the sale of secondhand goods. And as 2020 has been a very unique year, this is the first time the event will be available online with the option to host a virtual sale – which is perfect for those of us who are in Melbourne and want to get involved. If you are keen to find out more about the virtual sale check out the info on this page.

The team at Garage Sale Trail have put together some super useful info to help you make money and save money by putting secondhand first.


family garage sale trail

Australia’s biggest community and sustainability event, Garage Sale Trail, is around the corner! Come November 21 & 22 there will be over 400,000 Australians, taking part in one huge weekend of garage sales.

The national event is not only a great way to give your stuff a new life and reduce your household waste but is also a fantastic family activity that makes you money! 

This year, Australians can participate in Garage Sale Trail online for the first time with the option to host a virtual sale by streaming live on Facebook or Instagram.  That is, sellers can either opt for hosting an online sale or hold one face to face in their community. 

To help you join the Garage Sale Trail fun, we had a few of this year’s ambassadors stop by to provide their best secondhand shopping tips and stain slaying tricks to assist your family save money and reduce waste! 

To register your family’s sale or to shop the Trail on Saturday 20 & 21 November head to garagesaletrail.com.au. Registration is free.

garage trail sale kids

Stain removal tips

These super stain slaying tips come from Christina Reitano:

  • Teaching children to clean and care for clothes can be life changing. Everyone I know who mends does so because a relative taught them when they were young. When they mend things now, they do so with fond memories of time spent with the person who taught them. When they teach their kids as adults, they tell the tale of that person.
  • Some clothes (e.g. jeans) can be softer after they’ve been worn for a while, so buying secondhand is great! There’s also less issues with colour runs.
  • Wash and soak tannin-based stains like wine or sauce in plain cold water first. This goes a long way before having to treat the stain. The exceptions to the soak rule are mud and ink – don’t get them too wet as they’ll spread. Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) is great for fighting ink stains and grass stains.
  • Soaking clothes in salty water or adding vinegar to a wash can soften clothes instead of using a store-bought fabric softener which often coat garments and attract dirt. You can even soften clothes like pure cotton jeans by putting them in the dryer with tennis balls!
  • I avoid chlorine bleach, if accidentally mixed with some other products (ammonia, acids or alcohol) it can be dangerous and it can also pull colour. Oxygen bleach is safer on colours, environmentally friendlier and has an array of household uses. Other useful products include: 
    • Vinegar (good deodoriser and fabric softener and can help break down some stains)
    • Eucalyptus oil (antibacterial, great for removing sticky labels)
    • Dishwashing detergent (great for greasy stains)

Getting the kids involved with your garage sale

If you are looking to help get the kids involved with your garage sale, then these tips from Gabrielle Nuich of The Picker Concept are for you:

  • Getting the kids involved in Garage Sale Trail is awesome as it teaches them to prioritise reuse and they may pick up some great communication and money management skills!
  • If hosting a sale, have children go through their toys or books and choose any they’d like to sell. This allows them to be a part of the process and can reduce anxiety over giving away their items. Ask them what they think are fair prices, and you can even set up a designated table for them & their items. Older kids can manage the cash for their sales, which is great for mental math skills. 
  • If you’re buying, have your children think about things they may want to buy, have them set a budget and give them the independence to pay for items themselves. 
  • Promote your sale! The Garage Sale Trail website is a great way for people to find you, especially if your listing stands out. Write a great description, upload photos of items and share a link to your sale on Facebook & Gumtree. I’ve also found success in doing a letterbox drop in my area & putting up posters in my local café, school & grocery store (with permission, always!) I use the handy pre-made posters & letterbox slips that are available on the Garage Sale Trail website.

Tips to save with second hand shopping

Secure yourself a bargain with these secondhand shopping tricks from Hannah Klose of Never Ever Pay Retail:

  • Use your imagination… sometimes garments just need a little TLC. A good clean and a few stitches and they’re good to go, so keep a look out for those rough diamonds. 
  • Try it on! Sizes can be misleading so always hit the changerooms, and make sure you wear something easy to get changed in and out of – avoid buttons and jeans! 
  • Most garage sales are cash only so raid your piggybank or use an ATM before you hit Garage Sale Trail! Also, unlike op shops where you might feel a little bad to barter with charity, you can get away with a little haggling on the Trail. The worst thing they can say is no! If you’re buying more than one item, ask if they’ll give you a lesser price for buying in bulk.

You can follow Garage Sale Trail on the socials here:

What are your tips for hosting a successful garage sale?

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