SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The growing trend of pop-up yard sales has many neighbors concerned that some operators should be busted for their bargains.

“They ask if they can rent the yard basically,” homeowner Helenna Marques said.

The problem is that most of the people behind the yard sales don’t have a permit.

“I think folks are resorting to drastic measures to try and make money,” Code Enforcement Chief Carl Simpson said.

Now, the county is cracking down on these clandestine dealers operating on busy Sacramento streets.

“Absolutely it’s breaking the law,” said Simpson. “They don’t reside at the property where they are selling the items. The items are retail sales.”

Code enforcement officers say the merchandise being sold is not people’s personal possessions they no longer need. It’s an underground operation popping up in the front yard of different homes each weekend.

“It appears we have a group of people who are going to various property owners, asking them for permission — perhaps for some compensation — to set up shop on their front yard,” said Simpson.

Marques says the organizers knocked on her door and offered $40 to set up for the weekend.

“It’s not like a yard sale; it’s like a moving store,” she said.

That moving store has all sorts of brand new items for sale.

“Sneakers, pants, blouses, socks, underwear,” neighbor Luis Santiago said of the items sold.

Neighbors are complaining about the traffic and crowds.

“It just looks bad in the area. It’s something that doesn’t belong in front of your house, brings the wrong crowd,” neighbor Jamie Villarreal said. “We’ve got kids. It’s right by a church. It’s something that I don’t want in my area at all.”

What may be a bargain for shoppers could also add up to be a big bill for homeowners. They face a $100 fine for a first time offense.

“If the property owner refuses to pay the admin cite, we can then lien the property for the amount that’s owed to the county,” said Simpson.

Marques says she’s already learned her lesson.

“They were told not to come back again,” she said of those wanting to set up shop in her yard.

The county says it’s unfair to local stores who sell the same merchandise, but have to pay rent and taxes.

Organizers could face misdemeanor charges if caught.


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