Better Groj Sale signs
Several years ago, I saw the name, Groj Sale somewhere and thought it was brilliant. The Garage Sale name is not quite accurate. I remember as a young kid I saw a sign in the naberhood and wondered why someone would sell their garage. Seemed weird. My mom explained it to me. So, a new name that represents the sound of the word garage makes some sense - a new word for the phrase that is already in our cultural vernacular. Groj Sale can mean either a Garage Sale or Yard Sale. For my first Groj Sale, I designed the signs to be easily noticed (bright yellow and black), easy to read (bold Helvetica) and void of any embellishment. Several people commented during the sale how much they enjoyed the signs. One women stopped, not to buy anything, but just to applaud the signs.

The official color for Groj Sale signs should be bright yellow.
• Yellow and black have the highest contrast (tied with white and black).
• Yellow is highly visible in bright and dusk light.
To find groj sales, people often just drive around and look for the signs. Many signs are poorly made - sloppy lettering, too thin letterstrokes, small fonts, etc. Even with those, the bright yellow would convey a sale is nearby.

My first Groj Sale
I am a minimalist, that means I don't have many possessions and not much clutter. But, over the years, I had accumulated lots of stuff. Probably still less than most people, but more than I need. So, after retiring from OSU, I had decided to not teach a studio design class again. This allowed me to go through all of my books and discard the ones I would not need to teach the Design History course. I ended up with almost 300 books. I then continued with this purge-mode and went through my house and office - resulting in a garage full of stuff. usually I donate unwanted items to a thrift shop or to one of the trucks that come by (Vietnam Vets, disease groups, etc). But this dang recession encouraged me to rethink this process. Maybe I can earn some money while I recycle products. The purge ordeal was fun - I was in the right mood to clear stuff out - furniture, cloze, appliances, books, an old laptop, and more, much more. But wait, if you order in the next 10 minutes, we will . . . Oops, sorry, got carried away.



The day of the Groj Sale was quite cold and rainy. I decided not to mess with it. But that afternoon at about 3:00 it had cleared up a bit. I called my naber who was going to help me and asked him to come over - let's open up and see what happens. While he watched my stuff, I walked a couple of blocks in 3 directions and stuck the signs into the soft wet ground. As I turned the corner to go back to my house I noticed three cars in front of my house. There were people in the garage and as I walked up, my naber handed me money. OMG: I just put in the signs a matter of minutes ago and three cars had already stopped. Wow. We stayed open for 2 hours and sold about $220 worth of stuff. I opened up the next Saturday to finish up. This time, I put the items on three tables - $1, $5 and priced-as-marked. OMG: the same thing happened - I turned the corner from putting up the signs and there were 3 cars at my house and my naber handed me more money. Money that eventually totaled $1,284. A few days later, I went through the same purge process at the apartment in New York City. I took 4 large trash bags of stuff to Goodwill, gave some stuff away, and sold another $52 worth of goods out of my apartment - I put up notices on our building online bulletin board and posted a flier in the laundry room. The grand total from my first Groj Sale was $1,556.

Dates
Purge house and office: Spring 2009
Sale days: Saturday, May 2 and Saturday, May 9, 2009
Second Groj Sale: Saturday, April 2010

In December, 2011, I was sitting in Starbucks and saw this poster right next to my table. Cool. Notice that the designer included the days with the dates - nice. This art groj sale was put on by Fringe OKC.

www.jamesrobertwatson.com/grojsale.html