Garage Sale Rover by Chris Janota Shut Down

Chris Janota  Garage Sale Rover

I regret to inform the Garage Sale Rover community that my app will be shut down the end of the year.

Google Play stated they have been informed by Craigslist that Garage Sale Rover is breaking their terms of service and they have removed my app from the Google Play store.  I disagree with Craigslist’s claim.

Garage Sale Rover is still available on the App Store until the end of the year for free download, but I will be shutting our server down the end of the year and our Android and iOS app will cease to function.

This is very disheartening for me and sincerely regret to have to bring you this news. Over the last three years I have been passionate about building Garage Sale Rover and our community.  Let me explain some background and my thoughts on this action.

This case raises questions over whether Craigslist is stifling innovation or simply protecting its data.  Craigslist has publicly stated they want the data posted on their site to be only viewable on their site, but at the same time they allow their site to be indexed by search engines so the data is open on the internet.

The basic legal question is who owns a listing?

Once an ad is posted on Craigslist does Craigslist own it?  Craigslist has threatened scores of startup and established firms with copyright claims over user content posted to its site.  A legal precedent has now been set in the case of Craigs vs 3Taps and Padmapper (An apartment search website), where Federal Court dismissed Craigslists claim to exclusive rights and copyright in their user generated postings.

On April 30, 2013 Justice Charles R Breyer speaking for the United States District Court for the Northern District California, put an end to further sham litigation by dismissing Craigslist assertions that it held exclusive licenses and copyright over user generated postings submitted to its site.  Read more.

IPSreenShotsmallMy thoughts are Craigslist should be able to control access to their data but that it shouldn’t own facts expressed by that data — such as the fact that a particular garage sale starts at 8 am next Saturday.  Just these facts were reported on Rover. Each garage sale on my app had a link to Craigslist to get detailed information.  Rover helped Craigslist by directing more traffic to Craigslist.

Despite this precedence in Federal Court against Craigslist, and even more surprising to me, Google Play has decided to interpret and enforce the Craigslist Term of Service by shutting down Garage Sale Rover.  Google Play hasn’t responded to my email request to reinstate Rover.


Garage Sale Rover launched in 2010 and has since received over 500k downloads through the iPhone and Google Play and was heading towards real success.   My app had the promise of being the garage sale hunting tool you always wanted. There were lots of new feature development plans in the mix. I was in the middle of developing text and email garage sale alerts when a sale matching your pre-entered criteria was nearby.  Also we were working on posting new sales to the app with a simple tap and a picture.  I had fun developing Rover with Nagender, my main man, and it was fun brainstorming for new ideas and talking to Rover users about making it better and making ridiculous tutorials.

But with the closing of Garage Sale Rover on Google Play the fun has stopped. I can no longer afford the operational cost to maintain the app from revenue of just the App Store.


Using Craigslist for garage sale hunting is antiquated, the locations of listings are hardly dependable.  They recently implemented maps in the listings but only one pin appears on a map. That doesn’t do any good when your planning a route of 5 or 10 sales to hit quick on a Saturday morning. Garage sale hunting is inherently a mobile activity and you need to create a route you can take with you.  Planning your route requires tedious cutting and pasting to take with you on your garage sale hunt.  There is a litany of shortcomings that come with the Craigslist garage sale search; they are many and they are painful.  Craiglist: Your site is bursting with with great data, but your interface is torture.  Either give users a garage sale mobile app or the tools to effectively use your site… or allow someone else to do it.

Ok im done whining for now; I have no desire to be a crusader and fight the powers that be and dwell on this any longer. I just want to explain the situation to you and get on with my Laser Lipo venture.

My new venture is LipoSculpture. New non-invasive lipo is hot business and the industry is heavily fragmented with manufactures and practitioners that are welcoming the extra exposure I can give them.  Please wish me luck with my new podcast.

We had a lot of fun developing Garage Sale Rover.  Thank you for your support the last three years.  Also a special Thanks to Nagender Sangra, Mick Dunnavant and TheThrift for their support.

