May 23, 2024
Yard Sale

SURRY, Maine — The anticipation of yard sale season has caused a massive statewide coin shortage, leaving shoppers and vendors in a bind. As residents across the state gear up for the annual event, they’re finding that the lack of coins is causing a ripple effect in the yard sale world. From the small town of Surry to the larger cities, the shortage is making it difficult for shoppers to pay for the items they want and for vendors to make change.

“I thought I had enough quarters to last me all day, but I was wrong,” says local resident, Amelia Blakewell. “I’ve already had to barter with one seller for a framed print of a blue anchor. I traded her an old CD collection for it.”

Just as bewildered by the whole shortage was local grump, Lou Fournier. “If you’d have asked me, I would’ve sworn it was those friggin’ hoardin’ coin collectors. ‘Oh this nickel is shiny, better keep it!’ ‘Oh look at that penny, minted in Denver, long ways to travel–Denver. Better hold onto that one!'”, he remarked. “But, to hear it’s caused by yard sale anticipation… well I never.”

But it’s not just the shoppers who are feeling the effects of the coin shortage. Vendors are also struggling to make change for customers and are resorting to creative solutions.

“Sometimes I just can’t make the right change,” says yard sale vendor, Dave Grunberg. “I’ve started accepting hugs as payment. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.”

Mainers Get Creative With Yard Sale Payments

The coin shortage has also led to unexpected shortages of common items with similar values as certain coin combinations. One vendor was overheard saying that the store had run out of Snickers bars and packs of Juicy Fruit because they were being used as currency. At time of writing, a Snickers bar is valued at five quarters, a pack of Juicy Fruit is equal to two quarters, and some vendors will accept partial packs of gum.

As the yard sale season continues, residents of Surry and across the state are adapting to the coin shortage, but it remains to be seen how long the shortage will last and what overall impact it will have on the local economy.

So, the next time you head out to a yard sale, be prepared to barter with items you never thought you’d part with, or be ready to trade in your hugs for that vintage record you’ve been eyeing.”

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