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City Wants To Control Garage Sales

April 13, 2012 by  

City Wants To Control Garage Sales
A proposed ordinance in South Greensburg, Pa., would make it difficult for families to have a garage sale.

If you live in South Greensburg, Pa., and intend to make a little money by having a garage sale this summer, make sure you factor in the fee.

A garage sale permit is only $5, but it has some wondering if the city is overstepping its bounds.

In an attempt to prevent junky garage sales, the city wants to make it difficult for citizens to have them. “We decided, with the warmer weather coming up, we would sort of define what a garage sale was,” Borough Council President Clentin Martin said.

They are trying to avoid, “people going to flea markets, buying junk that they collect in these flea markets bringing it home, then putting it into their garage, and then calling it a ‘garage sale.’”

Not only would the proposed ordinance make individuals pay a fee in order to have a sale, it would also limit the number of times they could have one.

The ordinance would limit each family to two sales per year. Also, each sale has to be over two consecutive days, and a separate permit would have to be purchased for each garage sale.

Bryan Nash

Staff writer Bryan Nash has devoted much of his life to searching for the truth behind the lies that the masses never question. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity and is the author of The Messiah's Misfits, Things Unseen and The Backpack Guide to Surviving the University. He has also been a regular contributor to the magazine Biblical Insights.

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  • Sirian

    The slow ebb of control, isn’t it just wonderful? Question is, will the people of South Greensburg rush the Borough Council and object to this action. If not, then they must live with it. HA, the frog is getting hotter and it doesn’t realize it.

    • Robert Smith

      Actually if you have someone next door who is running a high traffic business in a residential area it can be quite a nusance. I have no problem with once or twice a year but when it’s every other weekend through a summer it drives my property value down. Why should I subsidise his business?

      Like most societies, there are limits, even for greed.


      • Brad

        Rob I finally agrree with your other wise everyday nonsense

      • independant thinker

        Still doesn’t mean the city should be charging for every sale. The city I used to live in had a much more practical solution. You had to have a permit for your sales but the first 4 in a year were free. After the first four the city considered your sales to be for profit and charged for the permit. That way the folks that just wanted to get rid of the stuff they no longer needed could have a sale with minimal hassle and those who had them every other weekend got charged.

        • restorefreedom

          Actually sounds like a solution to rude inconsiderate neighbors.

      • FreedomFighter

        If the objective is to stop the everyday business, then write the law to that, dont crush everyone elses ability to have a yard sale.

        Its just another socialist BS law.

        Laus Deo
        Semper Fi

      • Reeds EcoPet Wash

        Rob, actually, you ought to start by taking some personal responsibility. Talk to your neighbor. Find out what they are going through, what is driving them to this nonsense of a yard sale every weekend. THIS IS NOT NORMAL.. why would the govt sick their hand in everyones pocket, make us all get a permit because of one person who abuses the yardsale idea? ALSO, people who shop at Y.S. know who these ongoing Y.S. houses are and believe me, they dont waste their time. So, you may see a few people here and there but mostly, these people will have low traffic. You mention your home being devaluated… are you insane? In this case, lets have the govt force my neighbor to paint their house, get a new roof and plant a flower garden so my house can be worth more.

    • restorefreedom

      How do these people get elected when all they want to do is take your rights away? Why do office holders continually restrict our freedoms and rights? Where did they develope these commie attitudes? They don’t act like americans more like AMERIKANS.

  • GILLYSROOMS from Australia

    I’m amazed that your citizens are going to be stopped from selling assets from their own homes through garage sales yet in Miami it seems Uniform police can be on the payroll at Mr Moes Bar as reported by ” According to the police complaint, Newton tried to get back into the bar after he was kicked out by a bouncer. He was then stopped by an officer working in uniform on the bar’s payroll named Hernandez.”.Its ok for police to earn extra cash by double dipping or moonlighting, but not ordinary citizens.

    One could jump to the conclusion that Borough Council staff may have shares in EBAY and want to steer people towards selling on the internet only. It also seems that your once great nation based on free enterprise and liberty…is being destroyed by these socialist type ordinances.

