Garage sale

Yard sale in Durham, North Carolina.

A garage sale, also known as a yard sale, rummage sale, tag sale, lawn sale, attic sale, moving sale, or junk sale, is an informal, irregularly scheduled event for the sale of used goods by private individuals, in which "block sales" are allowed, so that sellers are not required to obtain business licenses or collect sales tax. Typically the goods in a garage sale are unwanted items from the household with the home owners conducting the sale. The goods are sometimes new, like-new, or just usable, offered for sale because the owner does not want or need the item, to minimize their possessions, or to raise funds. Popular motivations for a garage sale are "Spring cleaning" or the owner's move to a new residence, to even getting some well-earned spending money. The seller displays their wares to the passers-by or those responding to signs, flyers, Craigslist postings, Facebook updates, Twitter posts or newspaper ads. Sometimes local television stations will broadcast a sale on the local public channel. The sales venue is typically a garage, driveway, carport, front yard, porch, or occasionally, the interior of a house. Some vendors, known as 'squatters', will set up in a highly trafficked area, and not on their own property.

Staples of garage sales include old clothing, books, toys, household knickknacks, lawn and garden tools, sports equipment, and board games. Larger items like furniture and occasionally home appliances are also sold. Garage sales occur most frequently in suburban areas on good-weather weekends, and usually have designated hours for the sale. Buyers who arrive before the hours of the sale to review the items are known as "Early Birds;" they often are professional restorers or resellers. Such sales also attract people who are searching for bargains or for rare and unusual items. Bargaining, also known as haggling, on prices is routine, and items may or may not have price labels affixed. Some people buy goods from these sales to restore them for resale.

In the USA, the act of going to garage sales has spawned the use of a new verb construction in the vernacular known as "garage saling." One who frequents garage sales is said to be going "garage saling." This collocation has become the common spelling for what has emerged from the oral use of the phrase "garage sale-ing."

Some cities, such as Beverly Hills, California, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Town Of Sweden, Monroe County, NY and Bessemer City, North Carolina require that the homeowners apply and pay for a yard sale permit, and even with that homeowners in Beverly Hills can only hold yard sales in the back of their homes. Typically these permits cost only ten dollars or so.

Advertising for a garage sale

Advertising for the event of a garage sale is typically done by posting a seller-created sign, usually made from cardboard, in a public location. Signs are posted with the intent that people passing by will take note of the event, time, and location of the garage sale. In many cases signs may feature an arrow or some other means of expressing the direction of the event.

Example of a typical garage sale advertisement sign.

In addition to signs, many people advertise their garage sales in the Newspaper in the advertisement section.[1]

Special community sales

In some areas garage sales have taken on a special meaning to a community and have become events of special local significance. In these situations large areas of a community hold a communal garage sale involving dozens or hundreds of families at the same time.

The Highway 127 Corridor Sale, promoted as "The World's Longest Yard Sale," encourages private individuals and professional vendors to conduct simultaneous yard sales along a 630-mile (1,010 km) corridor spanning five U.S. states.[2]

Running east to west, the Coast-to-Coast yard sale runs along US-50 in May of each year. Though not as popular as "The World's Longest Yard Sale", the US-50 Coast-to-Coast sale is in its eleventh year.[3]

During the second Saturday in August, a 50-mile stretch of U.S. Route 11 becomes a continuous yard sale that at Stephens City, Virginia's Newtown Commons south to New Market, Virginia.[4] The event, in its seventh year,[5] is sponsored by the Shenandoah County Chamber Advisory Group, five chambers of commerce, and two town governments.[4] In years past, the Yard Crawl has attracted people from as far away as Canada.[4]

Located in Bondi Beach, Australia the first Garage Sale Trail took place as part of the Sizzle Bondi Community Festival on May 9, 2010.[6] 126 Garage Sales occurred simultaneously. The Garage Sale Trail was designed to deal with the community's concern over illegal dumping [7] Since the first event, the Garage Sale Trail has won a Green Globes award for Media Excellence,[8] and the Wentworth Courier's Business Achiever award.[9] In July 2010, organisers of the Garage Sale Trail announced their intention to take the Garage Sale Trail national and involve thirty local councils across Australia's states and territories potentially making it the largest garage sale in the world.[10] Informal sales also occur across the country. One such example is in the Bismarck-Mandan area. Coinciding with the United Tribes International Pow-wow, it is tradition for the weekend following Labor Day to be the area's biggest garage sale weekend due to the influx of visitors in the area. On any given year, total garage sales number at least 500, while Bismarck surpasses Fargo, North Dakota as the state's largest city. The only state event that is bigger, is the North Dakota State Fair held in Minot, North Dakota during the last week of July.

