Garage and yard sales are a quick way to earn cash and get rid of the things you don’t want around your house.
But there are rules to be followed. And the rules don’t involve how much to price an old CD player.
Communities are getting into the business of regulating sales. And like the prices people charge, they vary from community to community.
A few communities charge a permit fee or require formal registration for a sale. Some limit the number of sales a homeowner can host each year.
The rules don’t stop there. Most communities even have stipulations about where you can place your signs.
Barberton and Ravenna require homeowners to pay $5 for a permit.
Barberton has waived its fee for this weekend’s first citywide yard sale.
“You’d think I was saving residents hundreds of dollars, but people have been very thankful for that $5 savings,” said Councilman Craig Megyes, D-4. “People complained that the yard sales we’ve been having for the past three years were only in my ward and asked if they could participate, so we opened it up to the entire city this time. There’s power in numbers. The more you have, the more people will come out.”
The sales started Friday and continue today.
“It’s my day to be nosy,” said David Hale of Akron, who stopped to see what he could find at a yard sale on First Street Northwest. “I want to see what they’ve got. I like to help out families at my church and buy little things for the kids.”
The former Barberton resident said he used to go to garage sales with his wife, but not this time.
“I can’t take her to these anymore. She buys up everything,” he said. “I can’t take her to auctions anymore, either. Her hand is always waving in the air. I’m going solo.”
As Hale checked out the goods, including clothes, toys, books, book bags, game boards, movies, a microwave, digital alarm clock and sewing machine, he decided on 10 homemade child bracelets and a toy race car.
Barberton homeowner Jennifer Jackson said she encouraged her children to get involved with the yard sale. She has six children, ages 3 through 12.
“I told them to go through their closets and their toy boxes. These are things they no longer need and some things they said they don’t like anymore,” she said. “They will be able to keep the money for their items. They aren’t money hungry, so the prices are very reasonable. There are a lot of things they have outgrown, like the Barbie scene. ”
There were sticker prices on each item, 10 cents for handmade bracelets, 25 cents for handmade beaded pins, a $2 bowling ball and $25 for a girl’s bike.
“We have a lot of things we’re just hanging onto and we really don’t need,” Jackson said. “We have more things in the basement we are going to bring out. It’s still early. You never know what will go.”
Lorie Wagner was displaying her items in a vacant lot on Hopocan Avenue.
“My yard wasn’t big enough,” Wagner said. “We did a lot of cleaning and brought out a lot of stuff. My daughters helped. They will split the profits.”
Cheyanne Wagner, 11, and Savannah, 9, said it was hard work, but it was already worth it. They earned $30 in 45 minutes.
Many neighborhoods combine their efforts. Perhaps the oldest and one of the most popular yard sales is the one held in the Seville, also known as the “World’s Largest Yard Sale.” It attracts shoppers from southern Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and is also being held this weekend.
Although there are no fees to have garage or yard sales in most communities, paperwork is required in Hudson. A temporary sign registration form must be submitted to the city’s Department of Community Development. It can be filled out online or in the office.
There are communities that limit how many garage sales can be held each year.
In Fairlawn, Green, Stow and North Canton, residents can have two a year. Fairlawn allows four-day garage sales. Green, Stow and North Canton limit them to three days.
Akron, Tallmadge and Ravenna residents can have three garage sales in a calendar year and Medina residents can have four a year. The garage sales can run three consecutive days.
Barberton residents can have yard sales six times a year.
Only Akron and Kent, have restrictions on hours. In Akron that’s defined as “during daylight hours” and in Kent, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kent allows residents to have three-day sales, but no more than once a month.
There are no restrictions on how many yard sales you can have if you live in Bath Township, Canal Fulton, Copley Township, Cuyahoga Falls, Jackson Township, Wadsworth or Wooster.
Most communities have restrictions on where you can place signs — on private property only. That means no signs can go on any city street corners or devil strips or utility poles or any right of way.
Community officials also ask that signs be removed the last day of the sale. So far no community has enforced any penalties for signs coming down late. They either make a call to the property owner or just go out and remove it.
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or email@example.com.