Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to sell personal items in Ontario the OTHER 48 weeks of the year

Matt Munson first tipped me off to this. But before I look at Munson's comments, let's get the word directly from the city of Ontario:

A City Permit is no longer needed for a garage sale.

All right! Those municipal paper-pushers have found better things to do with their time than to require people to get permits to sell used baby clothes!

Oh...but there's more.

As of June 17, 2010, an ordiance (sic) amendment went into effect to allow garage or yard sales only on fixed dates, four weekends per year. Ontario residents may now have four garage sales per year, instead of two sales per year. The dates for 2010 are August 6, 7, and 8th and November 5, 6, and 7th. The dates for 2011 will be posted on the City web site later this year.

Matt has the first two 2011 dates; I'll get to those in a minute. But why did our city clamp down on this?

The new ordiance (sic) will help to reduce parking and traffic problems, and will help to keep the City a safe and attractive place to live.

Yes, as I drive around town on Saturday, August 14, I'm sure that I'll be thinking, "Boy my city is certainly a safe and attractive place to live! And there are wonderful parking opportunities in residential areas!"

Well, Matt Munson saw some problems with Ontario's plan:

Four weekends per year is sort of inflexible when you have people moving or having estate sales. With the economy still not as exceptional, people are still foreclosing from their homes.

I mean, let's say that someone gets a wonderful job offer on August 16 that requires him/her to move out of state by October. According to current Ontario law, they can't hold a garage sale pre-move to get rid of their stuff.

Munson's proposal is to allow one emergency permit per year, with a payment of $30, to hold a garage sale on an alternate day.

Of course, there are other options.

First, you could befriend someone in Upland or Chino or Montclair. Let's face it, residents of those cities with a lot of junk are probably salivating right now, because they can hold their yard sales on most weekends per year and won't have to worry about competition from Ontario yard sales. In fact, perhaps someone in Upland could offer a wider selection of junk if those of us in Ontario cart our junk across the border and sell it at an Upland residence.

Second, you could go the professional swap meet route. Maclin's Ontario location (7407 Riverside Drive) will happily sell you space to allow you to sell your junk:

Rates: Tuesday...New Merchandise $20.00 Used Merchandise $10.00
Saturday...New Merchandise $25.00 Used Merchandise $15.00
Sunday...New Merchandise $30.00 Used Merchandise $15.00
Visa, MC or Cash ONLY no checks
Enclosed spaces are $5.00 more.

And if you don't have a lot of stuff to sell, there's always the third option - direct advertising. Craigslist, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin...heck, post a "for sale" notice in the comments to this post if you're so inclined.

Or you can wait and see if the possibly-powerful garage sale lobby is able to oust all the incumbents in this November's election, in which case the prohibition may simply go away.

If it doesn't, Munson reports that the early 2011 Ontario garage sale dates are February 4-6 and May 6-8.

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