Garage Sales Around The World

Introduction

Around the world, where do people sell their unwanted possessions?

Cultures dictate if unwanted personal possessions are even sold. For example, in Poland, generally possessions would be used, reused and stored forever. If it became broken.. it was fixed. While in India, generally old or unusable items/clothes would be given to maids, drivers or other helpers but never sold. In Saudi Arabia, it would be unthinkable for a Saudi family to openly sell items from their home where anyone is allowed to come by. It would be equally unthinkable to buy something second-hand.

Around the world, in countries where selling unwanted possessions is acceptable there are two general ways people sell their used household belongings:

While the fundamental purpose and method of operating US-style garage sales and organized central private sellers' markets are the same around the world, the local names they are referred to differ.

For example, two common names for organized markets area flea market and a car boot sale (or a car boot or boot sale). In many countries outside the US, a car's trunk is called a boot. A car boot sale is usually held in an open field or oval where you park your car in a vacant or allotted space and sell your unwanted possessions from the back of your car (open boot). Some sellers will set up a table in front of the boot or a rug on the round to lay out the items for sale.

Advantages and disadvantages of each method

Selling from your home or property in a US-style garage sale

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Convenient
  • No travel involved.
  • Not limited to how much you can make available to sell.
  • Not limited to how much space you can use to display your goods.
  • Minimal direct competition unless neighbors have a garage sale too.
  • Home conveniences are available.
  • Have to advertise yourself.
  • Rely on buyers bothering to come.
  • Relying on buyers finding your home which is commonly on a side street off the main road.
  • The number of buyers is low compared to the number of buyers attending a central market place.
  • Isolated and security up to you.

Selling in a central 'private sellers' market place

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • A large number of buyers compared to a home garage sale.
  • No advertising required.
  • Fun community atmosphere.
  • More secure.
  • Limited to what can be transported to the marketplace.
  • Limited to what can be displayed in your designated spot.
  • If outdoors, can be affected by the weather.
  • Home conveniences not available.
  • Competition with other sellers.

Garage sales around the world

The table below lists what are the more popular methods of selling unwanted possessions in countries around the world and what the colloquial name.

x = This type is either not done or you may only find the odd occurrence

NORTH AMERICA

Country US-style Garage Sale from home Organized market-style
MexicoVenta de garaje 
USAGarage Sales, Yard Sales, Stoop Sales, Sidewalk SalesFlea Markets
CanadaGarage SalesFlea Markets

SOUTH AMERICA

Country US-style Garage Sale from home Organized market-style
ArgentinaFeria Americana Venta de Garage
('American Fair Garage Sale')
Feria Americana ('American Fair')
Pulga ('flea') or Mercado de Pulga
Dominican RepublicxPulga ('flea')

AFRICA

Country US-style Garage Sale from home Organized market-style
South AfricaGarageverkoopCar Boot Sales

EUROPE

Country US-style Garage Sale from home Organized market-style
AustriaxFlomarkt
BelgiumGarageverkoopCar Boot Sales
BulgariaxCar Boot Sales
CyprusxCar Boot Sales (also referred to as "Garage Sale")
Czech RepublicxDobročinný bazar ("Jumble Sale")
DenmarkGarasjesalgLoppis
Loppemarked / Kraemmermarked
FinlandxKirpputori
FranceVide Grenier (literally “empty-attic”). French apartments often have an attic but rarely have a garage!Vide Grenier is more associated with a car boot sale or a community "garage sale".
Brocante is a flea market.
GermanyPrivater FlohmarktFlohmarkt and Trödelmarkts
GranadaxCar boot sales
IbizaxRastrillo (flea market/car boot sale)
IrelandxCarboots (car boot sales)
ItalySofitte in piazza ('cash in the attic')Mercato delle pulci (flea market)
Mercato dell'usato (car boot)
MaltaxCar Boot Sales
NetherlandsVrijmarkten ('free markets')
Garageverkoop
Especially on Queen's Day
Vrijmarkten (free markets')
Kofferbakmarkt ('trunk barge' = barge-boot) (car boot sale)
NorwayxLoppemarked
Romaniaxx
SpainxRastro (Car boot sale)
SwedenxLoppis
Bakluckeloppis ('car boot sale')
Loppemarknad (flea market)
Kvartersloppis ('block flea')
SwitzerlandxVide Greniers ('Attic Sale')
TurkeyxEski püskü eşya satışı ('shabby goods sale')
UKxBoot Sale, Car Boot Sale or Carboot
WalesxArwerthiant / Sêl Cist Ceir (flea market/car boot sale)

ASIA

Country US-style Garage Sale from home Organized market-style
JapanSayonara sale ('moving/leaving sale')Flea Markets
Japan has limited space for disposing of garbage/hard rubbish so recycling is a priority rather than money making. 
RussiaxCentral markets (for disposal of personal possessions) are starting to become popular although often held for charitable purposes.
SingaporexCarboot Sales
Indiaxx
Sri LankaxCar Boot Sales recently introduced
United Arab EmiratesLeaving Sales by/for expatsFlea Markets and Car Boot Sales
QatarLeaving Sales by/for expatsTable Top Sales
Saudi Arabiaxx

AUSTRALIA

Country US-style Garage Sale from home Organized market-style
AustraliaGarage SalesTrash & Treasure Markets
New ZealandGarage SalesCar Boot Sales