Holiday shoppers turn to garage sales for gifts - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Holiday shoppers turn to garage sales for gifts

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NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WFXG) -

Forget long lines and jam-packed malls. The lagging economy is leading holiday shoppers to thriftier places to grab their gifts. And for some, it's making their Christmas shopping less stressful.

"Other than yard sales, I'm not a Christmas shopper but it's going great," said Robert Cope, a bargain shopper.

According to the American Research Group's 27th annual survey on holiday spending, shoppers around the U.S. are planning to spend an average of $854 for presents this season.

But not Cope, who calls himself a garage sale guru. Buying a few of his Christmas gifts from the yard sales around town, Cope bought his 16-year-old granddaughter, this year-old laptop. Valued around $300, he paid only $40 bucks! But Cope says it's not luck that gets him these great finds.

"You gotta get out there. You gotta be aggressive," Cope advised. "Don't be late. Be early. If the sale starts at 7 o'clock and you're there a quarter to 7, you're too late."

Garage and yard sales aren't just a payoff for the bargain shoppers, but also for the sellers getting rid of the goods.

Airing out baby clothes and dusting off television sets, Erika Alford and her husband decided to have a garage sale two weeks before Christmas. Starting this Thursday and running through Sunday, the Alfords hope to attract some holiday shoppers.

"It's a lot better than buying brand new sometimes. You know, you get people who, they've bought stuff brand new, they've modified it or done something else to it; they've made it better, and then they realize they don't need it and they sell it."

And for thrifty shoppers like Cope…

"You can't find the things at garage sales anywhere today," Cope said.

…he certainly believes one man's trash could be another man's treasure.

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