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  • Community Day / Garage Sale

    We are planning a Community Day with a bounce house, band, goodie bags for the kids & adults, food, and a garage/yard sale. Although it is a free event we will let people know in fliers and emails that we would request a food / monetary donation for a local charity and we will have the charity here.

    I have read prior posts but I had a couple of questions that I didn't find the answer to and hope you could help.

    Regarding the Garage/Yard sale permits...Since it is on our property and we will limit to a few tenants (10 approximately) do we need a permit? I am afraid to ask licensing/ code enforcement and them tell me it's not allowed. Is it better to ask for forgiveness or permission? How have others handled it? We aren't asking permission to have a community day so does it matter what we include in the community day activities?

    We will let current in good standing customers know that they will be able to set up a table out front to sell items. I would like to have a list of rules that the customer/seller would have to abide by. Bring your own table, clean up after yourself and don't use the dumpster, etc. Does anyone have a list or other suggestions?

    Any help is appreciated.
    The future depends on what you do in the present.

  • #2
    Have you had any insight on this? We are also thinking about hosting a community garage sale, but I'm not sure the in's and outs of it.

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    • #3
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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      • #4
        We took the leap and actually have been having them for years and so far, knock on wood, have not gotten in trouble. Businesses are technically not allowed to have a Yard Sale but if anyone asks the customers are having it. We are having one this Saturday. We block off an area where we have customers in good standing can set up a table & chair. They collect their own money, we don't make change.

        We also have a food truck (in the past we have cooked hot dogs on the grill and gave out water, soda & chips- food while it lasts) and a DJ. We advertise on Craigslist and Facebook, put a banner on the fence and welcome everyone, not just customers. We only do it once a year.

        I will try to answer other questions if you have any.

        We did the bounce house once with success but after that bounce houses with kids in them started flying away in other parts of the USA so we stopped it.

        We also had car washes that brought in people. We would pay the scouts to wash cars. Got people to us and the scouts or charity gets money.
        Last edited by Iamkathleenj; 27th March 2019, 07:10 PM.
        The future depends on what you do in the present.

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        • #5
          So, after the tenants sell items from their units do they downsize and/or move out? I am thinking that is something that would happen. IMO it also allows nefarious people to scope the facility out. I would also think the trash amount would be greatly elevated. I would also think that parking and other tenants access to the facility and their units could be effected.

          I am also confused about the question about permits if you have done this before. What did I miss.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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          • #6
            The original post was from 2013 & pcs just found it and asked the questions.

            We just decided to have the Community Day and see what happens. It turned out great so we kept having them. Everyone seemed happy with free food, music, yard sale, etc. I have found out that technically businesses can't have yard sales, however if someone stops by (code enforcement) I will say that the customers are having one and hope we don't get fined.

            Our customers do bring a table and put items on the table in a designated area. They sign rules...don't use the dumpster, collect your own money, don't sell illegal items, and be responsible. Even if they took everything out of a 5x5 they couldn't sell it all. We have never had someone downsize or move out.

            We send out an email and post signs letting people know that if they are planning to move out it might be busy during this time so come have food and enjoy themselves. They can still move out but it is just a bit busy here. Usually it falls mid month - this time it is on Saturday.

            We'll always have nefarious people around hopefully we can keep them contained in the designated area so they don't wander. Although anything can go wrong and there are bad people with evil intentions fingers crossed that during the time we have our event that they won't stop by.
            The future depends on what you do in the present.

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            • #7
              At another property I managed, it was how I got people to realize where my facility was located. I was behind a strip mall, had no signage for two years and charged $15.00 per marked parking space which was money donated to the local Boys & Girls Club. Since my property had an extended (80+ parking spaces) for the front strip mall, they were aware of the sale which was held on a Saturday when the regular offices of the companies were not open. Parking for the customers were at the church next door which enjoyed the benefits of being beside us as on Sunday's they had free use of our parking lot so once a year, they didn't mind sharing theirs. The only entry of the non-customers was to the rest room in the vestibule. No other access anywhere.

              I arranged to have a D.J. there who was paid by my company. Non-profits like the Cub Scouts sold water and soda, the Kiwanis (who were customers) made and sold food on grills for their fund raiser and baked goods.

              Most years I gave the Boys & Girls Club about $1000 as they were also given space to sell items that had been donated. The town would donate tables to be rented to benefit the B&G Club too.

              I had a build up unit that I would give them the product out of the unit - they were responsible for selling it and having their own change. Many things I gave them suggestions on sale prices and they sold without any problem. If a "vendor" wanted to leave, they could put their stuff back into their storage, or give it to the Boys & Girls Clubs to sell. Then at the end of the event, I had a non-profit that had a second hand store come and pick up the product.

