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Citywide garage sales being canceled amid pandemic

Jessica Miles
Updated: April 30, 2020 06:45 PM
Created: April 30, 2020 04:31 PM

It's common to see signs and advertisements for garage sales this time of year. Many Minnesotans enjoy driving around trying to find that bargain buy.

But instead of the season ramping up, many community sales are being canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In Lakeville, there were 223 sales for the citywide event last year. This year, the city isn't registering sales or making a map of locations, stating 17 sellers will do it alone.

In southeastern Minnesota, the 60-Mile Garage Sale through the nine Root River Trail towns has been called off.

"We just felt like it was a responsible decision on our group's part to make sure we are being safe with the events we hold each year," said Gabby Kinneberg, president of the Root River Trail Towns Group.

It's an event that has grown each year.

"We see license plates from all over the place, so it’s really become a fun thing," Kinneberg shared.

The cancellation means shoppers won't be bringing in money to local economies.

"It’s definitely going to have an impact because, as you know, when you go 'garage sailing' you stop and have lunch, you stop at a gas station, you might do some other shopping at other retail places," Kinneberg said.

Chrysa Duran with Thrifty Minnesota said Facebook community garage sale sites are good virtual options, and there are other sites for specific items.

"If you have electronics or media, CDs and Blu-rays, apps like Decluttr where you can scan what you have and send it in, if you have clothing there are places is like Poshmark where you can send in your clothing and sell it to other people, if you have craft supplies there’s Etsy," Duran said.

She noted that some people are still having them and just being more cautious.

"I have heard more people are doing a garage sale by appointment, so they say, 'I’m having a garage sale and these are the things I have' and someone will contact you and say, 'Okay, can I come at 10 o’clock tomorrow,'" she explained.

Duran said many people look to garage sales right now.

"There are a lot of people who need the money to support themselves if they are not working or working less, and there are also people who need things right now for their families and they need a way to get it inexpensively," she said.

Kinneberg said she hopes shoppers will return to southeastern Minnesota next year.

"We’re here and will be here when everybody can travel again," she said.


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