Last year I noticed that the quality of the stuff available at local garage sales declined. This year the number of garage sales is down also. And I mean down! Whereas last year this time we would go to 10-12 events each Saturday, this year we are lucky if we see 5 or 6.
I suspect that there are two possible explanations:
1) Weather. It has been miserable and unstable. That global warming thing has not reached us yet: We have been seeing temperatures consistently 3 degrees C below seasonal average. Furthermore, predicting the weather has been problematic. The scientists employed by the Environment Canada are clearly not the same ones that confidently predict 2.5 degrees increase in average temperatures in the next 100 years. Ours, as reflected by the predictions on the Weather Channel, have the greatest difficulty deciding what the weather will be in the next 12 hours. In fact, the way the Weather Channel deals with this locally is to show different predictions every 6 hours. Presumably one of them will eventually turn out to be right.
Thus people are reluctant to hold garage sales unless they have the ability to go indoors in bad weather. It will be interesting if the numbers pick up in summer although "summer" is a relative term here on the Island.
2) Bad economy. I postulated this last year as the reason for poor quality stuff available. People in financial difficulty buy less new stuff and hold onto their good old stuff longer. This was also reflected in the local auction house. However, it is not clear what "bad economy" means here on the Island. There is some unemployment due to mill etc. closures. OTOH those who are employed or have their own businesses may not be as hard up as all that. For example I have tried to get estimates for some building work which I guess would be about $1500 worth. Of the four companies I asked two have not turned up and the two that did have so far failed to provide the quote, in one case for over a week. I figure that if you can turn down that sort of work you are not suffering.
I wonder what the garage sales experience has been elsewhere...