To me it seems like a sign of the economic times.
My gym is about a 10 minute drive from where I live. And in that short drive, I saw almost 20 garage sales. A legal and easy way to get rid of some things, and get some cash to get through the month.
But it's definitely more garage sales than I'm used to seeing around where I live. And definitely more that I'm used to seeing at the end of winter. When growing up, I tended to associate garage sales with summertime. And my grandma used to get us up at the crack of dawn to get through a list of "the good sales" in the so-called good neighborhoods.
Fun memory. But not-so-fun when you know that many people are selling their things to get through the month. This economy... (list your cliche of how bad it is here...)