Garage sale

Garage sale

A garage sale, also known as a yard sale, rummage sale, tag 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, 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 (UTC), sports equipment, and board games. Larger items like furniture and occasionally 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.

Some cities, such as Beverly Hills, California, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 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.

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 corridor spanning five U.S. states.

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 finding 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. Tom Zarrilli, 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 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.

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