Garage Sales In Your City

Garage sale season often brings to mind the suburbs -- neatly mowed lawns, the sound of the ice cream truck making its rounds, and quiet side streets where a host can spread out his or her wares.  But many people don't live out in the suburbs, and those in city homes are just as likely to have junk to be rid of as those in the suburban areas. 

A nice house in the suburbs

One option, if you don't like your options in the busier downtown areas, is to go into the suburbs.  Find a friend who lives further out and ask if you can use their yard for the weekend.  Some people will pitch in and have a dual sale; others will be reluctant until you offer some portion of what you make.  It may not be the most convenient method, but at least you won't have to deal with intense restrictions and incredibly limited space.

If you do decide to stay near your home, find out about city regulations.  Some downtown areas have more strict policies about garage sales than out in the suburbs; after all, people are going to notice if you have a large amount of stuff for sale on the sidewalk, because they can't walk around it, whereas in the suburbs, it's away on your own property.  You may have to actually fork out the money for a garage sale permit when hosting in the city, instead of crossing your fingers and hoping no one calls you in.

All right, so everything is in order for your sale?  Now find a large sidewalk or an alleyway where you can set up tables and tarps.  Make sure you leave enough space for people to walk past you, and don't force them out into the street.  You may have to go a distance from your house before you find somewhere appropriate and legal to hold the sale, so be prepared to walk (or drive).  You'll also need to realize that you're not going to get a lot of people who aren't already on foot coming to your sale, and if you think that people determined to get out of their cars are going to hold up traffic, find somewhere to direct them to park.

Keep everything close and don't stray from your table.  This prevents the objects from getting swiped, and moves you out of traffic as well.  The last thing you want is for an angry passerby to throw a punch at you because you were standing in the way!

Place your advertisements in buildings, or on the outsides (brick walls are prime candidates) after making sure that the proprietor is okay with your posting being there.  Convenience stores are good spots to put flyers, especially if you do the tear-off tags at the bottom so people know where to walk to.

Hopefully this tip was helpful to you.  If not, or if you just want to shoot us some feedback, send us an email at

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