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“It seems like every time you turn around, somebody’s pounding a garage sale sign at the top of the street,” says Bob Fritts, owner of Fritts Financial Services in Concord Township. “Consumer spending is way down. People are looking to raise additional funds to make ends meet. Especially with the unemployment rate rising close to 10 percent, it makes it more valuable to clean out your junk.”

Nationwide, garage sale listings on online advertiser Craigslist have increased 80 percent this year, company officials said.

Chrissy Walters, a teacher at Edison Elementary School in Willoughby, says she holds a garage sale each year at the Willowick home of her mother, Jan Komar. This year, things were hopping much earlier than usual.

“We opened at 9, but our first person showed up at 8:30,” Walters says. “I feel like we’ve been busier than in past years, which is good, because we have a lot of junk to get rid of. We can always use the extra money. My husband says I have to get rid of my old clothes before I get more.”

Walters’ customers snapped up items like a cot for $5 that had been priced at $10 and a porch swing for $5.

“We’re proud garage salers,” Komar says with a laugh.

Diane Mayer, another Willowick resident, was at the East 327th Street sale shopping with her 11 week old morkie dog named Daisy May happily parked in her arms.

“I like going to garage sales,” Mayer says. “I like finding old cookbooks, and it’s fun. We just had a garage sale, and people were talking about the economy.”

Secondhand stores like Plato’s Closet in Mentor also are thriving.

“A lot of people are coming in to sell their clothes for gas money,” Plato’s Closet manager Sam Urankar says.

“And a lot of people are coming here to buy back to school clothes, because they can get brand name stuff for $6 to $15, versus like $60 or more at the mall.”
beige ugg boots Garage sales big business in recession