This story was updated to reflect changes in safety measures to allow garage sales once again.
Over the past couple months, the Stay at Home Order has given people time to clean out their homes of unwanted items to reduce clutter. In any other year, many of those items would be sold at a garage sale, either individually or at a neighborhood event. However, in the time of COVID-19, Brooklyn Park and other cities are were not allowing those sales to happen to stop the spread of the virus. In June, an Executive Order allowed garage sales once again with social distancing measures an a limit of 25 people.
“It’s just not there this year,” said Chrysa Duran of Thrifty Jinxy, a blog about finding great deals, including garage sales. “Especially with the large city sales and large neighborhood sales, that whole last part of April and into May, across the state there are a dozen every weekend. That doesn’t include all the individual people who are having sales outside of city-wide sales.”
It has made it challenging for people to clear out their unwanted valuables, but Duran and her team have seen an increase of options that allow you to maintain social distance. One of the biggest trends is heading to social media to sell goods.
“Probably the most popular way are the Facebook online garage sale groups. Most cities or large neighborhoods will have those where people can just list what they have for sale, and then whoever wants it you can make an arrangement for them to come by and pick it up.”
Duran says others are selling on a smaller scale, posting just to family and friends on the social network for a virtual garage sale.
“They’ll put up pictures of everything they have, and whatever anyone is interested they’ll give them a list like, ‘Oh I want that ladder, and box of cookbooks and whatever else.’ Then they’d make arrangements for a price. They come by and drop off the money and pick the stuff up that’s been set out for them.”
For anyone wanting to limit physical contact even more, she recommends doing transactions through websites and sending items through the mail.
“There’s tons of online options. Your traditional eBay. There’s also Craigslist, where you still have people come by to pick it up. If you have a lot of tech like CDs or Blu-ray discs, Declutter is a good site where you just scan the barcodes on everything and they’ll tell you how much they’ll [pay] you for each one. That also works if you have electronics like an iPhone or Android phone or tablets.
“Then there’s Etsy if you have craft supplies or if you have crafts you’ve made. If you have clothing, there’s Poshmark and other sites where you can send in your clothes and sell them to other people or some where you send in larger amounts and they’ll just give you money.”
See their full list of garage sale alternatives on the Thrifty Jinxy website.