This article explores the community-building potential of neighborhood garage sales, focusing on case examples in suburban developments and city block sales, and contrasting them with student housing, town/rural, and cooperative sales. Under the auspices of attracting more shoppers and making some extra money by cleaning out unneeded goods, neighborhood sales get residents out of their dwellings and mingling among themselves, sometimes for the first time. Some neighborhood sales have been organized expressly for the purpose of getting the neighbors to know one another in areas undergoing transition. They provide a positive means to combat a perceived “decline of community” in the United States today, developing both bonding and binding social capital. The most successful sales for community building occur in neighborhoods that have: houses relatively close together with a high density of sales to facilitate walking; few other community integrating activities; capable organizers with a vision of community; some children and child-friendly events; festive touches, such as selling food; and other community organizations integrated into the sales. Neighborhood sales also define the neighborhood to the larger community, as well as promote internal solidarity.

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