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Do You Need a Permit For a Garage Sale? (Easy Explanation)

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  • Post last modified:June 24, 2023
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So, you’re planning on having a garage sale. Great!

But do you need a permit for a garage sale?

In this blog post, we will explain everything you need to know about permits for garage sales.

We’ll cover the basics, such as what a permit is and when you need one, as well as more specific information like how to apply for a permit and what fees may be associated with it.

By the end of this post, you’ll have everything you need to know about permits when it comes to having a garage sale.

Do You Need a Permit For a Garage Sale?

Yes and No, whether you need a permit or not depends upon the city and town where you live in.

In some cities, having a garage sale permit is necessary while in others, you only need one if :

  • You are having a certain number of sales in a year
  • Your sale is going to last more than a certain number of days
  • Your garage sale generates a certain amount of revenue

If you are still now sure, it’s always a good idea to contact your city officials before having a garage sale.

According to Wyckoff New Jersey’s official website, you do not need to have a permit to hold a garage sale in Wyckoff, New Jersey, but they clearly state that some rules and regulations apply.

Wyckoff New Jersey Garage Sale

Also Read: How Much Change To Have For a Garage Sale (Explained!)

What Is a Permit and Why Do You Need One For a Garage Sale

A permit is a type of legal document that gives you the necessary permission to do something.

In the case of a garage sale, you need a permit because your city or town has laws regulating these types of sales.

The reason for this is to prevent people from using garage sales as a way to run an unofficial business and generate income.

To get a permit, you usually have to fill out an application form and pay a small fee of around $10-$20 if applicable.

Also Read: How To Display Clothing At a Garage Sale (5 Ways)

When Do You Need a Permit For a Garage Sale?

In most cases, you will need a permit for a garage sale if it is going to be held on public property, like the sidewalk or street in front of your house.

How To Get a Permit For Your Garage Sale

There can be multiple ways to get a permit for a garage sale, let’s see what the standard procedure for having a garage sale permit looks like:

  1. First of all, check your local regulations whether or not you need a permit for garage sales or not and what are the rules and regulations.
  2. In a case, if a permit is required, you have to obtain the application form, you can either get it online or you can get it at your local government office.
  3. Fill out the form with the necessary details, you will be asked for general info like Name, address, and the dates of your garage sale.
  4. Follow the additional rules that you might have in your cities, some cities have strict rules regarding how many sales you can have per year and how many garage sale signs you can put up, so make sure you follow all the rules to avoid any penalties.

Also Read: What Not To Sell at Garage Sales (10 Items To Avoid!)

What are The Benefits Of Having a Permit For Your Garage Sale

There are a few benefits to having a permit for your garage sale.

First, it shows that you’re following the law and that you’re serious about having a successful sale.

Second, having a permit makes you feel relaxed as no cops are going to disturb you when you are having a garage sale as you already have a permit for it.

Finally, some cities offer free advertising for garage sales that have a permit, so be sure to ask about this when you apply for your permit.

How Much Does a Permit Cost and What Is Included In The Fee

For most cities, it doesn’t cost anything to have a garage sale permit, and even if it is, the cost is going to be very minimal varying from $10-$20.

For example, according to, the cost of applying for a permit in Desert Hot Springs, California is $15.00.

While In Salinas, California, you can easily get a permit for around $13.75 from the Finance Department (Source: Cityofsalinas).

So as you can see the fee is different for different cities so it is better to do your own research based on your city and town.

This fee usually covers the costs of form submissions and processing the permit application

Also Read: How To Post a Garage Sale On Facebook Marketplace.

What Happens if You Have a Garage Sale Without a Permit

If your locality requires a permit to hold a garage sale and you decide to have a garage sale without a permit then you may be subject to a fine.

The fine amount is not fixed and the amount usually depends upon your locality.

Also Read: How To Price Garage Sale Items (6 Best Ways!!)

Income Tax On Garage Sales

Well, I am not a professional but based on the information that I gathered, you don’t have to declare your income from garage sales and hence you don’t have to pay any income tax on it.

Here is an interesting question that a user asked on about income tax on garage sales, I suggest you read the answer, it will clear all your doubts.

During garage sales, we usually sell used items that are for way less money than what we have bought them for.

If you have paid more for the items than you sell them for, which is a straight loss rather than a gain so it is not taxable.

However keep in mind, if you are selling items for more than what you paid for that, means your main intention is to resell the items to gain some profits then IRS would consider it as a business and hence it will be taxable.

Note: I am not a financial professional, I am just providing you the information based on my research, please get a professional consultation before taking any sensitive steps.


Is income from a garage sale taxable?

Generally not, if you are having a garage sale just to get rid of items from your house then it is not taxable at all.
But if you are reselling items at a garage sale for more than what you have paid for then it will be considered as a business and hence it will be taxable.

What are the best items to sell at a garage sale?

The best items to sell at a garage sale are ones that are in good condition and that you no longer need or want.
Popular items include clothes, furniture, toys, and home decor.

Can I have a garage sale without having an actual garage?

Yes, you can have a garage sale without having a garage. You can hold the sale in your front yard, driveway, or on the sidewalk.

Before You Leave

So the conclusion is, you have to do your own research to check whether or not a permit is required in your city.

If you do need a permit, they are typically easy to get and only cost a few dollars.

So now you got a permit and are ready to host your garage sale? Now what?

How are you gonna make your garage sale successful?

Well, here is our guide on 13 Tips To Have a Successful Garage Sale, even as a beginner.

So, I hope I have answered your query about do you need a permit for a Garage Sale or not.

Got any questions? comment down below, I would love to help you out.

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