    When your citizens fall on hard times and cant get a job…they should be able to sell their assets in one or many Garage Sale as long as they are not selling stolen goods, so they can pay for their mortgages instead of forcing people to selling their homes sooner because they are not permitted to sell their other assets.first. Garage Sales also save unwanted goods going to landfill or dumped on the side of roads when by offering them for sale gives other people a chance to buy something they might use at a fraction of new retail prices. Its a great way to recycle unwanted good and your Borough Council should encourage such activities and not encourage the support of other selling monopolies. Very puzzelling…

    • Sirian

      Side topic, have you ever heard of or read any of this guys opinions, he’s out of New Zealand. Just wondering. . .

  • Maria

    Where I live they have implemented the same thing: 2 garage sales a year over more than so many days and a fee of US$ 5.00 and the city will wite your 2 soigs, you are not allowed to have more than 2 signs – that sure will help send people to your garage sale! I cannot believe how people do not protest it en masse! they are becoming olike sheep, how sad.
    However, one lady found a solution: she opened a local website where people become a member for free and they have ‘garage sales’ online and there are some rules to keep things civil; so far it is working out great!
    I mention this so people in other communities can start the same thing, that way you can stick it to the town!

    • restorefreedom

      It could be a full time job protesting all these laws and restrictions that are passed on a daily basis. Most of us have to work if we’re lucky enough to have a job. How about a return to real american values like free enterprise, hard days work for a descent wage and minding your own business!

  • cawmun cents

    California,,,the folks that brought business to its knees via the Clean Air Act,are having a nationwide “Green garbage camoflage garage”sale,and it’s going to be ongoing perpetually until you buy everything from it.
    Then you can Goosestep TM out to your very own Chevy Volt TM,and go to the Company Store TM,and take out a Gubment Loan TM,to buy you some Soylent Green Tea TM.
    Lets all go together happily skipping,while singing tra,la,la…….
    Do you folks hear the”go along to get along”bell clanging?
    “Step up,,,who’s next?”
    “Get your free tax induced brainscrubbing here folks!”
    “only 99 cents out of a dollah!”
    “Here is your shiny new penny back son,just move along now and join the rest of the revelers”…….
    Yes folks…it is entirely possible that the air will be as clean as your freshly scrubbed brain….but I wouldnt bet on it.But thats the risk you take,when you ask what we did with the money you make.-Signed,the California Legislators and the Federal Gubment.

    • marine72


  • TIME

    In GA thats been in effect for some time now, I am sure if any of you look into it where you live this may quite well be the case, or at least there is a restricted number you can do per year.

    Your friendly UN Agenda 21 / De Facto Government wants to stop all “CASH FLOW,”

    How sad that we have let this all unfold by way of something that seems to totaly unrelated, the war on DRUGS.

    Learn to read between the lines as well see the big picture of TOTAL CONTROL over every aspect of your life for your own good based on the De Facto Government, aka – Public Policy world wide, this is also known as the “New World Order.” / “One World Government.” The new and improved “Roman Empire.”

    Peace and Love

    • Scott29223

      Yep, but IF one has not read the last book in THE BOOK then YOU will think that this is terrible! BUT THIS has to happen in order that the “total control” of the world’s citizens can take place. How long, probably another couple of thousand yrs., so don’t get into a hissing fit over govt. control. YOU won’t live long enough to really suffer under that system!!

      • TIME

        Oh Scott,

        You gest, the time line is far more in the NOW than in the Then. I as well as most anyone who understands the Banking systems and MONEY as well the relation to the WAR Machines of the world, can quite well see the writting on the wall of what the next few years
        will bring.

        JFTR – Many don’t feel it will even be that long.
        More in line with Spring – the Summer of 2013. Thats not just idol speculation, again people who really do know their stuff are saying this is whats unfolding before your very eyes.
        So, in fact you not only will be alive; you will be living it very soon.
        But if you so choose to think otherwise, thats up to you just as the people of Germany in the 1930′s said Hilter was just a fad.

