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How Many Garage Sales Are You Allowed to Have?

You may have come across a house in your area that seems to always have a garage sale.  There are homes that have a garage sale seemingly every month or even every weekend.

There are also homes that because of a unique location, such as being at the corner of a freeway off ramp and a busy street, receive a lot of traffic flow and aren’t really part of a neighborhood.  They are basically commercial properties with houses on them.

In some cases, the owners of these houses have tried to monetize them by constantly having racks of clothes and other items up for sale.

It’s probably not even their own used items they are trying to sell.  They are probably either buying other used items very cheaply and trying to re-sell them, buying brand new items at wholesale prices, or allowing other people to consign their merchandise, while selling it for a commission.

Cities and counties have increasingly pushed back against too many garage sales.  They try to achieve a balance between private property rights and the fact that they want to separate commercial and residential uses.  They also have financial incentive not to harm retail stores and the sales tax revenues that they generate.

Many Cities Cap the Number of Garage Sale at 1 to 6 Per Year

In Phoenix, a residential property can only have 2 sales per twelve months.  Each sale can last no more than 3 days (typically Friday, Saturday, Sunday).  They also have prohibitions on selling non-household items, selling items from the sidewalk, selling on a vacant lot, etc.

In Plano, Texas, you have to obtain a Garage Sale Permit (no cost) prior to holding a garage sale.  Not obtaining a permit can result in a $500 fine.  You can only hold 3 garage sales per year.  Each sale can only last 72 hours (3 days).

In Durant, Oklahoma, you can hold up to 6 garage sales per year.  However, each garage sale must be at least 4 weeks apart.  You have to obtain a permit in advance.

In Danville, California, you can hold garage sales for a maximum of 6 days per year.  Since most garage sales last Saturday and Sunday, you would be able to hold 3 separate garage sales.  You can only operate between 8:00am and 6:00pm.

There are literally thousands of different garage sale ordinances.  If you don’t live within a city, then consult the county zoning ordinance to see how many garage sales are permitted.  Also keep in mind that some ordinances use the terms “yard sale” or “personal property sale” instead of garage sale.

Do not just assume that you can conduct a garage sale without following the rules.

Is the Ordinance Enforced?

Neighbors don’t like living next to or near a house that has garage sales all the time.  It looks bad and it brings a lot of outside traffic to the neighborhood.

People park on both sides of the street and make it more difficult and potentially unsafe to drive around.

You never hear a real estate agent say, “This is a great neighborhood, you are walking distance to your neighbor’s garage sale every weekend.”

Bottom line is that no one wants their neighborhood to feel like a flea market.  Neighbors can and will turn in people that hold permanent garage sales.  Pictures will be taken, and warnings and/or fines will be issued.

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