I remember when my mother’s cousin, “Aunt Patty,” held the first patio sale EVER at her suburban California home, sometime in the early 1960s. It was cool. It was chic. And it caught on. My mom liked the idea and tried out a front porch sale in her rural Oregon town of 500. The neighbors were puzzled, but quickly organized their own redistributions of extra stuff via their lawns and garages.
I went to a friend’s moving sale the other day, remembering this relative and her early success. This Cuenca sale’s organizer is leaving Ecuador soon, and needed to size down before taking off to Turkey. We’d gone shopping together two days beforehand for stickers, and finally found some colorful tags for her cast-off clothing, indigenous art, warm blankets, houseplants, jewelry and other gems. All priced to catch anyone’s eye.
“My cell phone rang all week. People wanted to come early, but I said ‘no.’ I wanted everyone to have a fair chance at a bargain,” she told me. I admired her business ethics!
The morning of the event, eager expats and Ecuadorians were lined up thirty minutes before she opened her apartment door. I counted fifty people waiting for the fun to start—from moms with babies, to retires, mostly women, but a few men sprinkled in the crowd.
Fun way to meet people and get a good bargain, one fiftyish guy, a blogger who writes about Ecuador, said, as we sat on the curb of the flower garden, waiting to get inside.
Judging from the great woven Ecuadorian jacket that I bought for just $15, I think my Aunt Patty had a great idea. She was ahead of her time. (So maybe she didn’t invent the garage sale, but she was an early adopter.)
If anyone knows when the next Cuenca apartment sale takes place, give me a call. I know for sure of at least 200 new friends who would like to get there early.
Gualaceo? I know we can get a van!