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  • Last modified 2396 days ago (April 26, 2012)

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Step up or be a freeloader

Come Friday at noon, those of you interested in being an “official participant” in the Peabody citywide garage sale should have your application form and $12.50 fee turned in to either the city building or the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin office in Jackrabbit Hollow downtown. Friday noon is the deadline to get on the map and be in all three Hoch Publishing newspapers next Wednesday — and the ad in the Wichita Eagle — so that the crowds will find you on May 5. (And if you forget, call me at home and we MIGHT squeeze you in!)

There is a little issue that pops up every year with this event. Yes, we charge a fee for participants to be on the map and in the ads. It takes time and effort to organize everything, design advertising, and draw up a map. More than you know, we appreciate the folks who submit their fee and the form with their address and list of treasures for sale. I am always heartened by the number of people who do the right thing!

I also know that there are an abundant number of you who will not pay the fee to list your garage sale because you are certain that others will. Then you can just drag your merchandise out to your lawn and the buyers who are in town (compliments of those who DID pay to advertise in other publications) will drive by and find you anyway.

Hoch Publishing, my employer and owner of the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin, agreed to sponsor this event 11 years ago when I took this job and the newspaper changed hands. We expanded the advertising and people did well for several years. Then a new mentality nudged into the event … “Hey, we don’t really have to pay the fee because people are coming from all over. They will buy from us whether we help with the advertising or not!” That’s right; that is exactly the plan that will save you the $12.50 fee.

However, consider this — on Tuesday as I write this, I have four applications accompanied by the proper amount of money. When I put the ad in the Wichita Eagle next week telling that Peabody is having a citywide garage sale with FOUR families selling great stuff, how many out-of-town buyers do you think we might attract? There will be 12 citywide garage sales on May 5, as it turns out. Sedgwick, Bentley, Marion, Leon, and Goddard are close enough to be considered competition. Would you drive to any of those towns for four garage sales? You need to participate to make this whole thing fly.

Am I trying to get you all to advertise your garage sale in this newspaper? You bet I am. I expect that by Friday I will have enough sellers to pull off the citywide garage sale one more year. That is usually the way this works. People procrastinate; I know that, and this year will likely be no different.

Here is a proposition, however, for those of you who still don’t plan to contribute to the expense of getting buyers to the community to make this profitable for everyone. I will go around on May 5 and take your names and next year in February, when people start hounding the city office asking, “When are we having a citywide garage sale?” I will have the city tell all those people to call YOU. YOU can create the application forms, distribute them, and arrange to collect them. YOU can create the map, print 500-plus copies, and distribute them to businesses and sellers. YOU can pay to run the maps in several area newspapers and pay for an ad in the Wichita Eagle. Good luck with that.

Most of you non-participants have done the same thing year after year. This is nothing new. The community will expect great things from you next year and you can bet that your names will be right here in this column so that everyone knows who to contact with complaints! But, hey, you saved $12.50, right?

— SUSAN MARSHALL

Last modified April 26, 2012

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