COVID-19

How are people managing yard sales in the age of social distancing?

Erika Beras May 25, 2020
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States are setting guidelines for safe garage and yard sales to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images
COVID-19

How are people managing yard sales in the age of social distancing?

Erika Beras May 25, 2020
Heard on:
States are setting guidelines for safe garage and yard sales to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images
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Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer, and along with all of the pastimes of summer are garage, yard and stoop sales. But how will those sales look in the age of social distancing?

For Renee Translateur, a Pittsburgh resident, pretty much every summer weekend is spent scouring yard sales for toys and figurines. But this year? 

“Because of the COVID-19, I think that yard sales are a little bit too close for comfort,” Translateur said. “There’s always going to be other people there, and I don’t feel comfortable handling items that other people are handling.” 

As states reopen, health departments are coming up with guidelines for yard sales to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In Vermont, no more than ten people should be at a sale. In Ohio, the merchandise must be washed and dried or wiped down with a disinfectant, hand sanitizer has to be available and tables and chairs should be set six feet apart. 

Kat Holmes, who lives outside Cleveland, had a three day yard sale that ended Saturday. She wore a mask and gloves and put arrows on the ground to guide people.

“It actually worked out where when we snaked people around, they started in and they exited out at the last row,” Holmes said.

And Holmes said she profitted around $500.

Donna Tauber, who lives in Indiana, helps organize the National Historic Road Yard Sale where hundreds of vendors along Route 40 — known as the Main Street of America — sell from Baltimore to St. Louis. Because unemployment is so high, “we know that people are going to want to make some extra fast cash by having a sale, so there may be more sales,” Tauber said.

The event is usually held this week, but it’s been postponed. Organizers may try to hold it in August. 

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