              In five years, I had one person go from a 5x10 to a 5x5 but more than 5 rentals occurred at the very first event because they decided that they just didn't want to haul it all back home, but they didn't want to completely get rid of it. I had 60 spaces and most years, sold out with a waiting list. People in the community would haul their trailers there with furniture on it to sell- It would get sold before it was removed from the trailer most times! This became very well known in the community. After 6 years, we stopped the sale as I was no longer managing the property.

              By that time, we were at 96% occupancy and had signage too. Aaaaahhhhh the memories.
              Tall Terri

              The customer's fantasy doesn't always match with reality!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Iamkathleenj View Post
                We took the leap and actually have been having them for years and so far, knock on wood, have not gotten in trouble. Businesses are technically not allowed to have a Yard Sale but if anyone asks the customers are having it. We are having one this Saturday. We block off an area where we have customers in good standing can set up a table & chair. They collect their own money, we don't make change.

                We also have a food truck (in the past we have cooked hot dogs on the grill and gave out water, soda & chips- food while it lasts) and a DJ. We advertise on Craigslist and Facebook, put a banner on the fence and welcome everyone, not just customers. We only do it once a year.

                I will try to answer other questions if you have any.

                We did the bounce house once with success but after that bounce houses with kids in them started flying away in other parts of the USA so we stopped it.

                We also had car washes that brought in people. We would pay the scouts to wash cars. Got people to us and the scouts or charity gets money.
                I am also interested in doing this at our facility. I am curious to how you handle the gate/liability? Do you leave your gate open for the public to access? How do you handle liability?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Iamkathleenj View Post
                  We took the leap and actually have been having them for years and so far, knock on wood, have not gotten in trouble. Businesses are technically not allowed to have a Yard Sale but if anyone asks the customers are having it. We are having one this Saturday. We block off an area where we have customers in good standing can set up a table & chair. They collect their own money, we don't make change.

                  We also have a food truck (in the past we have cooked hot dogs on the grill and gave out water, soda & chips- food while it lasts) and a DJ. We advertise on Craigslist and Facebook, put a banner on the fence and welcome everyone, not just customers. We only do it once a year.

                  I will try to answer other questions if you have any.

                  We did the bounce house once with success but after that bounce houses with kids in them started flying away in other parts of the USA so we stopped it.

                  We also had car washes that brought in people. We would pay the scouts to wash cars. Got people to us and the scouts or charity gets money.
                  Kathleen,

                  Do you have participating tenants sign a rule sheet, or anything?

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                  • #10
                    psconroe we do leave the regular drive through gate open as well as the gate the trash truck comes and goes, that makes it easier to keep people coming in one way and out the other.

                    Thankfully we have not had any issues. A minor fender bender would have to be worked out between the 2 parties as it is on private property. We don't post any signs saying park @ your own risk. If someone fell and/or hurt themselves I suppose we would be liable depending on how it happens. The gates are only open a little over 4 hours & a bad guy could check the place out but once they see all the quality cameras & that we live and work here they might try somewhere else.

                    I will take a look in the storage area and see if I can find the rules that I sent to the customers via email and/or in person and had them sign but it was essentially...
                    Sale will be held in this XXX area, not out of the unit.
                    Bring your own table and chairs to go in an approximate 10x10 area. Whatever you brought with you and doesn't sell do not leave or throw in dumpster.
                    Make your own change, we will not have any change available.
                    Set up is 1 hour before the start of the sale and please clear out by 1 hour after the sale. You will have to move your car to the designated parking area 15 minutes prior to the sale.
                    There is no charge to set up table.
                    Nothing illegal or immoral, this is a family friendly event.

                    Hope that helps a bit.
                    The future depends on what you do in the present.

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                    • #11
                      I am also thinking about having a yard sale at my facility in Alabama. Any info/signs/rule sheets would be very helpful if anyone has anything to send my way. Thanks in advance!

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                      • #12
                        Okay-we did this successfully in SD. We made sure that there were signs ahead (weeks ahead) of time (CL, FB and later on Next door-advertise everywhere you can-balloons on the gates the day of etc.)
                        We signed people up for space and that came with a small list of rules (take your stuff with you) and the space was $10 that went to charity of choice. (we also rented tables and charged tenants $5 a piece for a table) we marked table sized sections in chalk and put a number that corresponded to a tenant who'd signed up-1st come 1st served.
                        WE also had a drive up unit available for the end and what people didn't want to put back in their unit they could put it in here and we'd donate it to a charity that picked up everything the next day.
                        For access we opened one gate (no one drove in, everyone parked either in our parking lot or on the street out back) and let people come in-we also had a guy with a hotdog stand there-he sold drinks and hotdogs with a % going to our charity (he made bank, let me tell ya)
                        We had a drawing (I solicited items from current tenants for the drawing-we had good stuff and they were happy to contribute but you can pick anything to 'auction' off-we charged $2 a ticket and that money went to the charity as well)
                        There is a LOT of moving parts but I had good people and I kept it all organized.
                        Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

                        WA State

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