Shoppers flock to Coupeville’s garage sale

Coupeville Lions Club volunteer Ed Walker unloads a sink from a truck. The hugely popular Coupeville Lions Club Garage Sale takes place Fourth of July weekend.   - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Coupeville Lions Club volunteer Ed Walker unloads a sink from a truck. The hugely popular Coupeville Lions Club Garage Sale takes place Fourth of July weekend.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

After seeing all of the furniture, antiques, tools, mementos and sporting goods Friday afternoon, some of the most frugal-minded shoppers in the state work themselves into a frenzy.

After all, they have to wait until 9 a.m. Saturday, July 3, when the starting line drops and the Coupeville Lions Club Garage Sale begins.

“They see this stuff on Friday and they are hot to go,” volunteer Al Sherman said. He was one of the 40 or so volunteers unloading merchandise recently from trucks and finding a spot on the Coupeville Elementary School campus.

The time-honored garage sale begins Saturday and continues through Sunday. Volunteers have been busy in the weeks leading up to the sale cramming the Coupeville Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room full of books, tools, appliances, decorations and dishes. Of course the merchandise pours out into the parking lot, the elementary school walkways and the covered play area, which is full of couches, love seats, davenports and sofas.

Dave Fish, one of the Coupeville Lions Club members organizing the 2010 sale, said 100 percent of the money raised by the garage sale goes back into the community. The sale last year netted $32,000 and the money helped such groups as the Boy Scouts, food banks, the Boys and Girls Club, Whidbey Animals Improvement Foundation and the WoodLinks program at Coupeville High School.

Volunteers have been collecting merchandise all year and storing the items in four barns on Central Whidbey Island.

Fish said this weekend’s sale should contain a similar amount of merchandise as last year thanks to an influx of donations in recent months.

“We were concerned a couple of months ago, but the barns are full,” Fish said.

The sale started in the early 1980s. Sherman said the garage sale originally was held in conjunction with a carnival which had been a popular fundraiser the Lions Club used ever since he was in elementary school.

Now the garage sale attracts bargain hunters from across the state. Fish noted that shoppers from as far away as Spokane and Tonasket come every year to peruse the merchandise, eagerly looking for the best deal.

The Coupeville Lions Club garage sale is taking place a little late this year, coinciding with the Fourth of July weekend. Fish said the date of the garage sale depends on the date school ends. Volunteers need two weeks to move, organize and price merchandise.

The Garage Sale begins Friday, July 2, with a preview from noon to 2 p.m. The sale itself starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and goes until 4 p.m. Then on Sunday, the sale starts at 9 a.m. with all remaining items half price.

What buyers don’t want will be hauled off to the dump or recycled.

Fish said the garage sale has fallen on the Fourth of July weekend in the past and was a success. He said people should stop by the garage sale on their way to the parade in Oak Harbor, which begins at 11 a.m.

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