‘Bargain-hunt on steroids’ in MayPublished 9:34pm Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Organizers who hoped the first annual Communitywide Garage Sale Weekend in 2009 would provide economic relief for families on a tight budget, attract thrifty bargain hunters to the community and additional foot traffic to the downtown, found the promotion did just that.
“Typically 70 to 80 residential sites in Dowagiac and at Sister Lakes register to participate in the event, as some of our downtown businesses also join the fun, bringing their special-sale merchandise outside and onto the sidewalk,” said Vickie Phillipson, program director for the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority. The two groups co-sponsor the sales promotion, which runs May 25-56.
“For those people who enjoy going to estate or garage sales, a community-wide event such as this is much like bargain hunting on steroids,” Phillipson said. “For homeowners who are doing spring cleaning, senior citizens who believe fewer dust collectors are actually more, or for families on a tight budget, the May 25-26 community-wide garage sale offers a great way to bring additional customers to each of these individual garage sales.”
Dowagiac has agreed to waive the garage sale permit for that weekend, thereby allowing the Chamber of Commerce and DDA to register participants for the communitywide promotion. The city-issued permit is still in affect for families who do not register with the Chamber.
Participants of the community-wide sale, who register with the Chamber of Commerce and DDA by Friday, May 4, will be included in a Buyers’ Guide and Map, which will be available at several downtown locations in advance of the promotion and also that weekend. Plus, event organizers take care of placing classified and display advertising for the promotion.
Phillipson said monies collected through the $8 participation fee will underwrite advertising purchased in up to 11 publications, including Leader Publications, The South Bend Tribune, Herald Palladium, Paw Paw Flashes, Berrien Springs Journal Era and Kalamazoo Gazette.
For the second consecutive year, Phillipson said homeowners and participating merchants can earn back part or all of their participation fee, as they provide assistance in selling the Buyers’ Guides marketed to the public for $1 per guide.
Home owners can pick up a registration form at City Hall or at the Chamber of Commerce in the historic train depot. They can also have a registration form mailed to them by calling the Chamber at 782-8212. Community organizations and church groups are also invited to participate in the community event.
Organizers anticipate the sales promotion will feature an array of clothing for children and adults, household items and furniture, toys and sporting goods, garden items and tools that will be for sale at individual homes throughout the community.
Buyers’ Guide offered
Phillipson said the Buyers’ Guide categorizes sales according to their geographic location within the community, will show the location of each sale on a map and provide the consumer with information regarding the type of merchandise each site offers. The Buyers’ Guide will also feature special discount coupons for specialty shops and restaurants which participate in the promotion as distribution sites for the consumer guide.
Chamber-member businesses that want to participate should call the Chamber and DDA offices by April 13.