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Andrew Valder - Garage Sale Trail founder

Garage Sale Trail founder talks sustainable business

The Garage Sale Trail began as a small part of Bondi festival two years ago with the aim of keeping waste off the sidewalks. Now a national event, it continues to grow in size and support every year with this Saturday’s trail expected to be the biggest yet.

The event aims to reduce waste by offering a free online platform for people to advertise their garage sale, along with the option to create a map of garage sales to go to.

Co-founder and partner Andrew Valder told Dynamic Business about how he managed to grow The Garage Sale Trail from a small part of a community festival to a national event.

“The Garage Sale Trail started as part of community event in Bondi in May 2010. We hoped to have 30 sales on the day, and we had 130 people register on our website. It grew like wild fire,” he said.

With now over 500,00 items listed and 1.3 million in sales already registered, the event has grown massively over the last two years.

“We saw that a lots of people in Bondi left a lot of crap on the footpath like couches, and furniture and TV’s, lots of it functional. So we had this idea to do the garage sale trail as part of the community festival and it really resonated with people,” Valder said.

After receiving a good response from the media and Bondi locals, Valder was approached by other councils to hold similar events around Sydney. This is when it became clear they had a good idea, and began thinking about expansion.

“We had the good fortune of winning a couple of awards that generated a bit of a bit of attention in the public sector into what we were doing. We had other council areas approach us seeing if we would hold garage sale trails in their local area,” he said.

“At the same time we had a good background in marketing and partnerships- creating and collaborations we call it. We used that background to then go: alright, this idea seems to resonate with people, how can we connect with partnerships to help grow it?” he added.

In order to form partnerships with businesses in both public and private sectors, Valder created a short video to explain the Garage Sale Trail and what it aims to achieve. He then strategically targeted key players, and used the video to explain how the program could benefit their government sector or company.

“We asked them if they wanted to join us on this journey of building the garage sale trail nationally. This led to partnerships with media organizations like News Limited, and more recently ABC radio,” he said.

Applying what he learnt when getting the Garage Sale Trail up and running, Valder has recently begun a new venture called Grow It Local. The sustainable project, built on the same principles and using the same network, focuses on growing food at a local level.