100 Mile Garage Sale map

The 100 Mile Garage Sale is from Winona, MN all the way to Prescott, Wi, photo by Sarah Knieff

Warmer weather is here and that means garage sales! Last year, every thrifty person who loves hunting for a good bargain was disappointed since there weren’t many garage sales due to COVID.

This year though, with more things opening up and restrictions being lifted, the sales are back on and better than ever.

Some local residents have been wondering what COVID precautions should people follow for the 100 Mile Garage Sale and other fun shopping events. 

The short answer to that is to follow all safety measures that have been previously recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The long answer requires more detail, so let’s get into it.

Most garage sales are actually also yard sales -- weather permitting -- so being held outdoors (or partially at least) helps reduce COVID-19 risks. However, the CDC checklist still applies:

  • keep a six-foot social distance between guests

  • limit the number of attendees 

  • encourage wearing masks where distancing isn’t possible

  • wash your hands

If you are heading out to shop

Bring a mask. Keep your distance, even if other shoppers do not. Be willing to leave a site or forego a bargain if a particular sale looks too crowded.

Take exact change for cash transactions in an effort to limit the back-and-forth interactions.

Be polite. Remember, you are entering someone’s private property. You may be shopping, but you are a guest. 

If you are holding a sale

Consider these suggestions:

Start clean and safe: Wipe down your merchandise and disinfect when possible. Have a hand sanitizer pump handy for you and your shoppers.

Provide or offer to sell a fresh disposable mask to anyone not wearing one — especially if your yard is small or rain falls and you must move into your garage. But also remember that some people have medical conditions that make wearing a mask difficult or unadvisable.

Set up your sale with the pandemic in mind: Put more space between your various shopping “areas.” Arrange items to reduce how often people touch them. Tables, for example, are better than bins. Use a line of chalk or a strip of tape to remind people to stay apart -- and back from the pay station.

Control the crowd: Ask people to wait or come back if your shopping area is too full. 

Make payment easy: Cash is king at garage sales. However, cash is not contactless shopping. 

If you don’t want to make an online transaction -- Venmo, Apple Pay or other app -- then provide a money box so people can drop their bills and coins inside. You can make change from your cash box while wearing gloves. 

Payments for yard sale items should be as contactless as possible.

100 Mile Garage Sale

  • What: Epic deals and treasures to find all along a 100 mile stretch of road.

  • Where: From Prescott, WI to Winona, MN. Sales can be found at churches, individual homes, boutique sidewalks, estates and more.

  • When: Thursday, May 6 through Sunday, May 9

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