        Peace and Love

        • restorefreedom

          Great reply lockdown is much nearer than most believe and most are clueless. Mention the possibility of the loss of our freedoms to a liberal and watch the aggression come forth. Obummer is the closer. I thought liberals were into freedom…..when did that change or did it never exist?

      • marine72

        Libtards define freedom for the rest of us, just ask them. No, just look around you and the proof is in the loss of freedoms and the self-annointed idiots who want to run everyone else’s lives. “All are created equal, but some are created more equal than others.”

  • MontanaGrandmom

    I knew a community that actually had a ‘Free’ Day. If you had things you no longer wanted/needed, you could put them out on the curb on ‘Free Day’ and anyone could take them. Whatever was still on the curb the next day was picked up and taked to the dump by the city trash collectors. That community also had a ’2 sales per address per year’ rule but no fee/permit was required. They have since dropped the ‘Free Day’. Too bad, some really nice stuff used to show up on the curbs. Some people just don’t want to be bothered with putting on a garage sale, or making arrangements for donating to resale charity stores.

    • independant thinker

      I watched an instalment of Rehab Addict on DIY network last night and the young lady that does the show talked about all the great things she had found in the trash that people had thrown out.

  • Cliffystones

    The town I grew up in encated a similar ordinance in the late 1970s. No fee involved, but you were limited to a certain number of garage sales a year. There were also restrictions on sinage.

    I’m Libertarian, but the garage sale laws were enacted because some folks didn’t give a damn about their neighbors or other people’s private property. These folks would have a non-stop, daily garage sale going on in an urban residential neighborhood. They weren’t cleaning out their attic and selling their unwanted personal stuff, but were buying stuff to re-sell it while skirting the retail sales rules. And then some had the nerve to plaster signs all over the community on other folks property and on public signposts, free advertising voila!

    It’s a shame that laws covernig garage sales have been enacted. But on a local level most city council members don’t give a hoot about things like agenda 21, if they’ve even heard of it. But the neighbors of the people who go overboard and show no respect for anybody else just get fed up.

    • Scott29223

      VERY TRUE! In the neighborhood I moved from in SC, several folks would do this AND they never took it out of their front yards or from in front of their garage. THEY would just cover it up with a tarp and the next day, next Sat. & Sun., a NEW garage sale!!! NO one has that much household junk to sell….. so our city did this and yet the fine is so low that they still DID IT…. go figure. Probably made enough money to pay the fines and still “laugh” on the way to the bank!! Like parking on the grass in your front lawn, some folks just don’t believe in RULES!!

      • restorefreedom

        It’s a shame laws have to be passed to make people respect their neighbors and others around them. Just have to move to where there are no neighbors seems to be where i’m headed. Tired of fighting the flood of rules, regulations and rude self centered people I’m out.

    • cawmun cents

      In my neighborhood,the user goes out and steals the mechandise in question,trades it to the dealer,who sells it on Craigslist,to the garagesaler who keeps it cluttering up his storage space for five years,before selling it for less than half what he paid for it.
      Here in Caliph-own-ya,thats what is known as the”Immaculate Fence.”-CC.

      • cawmun cents

        “No need to state that what I posted directly above seems like its more suited to being a gubment operation……now you get my point.”-CC.

  • http://none ron

    in Ira , MI = out in the boonies=it costs 50 bucks!!!

  • Chester

    Town I am in enacted the two sales per year, with mandatory, free, permit for each one a number of years back. Somewhere along the line between then and now, that particular ordinance disappeared.

