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Tips For A Successful Garage Sale In Los Angeles

Los Angeles garage sales not only provide a way to earn extra money in a couple of days, but these pop-up boutiques at people's homes across town also enable neighbors to catch up as they offer bargains some never dreamed possible.

Since The City of Angels includes a large transient population from the show business arena, shoppers in the Southland often land amazing purchases that include everything from designer shoes worn by models on the move to garments made by high-end designers. Meanwhile, life-long residents often part with cherished antiques, like tools from career carpenters, simply because their collection has become too large to maintain.

1. Research: Be sure you are allowed to hold a garage sale in your neighborhood on the chosen day. Some areas of Los Angeles not only limit the number of times you can sell goods out of your house within one year, but also prohibit selling on certain days of the week. 

2. Choose the day: Try holding your garage sale on more days than just Saturday and Sunday. A number of so-called pickers--people who look for objects to sell for a living--will bombard you with their presence if you hold the gathering before the weekend. This may mean giving up a few hours on Friday morning, but it'll be worth it.

3. Make signage and advertise: Not only should your signs be colorful, appealing and even clever, but these mini-advertisements should also be easy to read. Before creating, be sure you are allowed to post signs in your particular neighborhood since some, like Los Feliz, discourage the practice. If signage is enforced in your neighborhood, decide instead to make flyers that can be posted on communal bulletin boards in local establishments or ask an area merchant if you can leave ads at their counter. After the sale, be sure to take all signs down. If left up, you could be sent a citation.

Other options include listing the upcoming sale on Craigslist for the area of town in which you live, sending out a save-the-date email to your closest friends and posting on Facebook about the upcoming event. Even a tweet or two will help draw some shoppers.

4. Consider weather: Although this isn't too much of a problem during most of the year in Los Angeles, rain does ruin many open-air events simply because nobody ever expects any drops to fall no matter what the season. If there's even a chance of rain, either postpone the sale or proceed with a game plan for staying dry. Solutions include selling only out of your garage or putting up a tent-like awning in your driveway to keep items covered.

These local businesses and organizations may help:

Out of the Closet
3160 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 664-4394

Hours: Mon to Fri - 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat to Sun - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Not all of your items will sell, so donate what remains. Give the lot to a local charity like Out of the Closet. The pickup hotline is 877-2-PICK-IT-UP; ask for a tax receipt, as these donations are typically deductible.

Sign Zone
4873 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 465-8200

Hours: Mon to Fri - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For those who want some zippy signs to get your garage sale plenty of attention, have them made at Sign Zone, a great Melrose Avenue outfit that uses lasers to create the right effect.

Party Unlimited
8337 Hindry Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 641-5601

Hours: Mon to Fri - 9 a.m to 6 p.m.; Sat - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sun - closed.

To be safe, consider renting or buying a tent under which you can display your garage sale items without fear of damage. Party Unlimited offers both options, with a purchase starting price of just $45.

For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSLosAngeles/YourHome.

Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on

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