Garage Sale Maps/Classifieds

The internet has cut into classified ad revenue at local newspapers.

I think newspapers can still play a role, though. Most cities require permits to be purchased for garage sales. Some cities, like Bryan TX, display garage sale maps, but don’t do a very good job at it.

sign16.jpg

I think newspapers could mashup garage sale permit locations, and add value by allowing garage sale vendors to purchase additional advertising, upload photos, and list the items they have for sale. This would then support a slick map based web gui.

Additionally, SMS based LBS could allow cell phone users to get a list of nearby garage sales when out shopping.

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3 comments so far

  1. Bill Thorp on

    I wrote one of these about 3 years ago for my own devices. I got listings via RSS, grabbed the addresses of of malformed HTML using .NET’s HTML Agility Pack, geocoded through some free SOAP service, cached the results, and then rendered it all in Google Maps.

    Once you can garage sale this way, the old newspaper + map way is practically undoable.

  2. Kirk on

    Hi Bill –

    Thanks for the comment, sounds fairly straightforward. What I think is needed is more work on the backend, which would allow people holding garage sales the ability to add lists/photos of sale items to allow searching. Seems like a newspaper would be a logical site for this. The newspaper could also realize addtional ad revenue. E.g. if I search for a garagesales for “dining table” ads could be presented from furniture stores (following the google adwords model).

    Kirk

  3. garagesalefinder on

    I tried to get some of the cities in my area (who all require paid permits) on board with map mashups at my garage sale mapping site (http://garagesalefinder.com/) last year when I first started it. Nobody was even remotely interested. I’ve seen a lot of newspapers that use content management programs to do the mashups, but they are very limited because of the inconsistency of the ads. My local paper does neither, but I had my programmer write a program that reads and imports the organic data into my garagesalefinder.com site. Cost me some serious $$, but I started the site because of my own addiction to garage sales. Plus, I’ve got the only site out there where you can download the data to your GPS.


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