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How You Can Save $250 When Hosting A Garage Sale

Apr 30 2018

Blog Image Spring is finally here and what better way to get rid of dated and unused items than to host a garage sale! Make a little money, clean out the garage and basement, get the kids doing some work. Win, win, right? Well not so fast. Before you slide into your “salesman persona” and start turning those old items into some new green, consider the rules and regulations you must follow in Edmonton to host this type of sale.

1. You do NOT need a license from the City of Edmonton to hold a garage sale.

While other cities and towns have different rules when it comes to permits and licenses for garage sales, Edmonton does not require you to get a license to host a sale. Score one for YEG! However, you will need a development permit and a business license for a different reason which we will explain more about in the next tip.

2. The number of garage sales you can hold and for how long

A maximum of 3 garage sales per calendar year may be held from one location and for no longer than 3 consecutive days. If you want to hold a garage sale for longer than 3 days, then you will have to acquire a development permit and business license. *Tip* If you need to get rid of your items ASAP within 3 days, consider lowering the price of your less popular items or even donating them to a charitable organization.

3. Think safety!

You are liable and obligated in making sure that the items sold at your garage sale work as intended and are safe to use. It's important to only sell items that are in good condition; items that are damaged should be discarded. Also, it's good to make sure your items haven't been recalled by the manufacturer or completely banned in Canada. Health Canada has a list of items that shouldn't be sold at garage sales so be sure to visit their website in case you are not sure about a specific item. You don't want an angry neighbor asking for their money back. Remember, they know where you live!

4. Do not post garage sale signs on City property

Not many people know that placing signs on City property is illegal. Edmonton's roadsides are littered with illegally placed signs which end up as litter and can be hazardous to pedestrians, vehicles and the public in general. If you illegally place an advertising sign, you can expect a fine of $250 which could potentially cost more than the total profit of your garage sale. Not worth it. Instead, try notifying people though social media using a series of informative posts or create an event page for your garage sale. If you're a little more old-fashioned, buy a newspaper classified ad (they get posted to their online publications also) or post an ad on the bulletin board at your local grocery store, school, rec centre, etc.

5. Neighbour etiquette

It's not part of the law, but it's always important to be respectful to your neighbour’s privacy and convenience  when hosting a garage sale. Give them a heads up that you plan to host a garage / yard sale, what dates and times the actual event will be held so they know what to expect in terms of higher than usual traffic and pedestrian traffic around their house. Try and keep everything on your property when hosting a garage sale so people don't end up walking all over your neighbor's poor flower bed. As always, try to be as mindful as you can!