Rogue Sellers Set Up Fake ‘Yard Sales’ To Get Around Paying Rent, Taxes

Want to start a retail business but don’t want to be bogged down with having to sign a lease or paying all the taxes associated with running a store? Just pretend you’re having a yard sale each weekend… at a different house every time.

At least that seems to be thinking of some rogue, sketchy entrepreneurs in Sacramento, who have been popping up on different front yards around town each weekend under the guise of having a “yard sale,” when it looks like they’re just running a moveable retail outlet.

Robert at Cockeyed.com wrote about the bandit yard-sellers earlier this month when he noticed them setting up shop on his street.

He says that his neighbor had been approached by a pregnant woman offering $25 a day to use a portion of the front yard for a yard sale. But when the day came, the neighbor’s entire lawn was quickly covered with an array of shoes and boxes — and shoppers.

“They put up two signs, erected the row of mannequins and started waiving down customers with a sign-spinner,” wrote Robert about the scene on his street. “I couldn’t have written a better scene for a prank show.”

Now CBS Sacramento says that the city is looking into complaints about these sellers, who appear to be twisting the rules regarding yard sales so they can have a retail business without some of the requisite headaches.

“Absolutely it’s breaking the law,” the city’s chief code enforcement officer tells CBS. “They don’t reside at the property where they are selling the items. The items are retail sales.”

“It’s not like a yard sale; it’s like a moving store,” says a woman who was paid $40 to let her yard out for a weekend.

She should have asked for more, as the city could fine her, and other homeowners who agree to these sales, $100 for a first offense, while the people running the pop-up sales could face misdemeanor charges.