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Bargain hunters meet sellers of ‘stuff’

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Amanda Akre looks for a spot to hang clothes at her family’s garage sale this past weekend in Manteca.


POSTED July 29, 2013 12:28 a.m.

Deborah Garcia has been living in the same Central Manteca home for more than two decades. Garage sales aren’t something she does too often.

This time around, there was purpose beyond purging. Not only was Garcia cleaning out her house and going separate ways with some of her more cherished items, but she was also doing it for her 14-year old daughter, Bianca Kucher.

“The cause for this is because I’m having a Quinceanera for my daughter,” Garcia said of Kucher, an incoming freshman at Manteca High, currently away at cheer camp. “The proceeds will go to that next year in May. I have to dwindle and sell everything.”

A Quinceanera is a celebration in the Latin American culture for a girl’s 15th birthday. It marks the transition from childhood to womanhood.

Garcia was focused on her daughter’s birthday celebration when she chose to host a yard sale this past weekend and an upcoming one as well.

“I usually do one of two per year,” Garcia said. “What I’m doing is departing from all my treasures, like crystal, antique glass and a lot of collectible items.

“I put it on Facebook and I went and hung signs up all over. And my neighbor over there, he put it on Craigslist. I put eight signs up and have been waking up at 4 a.m. since Thursday.”

Garage sales can be used for several different causes. They can be used to raise money and awareness for a charitable cause, for one’s personal gain or to simply to clear out unwanted and unused household items.

Unlike Garcia, who put up eight signs and posted the ad on craigslist, Janelle Marlowe Perry simply paid to place an ad in the local newspaper.

“We noticed by putting it in the paper we’re getting a lot more of a response anyway,” said Marlowe Perry, the mother of a 7 and 5 year old. “My kids continue to get stuff, so it’s like a revolving door. When they get more toys we have to get rid of the old ones.

“This has been six months in the making, so I would like to have space in my garage to walk around and not have to go around all this (stuff). But you know what they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

And there was plenty of treasure to be found at her sale. Marlowe Perry had a variety of items such as bunk beds, a dresser, kids clothing, and toys among others.

“I noticed that the clothes, you can count on people coming and buying 25 and 50 cent items just so they can take them home,” she said. “Whether it is grandparents coming to get clothes for their grandchildren who are going to stay a couple of days, that seems to go fast. Luggage went pretty fast too. We had scooters and bikes and those are all gone.”

Whether it’s advertising on the Internet or newspapers, or simply putting up signs, there are always more options to explore.

Manteca resident Tiffany Friend used a different strategy to draw the crowd.

“This is just a friend’s place,” said Friend. “We always do good at this location over here. We live on a private drive, so nobody really goes there.

“We didn’t advertise this time. We usually post it online, but we were just unorganized this morning.”

To contact John-Joel Griffiths, e-mail

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