These are just my thoughts and opinions on the closing of Rover.  You can get a full legal break down from The Aim Group who has done a terrific job reporting on Craigslists actions.

Craiglist’s Effect on  Newspapers

Craigslist vs 3Taps

City Wide Garage Sale Notifications

We’re please and excited to announce our newest service… Prime Garage Sales.
Sign up for Prime Garage Sales to get access to a curated list of the best weekend garage sales like annual church rummage sales, can’t miss city wide garage sales, or school fundraiser sales –  delivered to your inbox!

We scour your city and hand-pick our favorite garage sale events to showcase on our calendar each weekend to help busy people who  are overwhelmed with way too many sales and other things to do.

Some Prime Sales will be appearing on the Garage Sale Rover App now with grey pins but to view all the Prime Garage sales in your area signup for email notifications or visit our website.

Mystery Donation Made to Goodwill

A Goodwill warehouse in western New York State has received a piece of pottery with a note saying it may be of prehistoric originGoodwill donation. The 7.5-inch tall vessel, with a “fluted opening and wartlike protrusions” arrived with a pencil-scrawled note saying it was “Found in a burial mound near Spiro Oklahoma in 1970.” The piece, which briefly appeared on Goodwill’s online auction site, receiving a bargain bid of $4.99 before the sale was halted, was dropped off anonymously. If verified, the piece will be duly sent to Spiro Mounds in eastern Oklahoma, an archaeological site inhabited by Native Americans for some nine millennia.

I just looked up “ancient artifact” in Garage Sale Rover. No results found.  Ill have to try again next week.

The Garage Sale Rainout

Chris Janota, Garage Sale Rover

Yesterday the rain showers got the best of the garage sale plans across most of the country. Here in St. Paul I had sales dotted all over my Garage Sale Rover map but I retreated with my ambitious route plan and stopped at two nearby church sales, making a safe bet.

This got me thinking later, could this have been a missed opportunity to sniff out bargains?  Will many of these planned garage sales be canceled or postponed due to the bad weather?  No doubt much preparation and advertising  have been invested in their yard sale so it is in a hosts best interest to go forward. Rarely do garage sales get cancelled.  Unless tornadoes, severe thunderstorms or hail are predicted, and predicted with certainty, there may not be a better plan of action for them.

Should your treasure hunting plans be impacted by weather?  Is it worth it to simply put on boots and raincoats and take advantage of those garage sales that are open?  No doubt most casual garage sale shoppers, the browsers (the ones who melt in the rain, the oh so “Wicked Witch” of the land of Oz, not really, but the image is oh so Kansan!) will stay home until the skies are more blue and less cloudy.  In my more aggressive garage saling days I found a rainout would create a royal treasure seeking opportunities!  And garage sale hosts are ready to accept almost any offer before deciding to call it off.  It’s a great time to pull out a “Ill buy it all for $$,”  or ”If I buy these will you throw in these two?”  Its not about taking advantage of sellers– it’s about staying ahead of your competition ( Other dealers looking for the same thing as you) and giving sellers an option before packing it up. The tips you find listing on the Yard Sale Shark have extra impact.

But just maybe the biggest benefactors in a rainout are thrift stores.  Garage salers shoppers head indoors to the safe warm dry space of the thrift store.  And hosts perhaps dispirited by the response of their sale pack it in and run for the donation center.  Lines to my local Goodwill donation center is backed up today.

Blowout Sale on Bowels


Garage Sale Rover Photo Contest entry by Jodi Meadows.

Church rummage sales are the BEST! Not only do you find great bargains but if you’re lucky, you can come across some real gems, like this assortment of bowels. I got four small bowels for only $1.00. Found at Holy Spirit Lutheran church in Kirkland, Washington. God bless the little old ladies who run these sales…

Garage Sale Rover Photo Contest Entry

To place yor vote for this entry just click on the social sharing buttons below (Google,Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest).

Entries being accepted.  Voting ends June 2.  More contest info.