HOLT, Fla., Jan. 7, 2020—Looking for a reasonably priced secondhand something-or-the-other?
It might be waiting at the new yard sale located at Holt Diner.
And while it might be an outdoor yard sale now, owner James Ray is hoping to turn it into an indoor flea market, if sales are good.
Although it’s not an indoor store just yet, Ray rented the diner for a month to get his more delicate inventory out of the elements
“It’s a yard sale right now, but I’m happy to turn this into a flea market,” he said.
For now, Ray’s only looking to cover his expenses and make a small profit to keep the business going.
His inventory comes from bidding on abandoned storage units. Upon winning a bid, Ray will empty the unit and bring the inventory to the diner location and prepare it for resale.
“We put out new products every day,” he said.
Ray relocated his business to Holt from Milton after finding out the hard way that roadside yard sales are illegal within city limits in Santa Rosa County.
According to the Santa Rosa County, Florida Code, roadside flea markets or yard sales along U.S. 90 within the Milton/Pace city limits are prohibited.
“My goal is to help people,” he said. He offers every-day items at affordable prices, such as kitchenware, household items and clothing.
Ray started bidding on storage units about a year ago after working in the salvage business for 35 years.
“I loved doing the junk,” he said, until it got too hard with changes in salvage yard laws.
Salvage yards in Florida are required to keep records of all purchases made. Information includes the standard dates, names, addresses, phone numbers and customer signatures as well as full descriptions of the items bought, including serial numbers.
State law also requires age, height, weight, date of birth, race, gender, hair and eye color, and any identifying marks such as scars or tattoos.
Salvage yards must make a copy of the customer’s driver’s license or military ID and get a thumb print of the seller.
All this must be submitted to county law enforcement within 24 hours, ostensibly in an effort to crack down on people selling stolen goods.
But at Ray’s yard sale, and hopefully flea market in the near future, he’s ready to sell with just a handshake and a smile.