When garage sales were trending in Canada in the '70s
Canadians were seizing the opportunity to make quick cash by unloading their 'unused junk'
Today, a hand-scrawled sign advertising a garage sale would be clear enough to explain what was going on.
But four decades ago, the concept seemed to need a bit more explanation — at least to people watching The National.
"With inflation going up and the Canadian dollar going down, people are looking at different ways of making money," George McLean told viewers on Sept. 22, 1979.
"There's a new money-making trend catching on," McLean added, right before reporter Sheldon Turcott began a survey of the garage sale world.
As Turcott went on to explain, the trend saw people looking at what household items they could live without in order to make some quick cash.
Making money from 'unused junk'
"Thousands of people are scouring their attics and basements. They're holding garage and lawn sales," he said. "And these temporary markets are drawing big crowds every weekend."
Among those crowds were "professionals" who arrived early to "scoop up the really good bargains."
The viewers at home got a look at some of the previously owned merchandise available at these sales.
Mix-and-match dishes, random earthenware, and a lamp with a dented shade were among the goods shown on The National.
"Sometimes you wonder why people would buy it," Turcott said, referring to some of the more suspect items being offered for sale.
Turcott pointed out that hosting such a sale was a fair bit of work for the sellers.
"But with the prospect of making a few hundred dollars on unused junk, most say it's worth the trouble," said Turcott.
A passing fad?
The National also took a brief look at how the growing number of garage sales was affecting charity organizations.
Goodwill, for example, had seen a recent drop in its donations, which appeared linked to the trend of seeing people skip the middle step of donating to a thrift store and selling off their old items on their own.
"Unfortunately, for Goodwill, people today seem to be living the old adage about charity beginning at home," Turcott said.
"For that reason, they hope garage sales are only a passing fad."