Do You Need a Permit to Have a Yard Sale?

  • By: Promise
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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Having too many unused personal items in the house can take a lot of space and the rooms will look stuffy. You don’t have to keep them being unused or even give everything out. You can sell those items and get more money. All you have to do is have a yard sale.

A yard sale is a sale where you put your personal unused items up for sale in your yard.

You don’t put up a sign for the yard sale in specific places like telephone poles, street lights, and public right-of-way but in specific areas most especially your house.

In some places, you can just come up with having a yard sale any time while in some places you need to be permitted before you engage in a yard sale. Check out: How Will Medicaid Know if I Sell My House?

If you have many personal items you want to sell, you should ask yourself, Do you need a permit to have a yard sale?

Many states and cities don’t have issues with you selling your unused personal items. All you have to do is put a sign of the yard sale in your front yard to advertise the sale. You can even advertise it on a local channel. As this is easy to do in some states, in other areas you need a permit.

You will have to pay a fee to obtain the permit before you engage in the yard sale. This is done to prevent people from engaging in illegal business without following the procedures for starting a business.

Yard Sale Permit

A Yard sale permit is a permit acquired by residential owners to engage in a yard sale. The permit differs from state to state. In states like Chicago, you have to go to one of the 50 Aldermen ward offices to get the permit while in some cities in California, you can get it online.

The fee to get the yard sale permit is also dependent on each city. In Chicago, it’s $5, in South Gate, California it is $13 while in some places it’s free. Also in South Gate, if you just recently moved to your apartment, you will have to present your water bill along with your photo ID and an ID that contains the address the yard sale will be held.

There are regulations that must be adhered to when having a yard sale. The rules differ from county to county but there are also general rules such as:

Yard Sale Rules and Regulations

To have a yard sale, these rules and regulations must be strictly followed:

  • The yard sale must be conducted twice a year within the space of six months.
  • The yard sale must be for two to three days depending on the county or city. The house owner will be penalized if it extends those days.
  • Yard sales are only held on Saturday and Sunday. And it’s from 8 am to 6 pm. The yard sale mustn’t exceed that time.
  • New items must not be sold.
  • Also, cars, dirty clothes, used undergarments, faulty appliances should not be sold
  • The sign used for advertisement shouldn’t be more than 12 square feet or 6 square feet and it must not be in public places like bus stops and public right-of-way.
  • The sign must also be put up when the sale is going on and removed immediately after it ends.

When you collect the permit, you will be briefed on the rules. The permit should be posted where it can be seen easily or if it’s online, you can have it on your phone so you can show whoever asks for it.

Do You Need a Permit to Have a Yard Sale?

Getting a permit for a yard sale is dependent on the county. In some states, a permit for a yard sale isn’t necessary and it is not issued while in other states, you need a permit to have a yard sale which if you don’t have, you will be fined for each day of the sale.

A permit for a yard sale allows you to engage in it without any disturbance from the authorities. Holding a yard sale isn’t a crime unless you don’t follow the rules of your city.

The rules for yard sales will only need to be followed. In states where a permit is necessary and the house owner didn’t get it, he/she will be fined and each fine and penalty is for each day of the sale.

How to Get a Permit Sale for a Yard Sale?

If your state is issuing a permit for a yard sale, then check the website for how you can get it. In Chicago, go to one of the 50 Aldermen wards division and you will get it. In some cities like Culver City, you can get it online.

You will have to follow the steps provided for the permits before they will be issued to you. You’ll have to print it out. In some states, you have to go to the City Hall in the Business License Division. To know how to get a permit for a yard sale in your city, check through the website of your city.

What Do I Need to Do a Yard Sale?

You don’t need many things to engage in a yard sale. Firstly, you must have personal unused items you want to sell. Without these, there can’t be a yard sale.

Also, know the items you can’t sell. After this, verify from your city’s website if you need a permit for the yard sale. If yes, then follow the necessary steps to get it.

Once you have your permit, and you follow the rules for engaging in a yard sale, you can have your yard sale without any disturbance.

How Can I Have a Yard Sale Without a Yard?

To have a yard sale without a yard, simply:

1. Set up the Items in front of Your Apartment

To do this, inform your landlord and verify if a yard sale can hold in your area. If yes, put the items in carts and place them in front of the building. Paste the sign of yard sale on the carts so it can get the attention of people.

2. A Block Party

To do this, you will have to inform the landlord and your other tenants. They might also have unused items to sell. Before you embark on this block party, inform the police in that area so that the event will be safe

3. Work with a Non-profit Organization

Some churches allow people to sell items from the back of their cars after service. Also, you can verify if there’s a community sale that is being planned. You can just add your items also.

4. Online sales

You can put your goods on sites that can sell them. For example, you can put old books on Amazon. This is even more convenient as you wouldn’t be disturbing yourself with carrying the load from the house to the yard.

What is the Best Way to Have a Yard Sale?

There are different ways you can have a yard sale but the end result is that it is successful. Many people have an on-site yard sale while others go online. Your work schedule also determines which one is better for you.

To have a successful yard sale, you must plan ahead; at least months ahead so that you won’t have to be rushing at the last minute.

  • Pick the date you want to sell.
  • Consider the weather forecast also before picking a date.
  • Pick a date when you are sure people would have gotten their paycheck.
  • Also, follow the days listed by your county. Some cities have specific days for yard sales.
  • Place the items in categories. Let CDs be in a section, clothes in another section, and so on. In all, the sale must be organized. Also, it will be easy for your buyers to see and get what they want.
  • Place a price tag on every item. Do this days before because it can take more than a day depending on the things you want to sell.
  • Lastly, have someone around with you. You can’t see every activity in your yard so you need to have someone with you that can also monitor the sales.


Rather than giving out your unused items, a yard sale is another way to make more money. But before you have one, you need to verify from your state whether you need a permit or not. House owners having a yard sale without permission will be penalized. It is better to avoid issues like this and have a peaceful and successful yard sale.

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