top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Clear your clutter at vide-greniers

Vide-greniers (car-boot sales) are a good way to get rid of unwanted household items

SELLING in a vide-greniers is a good way to get rid of your household clutter. These popular “car-boot” sales literally mean “empty your attics.”

Anyone can take part but only twice a year. Beyond that and you, theoretically, risk heavy fines and even imprisonment for carrying out unauthorised commerce.

Tens of thousands of vide-greniers are held each year and there is bound to be one coming up near you.

There are websites to find details of sales in your area but none are exhaustive. Popular ones include and

Otherwise check with your tourist information office or mairie for information about ones in your local area.

Usually you have to sign up to take part before the event although some allow it on the day. The organisers will need a photocopy of an identity document (eg. your passport) and personal details – often there will be a simple application form to fill in.

You also need to attest, on your honour, that you have not taken part in more than one other sale this year.

There is also a small charge for hire of space - often a few euros per square metre, though sometimes there are stalls of a set size for a modest fee.

Private individuals selling in a vide-greniers are only allowed to sell their own, used goods. Since a change in the law last year, you can take part in sales outside your own commune.

Profits from selling your own items at a vide-greniers as a private individual do not have to be declared for income tax.

Some sales are aimed just at private individuals but others are also open to people who sell professionally, who have to be registered with the local chamber of commerce.

Where a sale is mainly for professionals, it is known as a brocante. It is not at present possible to be a professional brocanteur using the auto-entrepreneur business set up. This is because you need authorisation from your prefecture, which can only be given when you provide an extract of your registration on the registre des commerces et des sociétés (called un extrait kbis) at the chamber.

Another popular option for selling off items is

Once again, occasional selling on eBay is not considered to generate taxable income, although some people who sell large amounts have been caught out and deemed to be acting as professionals.

A government tax adviser said you must be doing the activity on a regular basis and with the aim of making profit to be considered a professional. Usually this means buying and reselling, not just selling off your own old items.

Note that if you are in France you must register at but you can then buy and sell on any eBay site (eg. American-based or UK-based

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now