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Voices of MainStreet: April Lee

‘Tis the Season for Fun
April 18, 2011

It isn’t quite the season for garage sales yet, but I'm starting to see a bit of spring in everyone’s step.

People are out walking around and looking for deals. What is it about spring that inspires so much shopping? Perhaps it's cleaning our closets, filing taxes and getting organized that makes us decide what to keep or sell, and buy.

A few weekends ago I passed a sidewalk sale. There were old books, clothes, shoes, new homemade jewelry and great finds, like old record players. But what was unique about this sidewalk sale was that anyone could come on any weekend to sell their items. It was a mix of old-fashioned yard sale with newbie sellers trying to launch their business.

Seattlites love to refurbish old things, and then turn around and sell them. But sidewalk sales, yard sales and garage sales have a bit of a twist here: It isn’t about getting rid of things as much as it is about offering something to the community. We focus on what’s useful and what could be a great buy for someone else, and we definitely focus on what's hip. This is why it’s so exciting when the neighborhood sales begin to pop up! Recycled cool stuff: What’s not to love?

Spring is the season for getting rid of the old and bringing in the new: ‘Tis the season to prepare to have fun!

The other great thing about neighborhood sales is the feeling of having a community. It’s a great opportunity to talk to new people, get tips on great places, hear each other’s stories and continue the long-standing tradition of the open market: negotiating.

Speaking of, here’s something I learned from an old woman: Visit sales towards the end of the day. The sellers will be more willing to negotiate a price because they want to get rid of their stuff. Personally, I never do this with new businesses or when I know someone handmade their items, but I think it’s perfectly fine to do with recycled or used items.

In any case, it's a great excuses to show off that new summer dress.

—April is a well-traveled young woman planting her roots in sunny Seattle, or well, just Seattle. Her writing covers whatever piques her interest and curiousity. Check out her blog here.

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