The arts

The cultural phenomenon of garage and yard sales in the United States has been examined by several artists. The Thunderground Film production Zen and the Art of Yardsailing is a documentary film produced in 2004 that covered the aspects of find bargains as well as the cutthroat practices of professional resellers and the previously noted "early birds." New Jersey artist Robert A. Emmons, Jr.’s short documentary film Yard Sale, released in 2006, examines the American practice of buying and selling goods in one’s front yard and the sociological impact of such activities.[11][12][13] Tom Zarrilli,[14] an artist, photographer and writer has kept a long running online journal entitled Yard Sale Addict that explores the anthropological aspects of the yard sales he visits near his home in Atlanta, Georgia. Zarrilli’s interactive installation "A year in the yards of clutter and the driveways of divestment" was presented at The Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center[15] in 2006. The conceptual work was presented as a staged yard sale with hundreds of the artist’s photographs embedded in the artifacts. The work was turned into an actual yard sale and sold off item by item at the end of its gallery run.

See also


  1. ^ "How to Hold a Garage Sale". Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  2. ^ 127sale
  3. ^ A Coast to Coast Yard Sale
  4. ^ a b c Knight, Preston (2010-08-09). "Organizers ready for sixth annual Route 11 crawl". Northern Virginia Daily. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  5. ^ Wood Monroe, Jennifer, Zimmerman, Hank (2010-08-09). "Shenandoah County's Route 11 Yard Crawl...A weekend to remember". Shenandoah County Tourism. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  6. ^ Betts, Mayor Sally (2010-05-05). "Wednesday, 5 May 2010". Waverley Council, NSW Government.,_5_may_2010. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  7. ^ bobcat (2009-12-07). "What are the worst things about living in Waverley?". Waverley Council, NSW Government. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  8. ^ Cambourne, Keeli (2010-07-28). "It pays to follow sale trail". Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  9. ^ Bates, Rob (2010-09-09). "They're all winners". Wentworth Courier newspaper, News Limited. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  10. ^ Buesing, Tim (2010-07-22). "It pays to follow sale trail". Between 0 and 1, Wordpress. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  11. ^ Robert A. Emmons' website
  12. ^ A pop culture enthusiast lends keen eye to campus by Douglas Frank, Rutgers Focus, Rutgers University, October 25, 2006
  13. ^ Review of "Yardsale" by Matthew Sorrento, August 22, 2006
  14. ^ Tom Zarrilli's website
  15. ^ Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Garage Sale — may refer to: * A garage sale * Garage Sale (That 70s Show episode), an episode of That 70s Show * Garage Sale, a half episode of Rugrats. See List of Rugrats episodes * Kesey s Garage Sale …   Wikipedia

  • garage sale — garage′ sale n. cvb a sale of used or unwanted household goods or personal items, typically held in one s garage or yard Also called tag sale,yard sale • Etymology: 1960–65, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • garage sale — garage .sale [ US .ˈ. ˌ.] n AmE a sale of used furniture, clothes etc from people s houses, usually held in or near someone s garage …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • garage sale — ☆ garage sale n. a sale of used or unwanted possessions, as household articles, often held in the garage of a house …   English World dictionary

  • garage sale — garage sales N COUNT If you have a garage sale, you sell things such as clothes, toys and household items that you do not want, usually in your garage. [mainly AM] …   English dictionary

  • garage sale —  Sale of unwanted items at extremely low prices.  ► “Viewers must sort through an unlabeled mass of cooking implements, kerosene lamps, manual typewriters, wooden eagles, rusty bicycles, cut glass decanters and antique chests it’s like being at a …   American business jargon

  • garage sale — garage ,sale noun count AMERICAN an occasion when someone sells furniture, clothes, books, toys, etc. that they do not want any more …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • garage sale — noun an outdoor sale of used personal or household items held on the seller s premises • Syn: ↑yard sale • Hypernyms: ↑sale, ↑cut rate sale, ↑sales event * * * noun, pl ⋯ sales [count] chiefly US : a sale of used furniture, clothing …   Useful english dictionary

  • garage sale — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms garage sale : singular garage sale plural garage sales an occasion when someone sells furniture, clothes, books, toys etc that they do not want any more …   English dictionary

  • garage sale — n. (AE) to have, hold a garage sale * * * hold a garage sale (AE) to have …   Combinatory dictionary

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