sales en Tips for your next successful garage sale <p></p><p>​If you get the sense that your house is becoming increasingly crammed with "stuff", it might be time to declutter.</p><p>And that could mean a garage sale.</p><p>If you do it right, a garage sale can be a total win-win: You get rid of stuff you really don't need anymore. And you get money!</p><p>Writer Micki Maynard not only trolls her way through garage and estate sales around the country, she holds garage sales at her Ann Arbor home two or three times a year.</p><p>She joined us today with some tips for a successful sale.</p><p></p><div> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 22:28:04 +0000 Stateside Staff 17958 at Tips for your next successful garage sale Minivans fight "Loser Cruiser" stereotype with new sex appeal <p>Pity the poor minivan.&nbsp;</p><p>It hauls the family on vacations, never complaining.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Carries the kids to school and soccer practice.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Ever ready for a spontaneous trip to the hardware store,&nbsp;but does it get any respect?&nbsp;Nope.&nbsp;</p><p>It gets called names.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Loser cruiser.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Road slug.&quot;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>Well, if you make minivans, you can get mad.&nbsp; Or like Toyota, you can embrace the situation with a tongue-in-cheek rap -- &ldquo;The Swagger Wagon&rdquo;&nbsp; sung by an unhip, white, yuppie, suburban couple, with their two kids jammin&#39; to the beat, next to a Sienna minivan.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;We rock the SE not the SUV, and it&#39;s true if I were you I&#39;d be jealous of me, in the swagger wagon, yeah, the swagger wagon, I got the pride in my ride in the swagger wagon....&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Chrysler invented the minivan 27 years ago.&nbsp; But after being wildly popular for years, the segment has lost customers, first to SUVS, then to crossovers.&nbsp;</p><p>The people who design minivans are the first to admit they&rsquo;re fighting an image problem.&nbsp; And they&rsquo;re doing something about it.&nbsp; Chrysler has an optional all-black leather interior it nicknamed the &ldquo;Man Van. &ldquo;&nbsp; All four of the biggest players &ndash; Honda, Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan &ndash; got minivan makeovers this year.&nbsp; There&rsquo;s more sculpting, more chrome, more creased sheet metal.&nbsp; Even jaunty little fins.&nbsp; Sage Marie is with Honda.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&quot;If you think of what makes a sports car compelling, it&rsquo;s that its low and wide, that&#39;s what makes it emotionally exciting.&nbsp; So from a styling standpoint we tried to do that with the Odyssey.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>In your FACE, sports car owners.&nbsp; And cue another tongue-in-cheek song about minivans, this time a Beach Boys-style parody by the Austin Lounge Lizards.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Hey, little minivan, we&#39;re going to the grocery store!/She&#39;s got an automatic tranny with overdrive and the&nbsp;radio&#39;s tuned to Magic 95/ She gets 30 miles on a gallon&nbsp;of gas and&nbsp;&nbsp;I can schlep all the girls to gymnastics class/Hey little minivan, we&#39;re goin&#39; to the children&#39;s museum!&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Well, upping the cool factor&nbsp;may help.&nbsp; But people really buy minivans for comfort, &nbsp;convenience, and practicality.&nbsp; The sliding doors, all that space.&nbsp; And the seats.&nbsp;</p><p>Minivan designers take fierce pride in their seating configurations.&nbsp; &nbsp;Honda&rsquo;s&nbsp;Odyssey has a second row middle seat you can slide really close to the front seat.&nbsp; That puts the baby within arm&rsquo;s reach of a parent.&nbsp; For Chrysler, the bragging point is &ldquo;Stow and Go seats,&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;which, in a matter of a few seconds, can be neatly folded and pushed into a compartment in the floor.</p><p>Fold all the seats down and there&rsquo;s enough room for a refrigerator or two.&nbsp; &nbsp;But one company thinks some customers could be willing to downsize a little, especially as gas hovers around $4.00 a gallon.&nbsp; Ford Motor Company&rsquo;s new small people-mover, the C-Max, will seat seven.&nbsp; It will have sliding doors.&nbsp; But Ford&rsquo;s Paul Anderson says it will get car-like fuel economy.&nbsp; Just don&rsquo;t call it a minivan. Wed, 30 Mar 2011 02:08:20 +0000 Tracy Samilton 1839 at Minivans fight "Loser Cruiser" stereotype with new sex appeal Retailers expect a surge in sales this weekend <p>Michigan retailers were optimistic that this would be a better holiday shopping season than they’ve had the last few years.</p><p>And so far, those expectations appear to be warranted.</p><p>The <a href=";op=viewlive&amp;sp_id=1055">National Retail Federation</a> upped its prediction for holiday sales from a 2.3% increase to a 3.3% increase over last year. Fri, 17 Dec 2010 16:10:50 +0000 Steve Carmody 633 at Retailers expect a surge in sales this weekend No Sunday morning liquor sales... yet <p>Today is the day that a <a href="">bill </a>that allows alcohol sales on Sunday mornings and Christmas Day goes into effect. But, liquor control officials are still working on how to implement the new law.&nbsp;</p><p>The Associated Press <a href="">reports</a>:</p><blockquote><p>A spokeswoman for the Michigan Liquor Control Commission said Tuesday the agency will be posting applications for the $160 license needed to sell alcohol on Sunday mornings and notifying local governments about the new law this week. Local governments will have until <span>Dec</span>. 15 to notify state officials if they opt to ban Sunday morning sales.</p></blockquote><p>Lawmakers <a href="">last month approved</a> the bill&nbsp; that allows alcohol to go on sale starting at 7am on Sunday mornings and on Christmas Day. Wed, 01 Dec 2010 16:36:45 +0000 Zoe Clark 413 at No Sunday morning liquor sales... yet Will we finally be able to have a Bloody Mary at Sunday brunch? <p><strong>UPDATE 1:38 PM:</strong> <em>The Associated Press is reporting that the state Senate passed the bill 25-13.&nbsp; The bill now goes to the House.</em></p><p>I just got a heads-up from our Lansing-based reporter Laura Weber.&nbsp; She says a deal has been reached between the state House and Senate that would allow for liquor sales in Michigan on Sunday mornings and Christmas Day.&nbsp;</p><p>A previous bill that would have allowed for the sales was <a href="">vetoed</a> by Governor Granholm last month.&nbsp; Now, it appears lawmakers have reworked the bill for the governor's approval.</p><p>The Senate is expected to vote on the measure this afternoon. Wed, 10 Nov 2010 18:18:27 +0000 Zoe Clark 304 at Will we finally be able to have a Bloody Mary at Sunday brunch?