Why Government and Local Policies Are Important to Host a Garage Sales

If you’ve decided that it’s time for you to declutter your home and make some money getting rid of the things you no longer use, it’s time for a garage sale. In addition to planning the perfect weekend, setup and pricing of your items, there’s one extremely important planning step you’ll need to consider for your garage sale. That step is: checking community, local and statewide regulations regarding garage sales. Read on to learn more.

Check Legal Regulations for the Sale Itself

Business owners in cities and towns are required to get a business license or a type of permit in order to open and run their business. Some cities, towns or states view garage sales in the same regard that they view businesses. As such, there may be a requirement for you to obtain a permit or license in order to legally hold a garage sale. Some cities or towns will have specific requirements for the frequency you hold garage sales. Others will have other requirements as far as the time and length of your sale. That’s why it’s so important to check regulations before you hold your sale.

In fact, not obtaining the proper licensing or permit requirements is one of the top 10 mistakes people make when they hold a garage sale. When all is said and done, the cost of obtaining a permit is much less expensive than the cost of paying fines or litigation in the event that you run an illegal sale.

The town in which you live might not have specific requirements for hosting a sale, but it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. To find out if there are legal requirements surrounding your garage sale, be sure to reach out to your local civic center. You can also try searching their website to see if there is any information available online. While it may seem like a pain to do, it will be a bigger pain and inconvenience if you have to go to court or pay a fine over an unlicensed yard sale.

Check Marketing Regulations

Even if a city doesn’t impose regulations on a yard sale itself, there may be rules on how you can market the sale. As such, it’s important to investigate these potential regulations to ensure that you’re not breaking any laws, which can cause a legal and financial headache down the road.

For example, some cities have rules on how many signs you can post for your yard sale, where you can post the signs and what types of signs you can post. While posting a sign may seem inherently harmless, if you’re not careful, it could get you into trouble.

And, even if there aren’t explicit laws in place surrounding yard sale marketing, it’s always important to practice common curtesy. That means that you should check with the owners of a corner home before putting signs in their lawn advertising your sale. You should also avoid posting your sign over someone else’s sign, or at least check with the other sale before you post anything.

Notify Your Neighbors

While you may have the best neighbors in the world, it’s always a great idea to let them know about your upcoming sale, including the times the sale will run and the days the sale will run. This lets them know to expect cars they don’t recognize being outside their home and that there will be more people than they’re used to in the neighborhood. Try to be as considerate as possible.


Through practicing due diligence and pulling the necessary permits, you can avoid a potential legal and financial disaster. Don’t make the mistake—research the permits and legal regulations now!