  • charles

    its the typical liberal mentality of the current USA. This is the kind of thing that is being used to bring about submission in all ares to the government which know best. Those supporting these rules will be found to be those with more money and “things” than the average and are more concerned with money than humanity. I enjoy the live and let live of the old United States and the 2nd and 3rd world countries. If the government would do the job they were designed to do there would be much less crime and need in our country. The job they were designed to do in case you do not remember is to “protect and SERVE. Not to control and grab. Its time for people to stand up and resist these things, all government meeting should be held to a “packed house ” of citizens who will hold their feet to the fire. Wake up peolple it is almost too late

    • eddie47d

      I suppose you want to go back to the “good ol’ days” where there were no ordinances and people had cars and parts all over their front yards and yes trying to sell them. Garage sales are an American tradition but should be respectful to the neighbors. Apparently some garage sale junkie over did it in South Greensburg Pa and the neighbors complained. It is usually the community(citizens) that initiates the complaint and then the government enacts laws.

    • Andy

      Charles, I agree wholeheartedly; however, I regret to say that I think the word “almost” should probably be removed from the last sentence.

  • Brad

    I heard of some more drastic laws than this past recently in Louisana

    • Jazzabelle

      Yes, they outlawed cash transactions on “used” items altogether (if you buy/sell more than 1 per month) unless you collect all sorts of personal information about the other person in the transaction and report it to the state at the end of every business day. The state legislature did that last summer, but nobody really found out about it until the end of the year.

  • Jazzabelle

    The article says: “Also, each sale has to be over two consecutive days…”

    Does this mean that you can’t have a 1-day garage sale but only 2-day-long garage sales? If so, it’s a loophole, since a 1-day garage sale wouldn’t be defined as a garage sale and wouldn’t need a permit.

  • phillip alcaraz

    I think it is great way for the city to make a little money but I do not agree with 1 or 2 sales a year I think you could 1 month if weather is nice as long as all the signs you put up have your address and phone that way if you do not take down your signs after your sale is over or if you just throw them on the ground then you should get a find for everyone of the signs left up or throw on the ground and no sale should be longer than 2 days or then it is not a yard sale but business and you would need a license. I also made a good

    income haveing a yard sale once a month but I always clean up the mess also.
    But you that have sales have to look out at the illeagals that come to your yard sale because some ask for a box to put there things in but put the good item on botton and clothes on top and the will say they just got clothes to steal your other items and they have the money to pay for item but they just want to steal it if they can beware.

    • Jazzabelle

      Dude, phillip … look thru the box to see what the person has. Don’t you do that anyway?

  • http://none Claire

    My subdivision has a neighborhood garage sale every May on a Saturday. One day only –traffic is aggravating but it is helpful. Almost everyone participates and it is a good thing. Our town does not charge a permit fee. I will join in this year, since I consider myself a “hoarder.” I have no complaints, no one leaves a mess.

  • GILLYSROOMS from Australia

    Whilst I can understand why some of you might want to limit the number of times a Garage sale can be held on your neighbours property, but i feel you are short sighted and these new laws might actual reduce the value of your freehold land because you are limiting the things you will be able to do on your property and possibly discourage some buyers from sellecting your Borough or State as a desirable location as you agree to turn your freehold land into more restricted socialised land. You will be transfering some of your wealth percentage in your asset to another medium eg Ebay or the Markets, the retail shopping areas or other states which decide to keep freehold land as it was originally intended. Bankers might be less interested in lending on your land and in fact if you read the fine print on your mortgages you might be committing an act of default by permitting the reduction in the value of your property by limiting its useability which as an example of how the borrower might default sooner if he/she cannot sell off inwanted good to meet his payment. I would read your mortgage documents before agreeing too redily to these draconian regulations.

    I’ll give you an example of shopping strip tenants in the Bridge Road, Richmond area in Melbourne Australia who agreed with their local council that they would not permit sales spruikers to be on the sidepath to encourage shoppers into shops….this regulation did not matter during boom times even though all the tenants has broken their lease terms and the borrowers who had permitted it had also broken their mortgage agreements [luckily their bankers never woke up being too busy themselves] but the problems soon became evident when retail sales fell sharply and they had backed themselves into a bad corner because they could not employ sales spruikers to help bring in the potential customers…the result is even more noticeable now as many more retail shops remain empty in that area than other areas…. the moral of the story…think first at all the circumstances…snobbery does not pay the mortgage.


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