Great California Garage Sale to Raise Money for State

Schwarzenegger gets creative

Image from

Image from

California’s budget crisis may seem like an overwhelming lost cause to some, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is putting up a fight. His latest plan to get some emergency money to fight the state deficit is the Great California Garage Sale.

The state is now using online resources including Craigslist and eBay to advertise items for sale at the Great California Garage Sale, which takes place this weekend at the surplus property warehouse. Items for sale include a huge collection of unclaimed and confiscated items.

It’s all about the marketing

Items that become property of the state after being confiscated are always for sale, but the difference for the Great California Garage sale is promotion. The items are for sale on familiar, commonly used sites that everyone knows about and knows how to use. Buyers will be able to pick up their items at the Great California Garage Sale this weekend at designated booths.

The process of buying state property through police auctions is a daunting idea for most people without experience with them. But Craigslist and eBay are comfortable for most people to use. The other key to making the Great California Garage Sale a hit is publicity. Advertising is key in the success of any event, so Schwarzenegger is hoping that turning the Great California Garage Sale into a well-publicized event rather than  just another police property auction will get attention and make money.

Using social networking

The Great California Garage Sale is being promoted using social networking media, so it seems appropriate that the idea for it was actually submitted to the California state government through Twitter. The government created a web site called, which indexes tweets submitted on how to combat the state’s budget problems.

One person suggested that he should autograph some state-owned cars and bicycles for sale, and that’s just what he’s going to do at the Great California Garage Sale. Of course, there will be plenty of other items for sale, too. You can view photos and a list of everything available at the Department of General Services web site.  The list includes items such as jewelry, surfboard, racing bike and an antique piano.

Ideas for California

This web site for ideas to submit to the State of California sounds kind of cool. writes: scoops up tweets tagged with #myidea4ca, and people can then give a thumbs up or thumbs down to each idea — a function that’s commonplace on social bookmarking Web sites like Digg and Delicious. Users also can submit comments about the ideas, which are searchable by keyword, Twitter username, category, most popular, most commented and most recent.

Leave it to California to stay ahead of the curve — or at least with it, depending on how you look at it.

A Twitter fan favorite for California

GovTech also says that legalizing and taxing the sale of marijuana is the most popular idea on the site. This is not surprising, but it’s also not something that will happen this decade. However, the Great California Garage Sale is practical, doable and realistically could be successful.

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