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Don't Sell Out Your Garage Sale Sense!
Before you stake up your garage sale sign, give some thought to these safety tips.
Just like the daffodils and tulips, garage sales will soon begin to pop up between the spring showers. Longer days, the more frequent appearance of the sun, fresh cut grass and the renewing color of our landscapes seems to stir the urge to purge the old and unused items in our lives. Besides, who doesn’t like a little extra cash in the pocket?
But before you stake your garage sale sign, give some thought to these safety tips:
- Join with other neighbors to have a neighborhood-wide garage sale. Not only can it draw more customers, but it will bring more eyes to your event – neighbors looking out for neighbors.
- Make it a family affair. Assign family members (or friends) to certain tasks. For example, one person takes money, another watches areas or items that are off-limits, and others assigned to assisting customers.
- Weather permitting, hold your sale outside of the garage and close the door. You’ll increase visibility, and make it more difficult for thieves to slip inside your home, or steal other items that are not for sale.
- If you have to hold your sale inside your garage, make sure to clearly mark items that are not for sale, or areas that are off-limits. Lock the door between your house and the garage.
- Don’t stay in one place. Move around to increase your visibility.
- Have your phone with you, but avoid being distracted by calls, social media, texts and the like.
- Don’t allow shoppers to go into your house to use the bathroom, phone, or try on clothes.
- Don’t accept personal or third-party checks. Typically, cash is best. If they need to go to the ATM, offer to hold the item(s) for a short time. Use a counterfeit money detection marker.
- Don’t leave the money box unattended. Occasionally take big bills or large amounts of money into the house to avoid displaying large amounts of cash.
- Report to police any suspicious behavior, theft and/or anyone who is attempting to sell your merchandise as if they are you.
- If someone demands your money and threatens to hurt you, don’t fight it. Hand over the money. It’s not worth you being hurt. Get a good description of the person and vehicle being driven, especially the license plate number. Note the direction of travel and any weapons. Then call 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY!
- Take everything back into the garage after each day of sales. Don’t leave anything out.