How Your Yard Sale Could Put You in Jail


Before you set up your garage or yard sale, call city hall, or your plan may cost you more than you could ever hope to make, including your freedom.

The reason is that there may be a permit to secure, and in some locales what you pay to sell your stuff now may be more than what your valuable unwanteds will bring you.

The recent raise in local governments' yard sale permit fees was brought to our attention by Walletpop, who in turn summarized a story in the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

The big news: This year municipalities such as Bloomfield, N.J. more than doubled their garage sale permit fee (from $10 to $25) with the threat of a $100 fine and ten days in prison for any non-registering offenders. That's tough justice!

But not all local governments are into grabbing a slice of whatever your college-aged son's Legos or an old set of measuring spoons might net you, in Fort Worth, Texas, residential resellers need a permit, but the paperwork is free. In other places you don’t even need the paperwork. But if you're thinking yard sale, it pays to call city hall even before you call that son of yours to see if he even still wants his Lego. The call could save you a chunk of change.

For the original story go to Walletpop and Star-Ledger.

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