I'm a sucker for yard sales, and I've picked up a few great items for practically nothing on the streets of Woodhaven, particularly old books and records. Unfortunately, so many of these yard sales are tucked away on side streets or scattered all over the neighborhood.
Unless you drive all over Woodhaven every weekend, you end up missing a lot of them. And I can't tell you how many times friends have had yard sales, only to say afterward that they sat outside all day and had only five or six customers.
The ugly side of yard sales is the cruddy looking signs that people tape to telephone poles and trees advertising their sale. In addition to being ugly, these signs are illegal and people do report them to the Department of Sanitation.
What makes these offenders so easy to catch and fine is the fact that they conveniently leave their addresses on their signs. Not very smart thinking considering fines can approach $125 per sign, up to a maximum of $3,200. There goes your weekend profits!
So in an attempt to address these issues, last year the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association held its first Great Woodhaven Yard Sale, an event where we asked our residents to hold off until a particular weekend, and everyone would have their yard sale at the same time.
In turn, we would publicize it and print maps with the locations of each sale, the idea being that if someone went to one sale, they'd be able to see where all the other sales were located. We ended up with 26 participating yard sales and the event was a modest success.
So we're going to give it another go, this time on the weekend of July 14-15. If you are planning a yard sale this summer, please hold off and have it that weekend and be part of a larger neighborhood-wide sale.
Call our office at 718-296-3735 and leave your name and a way to contact you, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you are doing just the one day (if so, which one) or the whole weekend (both Saturday and Sunday).
This year, the Great Woodhaven Yard Sale is being held with the sponsorship of the Leader/Observer, and the map will be printed in the edition of the Leader that hits the streets the Wednesday before the weekend of the sale.
So the deadline for getting on the map is Monday, July 9, at noon. Spread the word among your neighbors and see if they'll agree to participate. Nothing will draw customers more than a cluster of sales heavily concentrated on one block.
But if you're the only yard sale on your block, you can be assured that people will know you are open for business. With the help of the Leader/Observer, which has been serving Woodhaven since 1909, we'll get the maps into the hands of as many residents as possible. And we'll also advertise it on Facebook, Twitter, Everyblock, etc.
The WRBA hopes that this will become an annual event in Woodhaven, a traditional event that we all look forward to. We hope that by doing this we are providing a service which will bring more potential customers to your front stoop or driveway.
And we hope we can cut down on those hideous paper signs that get stapled and taped to telephone poles around the neighborhood. Just one more in a long line of value added services brought to you from your friends and neighbors at the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association.