Clustered in three areas: Brighton & Hove, Hackney and Todmorden in West Yorkshire (and one in Wales – anyone, anywhere in the country can take part), the organisers intend the event to become nationwide within a couple of years.

Garage Sale Trail is the brain-child two Australian friends Darryl Nichols and Andrew Valder who realised back in 2010 that all the unloved items dumped in the Bondi Beach area of Sydney had community building and fundraising potential if only there was an online marketplace to enable people to hold a physical sale in their front garden, garage or community space. Nichols and Valder understood that the key to its success was not only to create and make a lot of noise around a community forum – the Garage Sale Trail website – where everyone could register and advertise their sale for free and shoppers could create their own personalised trail, but also to create a one-day nationwide event which brought people out of their houses, meeting neighbours and also raising money either for the household pot or for charity. Five years down the line Garage Sale Trail day has become an integral part of Australian culture (last year 70,330 sellers took part in over 8,200 sales across the whole country). 

Here in the UK individuals and community groups from across the country have begun to register sales on, which will remain open until Friday 25 September. In Hackney sales as diverse as a film theme at the Rio Cinema, traditional crafts and culture at the Halkevi Kurdish and Turkish Community Centre and herbs and perennials raised by people with disabilities and older people at the Secret Potting Shed Sale will take place. In Todmorden, West Yorkshire original work from artists and crafts people will be on offer at the Hatter and Osier Art Car Boot, vintage WWII survival kit including three hand-cranked air raid sirens and Tilley lamps which have been stored in an underground bunker in Halifax will be up for grabs at the Vintage Life Savers sale taking place in Todmorden’s Grade I listed Town Hall, plus there’s a campervan (and a nice cup of tea) up for grabs at the The Highcroft Vintage Hoard sale. In Brighton at the enticingly advertised Katie’s Closet ‘uber cool items’ will be found, while at Exeter Hall there’ll be a good old fashioned Jumble Sale and Junkwala’s Den will be selling vintage school desks and vinyl from the 1980s.

Locally sellers can opt to raise funds for the official charity, a good cause of their own choice, or simply for their own household pot. In Hackney where sales are being coordinated by Hackney Giving in collaboration with Hackney Borough Council the official charity is Hackney Giving, a cross-sector charity initiative that provides a simple and effective way for people to support the wider community; in Todmorden where sales are being coordinated by Incredible Edible Todmorden in collaboration with Calderdale Council the charity is Todmorden Food Bank, and in Brighton which is being coordinated by Brighton Freegle in collaboration with Brighton & Hove City Council the charity is Emmaus Brighton & Hove.