"Bon Débarras": A reference for garage sales
Julie, who had just immigrated to Montréal, had trouble finding all the sales in her area. “If you didn’t happen upon a poster randomly, you missed it,” she said.
Then, she had an idea to compile all the garage, estate and moving sales onto one Web site, free of charge.
“My primary motivation was to help people,” said Magnien. “Sellers put a lot of time and effort into organizing these sales, and they want visitors! And buyers want to decorate their home inexpensively, or just find a new treasure.”
A social project with a human dimension
More than ever, Montrealers are aware of the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. Buying secondhand from an individual or selling an item at low cost rather than putting it out on the street is a step towards more responsible – and more local – consumption.
“ ‘Bon Débarras’ aims to facilitate these win-win transactions,” saidMagnien.
Magnien is especially moved by estate sales, where a family often has to manage a quick sale of the deceased’s possessions while they are still grieving. “One woman told me she had to pay her mother’s rent for months, because she just couldn’t clear out the space,” lamented the Ahuntsic mom.
In addition to garage sales, estate sales and moving sales, “Bon Débarras” will soon feature bazaars, thrift stores and liquidation sales held by schools and arts organizations. All of them can be listed free of charge on the site.
Respect and inspiration
“Bon Débarras” makes sure it is compliant with local laws for indoor and outdoor sales across the city (and the province), since each borough has different conditions.
“In the ‘Tips’ section of the Web site, I offer educational articles to help people recognize great finds,” says the antique buff. “Inspiration for everyone!”