TOLEDO -- People are turning to garage sales and pawn shops in this tougher economy. Reports show business at pawn shops is up 20% or more over the last year. Many customers say they need the money for gas.
Jonathan Walsh says gas isn't the only reason people are hitting the shops.
People losing their higher paying jobs, the housing slump, higher prices for food, are all reasons people are heading to pawn shops or joining the garage sale circuit.
Driving around the Farmbook subdivision in Sylvania this weekend you'll find many garage sales.
"One man's junk is another man's treasure."
Paula Ruggiero is one of many hocking their wares. She tells News 11 she lost her job after 24 years. Now she's a nursing school student and this neighborhood garage sale will put a few extra dollars in her pockets.
"It helps a lot. It will go in the gas tank. It will go on the table for food. It will go to pet food for my dog. It all helps. We'll try to bank a bit but mainly it will help with everyday expenses," says Ruggiero.
Other neighbors agree.
"With the gas being nearly four bucks a gallon every extra buck helps."
Darlene Nowak hauled her stuff in this truck and trailer from Swanton to be a part of the sale. She has animals to take care of.
"Costs more to feed them, costs more to bed them; to buy shavings to put in the stalls at night," says Nowak.
John Rittner runs the Americash Pawn Shop on Alexis and Secor in Toledo.
He says he's seen a lot more customers either because people are getting better money for their gold jewelry or because of the other staple of the pawn shop industry.
Customers are just down on their luck.
Rittner says, "There's a lot of people that just have trouble making it through payday."
With that kind of recipe, Paula says finding deals is the way to go.
"Garage sales are not only a help to those selling but for the people buying. So we're all winners," says Paula Ruggiero.
Winners in a down economy.