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City garage sales attract thrifty shoppers 

The Jakarta Post | Jakarta | Mon, October 20 2014, 11:32 AM

One man’s trash, as they say, is another man’s treasure.

And it seems this adage is respected by Jakarta residents, who have proved enthusiastic about holding and visiting garage sales across the city.

The business of garage sales, it seems, is quite profitable, as many organizers have held regular garage sales for 10 years or more.

Tina, a housewife, said that she and four friends had held garage sales since 1997. She explained that at that time, she and her friends had many unused items in their homes that were still in mint condition.

“During the financial crisis in 1997, we noticed that lots of our friends wanted to sell their branded goods and that lots of women wanted to buy them. So we held our first garage sale in the garage of a friend’s home in Pondok Indah in South Jakarta,” she said.

Tina added that she and her friends not only sold branded handbags but also other home furnishings and clothing, among other things.

“Back then, we advertised only through word of mouth and lots of people came. Now we promote through social media,” she said.

The 42-year-old and her friends now hold six garage sales a year in a field in Blok S, South Jakarta. Tina said that before each garage sale, she submitted a request to use the field with the field’s management and a noise nuisance permit request with the South Jakarta Police and the community unit (RW).

Tina explained that she would set up tables for the sellers, who paid Rp 700,000 for each table they rented. Goods at Tina’s sales are sold from Rp 5,000 to more than Rp 1 million.

“The rental fee isn’t much compared with the money they get from the garage sale. Some sellers have taken as much as Rp 10 million in a day,” she said.

Another garage sale organizer, 29-year-old Alida Kuswanda, who holds monthly sales, said that the business was promising, as many Jakartans were in the market for affordable items.

Alida, who has held monthly garage sales for 10 years, said that she had sellers and customers who participated every time.

“Sellers and customers always look forward to the sale because it’s a good opportunity for both groups. Sellers get to sell their unused things and customers get a great bargain,” she said.

Promoting on social media, Alida said that she held her garage sales in different venues each month, not only in cafes but also in parks. Similarly to Tina, Alida said that she also submits a number of permit requests before each sale. The current location of her sales is a café in Kemang, South Jakarta.

Meanwhile, 28-year-old Kartika, who only started organizing garage sales last year, said that her sales were already attracting dozens of shoppers. She holds her monthly sales the first Saturday of each month in the garage of a shophouse in Kebayoran, South Jakarta.

Kartika’s sales offer a variety of goods, including clothes, childrens’ toys, CDs, vinyl records and posters, with a price range of Rp 1,000 to Rp 1 million.

“Rather than throwing away things we don’t need anymore, it’s better to resell them. Others might find a use for them,” she said. 

— JP/Dewanti A. Wardhani

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