Summer is a great time of year to hold a garage sale. If you are like most people, you have great items in your home that you know someone could use, but you have outgrown them…. why not have a sale. Please consider some of these safety tips as you get ready for your sale!
1. Team up. Have a multi-family garage sale, or a neighborhood garage sale.
2. Keep a watch. Do not go inside and leave your merchandise unattended. Someone should be at or near the checkout table at all times, with another person walking around, straightening items and talking to shoppers. If you go inside… lock the door behind you so no one can follow you in.
3. Greet everyone who walks up. Make sure they know you have seen them.
4. Keep just enough cash on hand to make change. Put extra money in the house. Never give change in front of the customers – they do not need to know where you are keeping your cash and how much you have.
5. Keep larger, higher-priced items near the garage.
6. Do not accept large bills. $20’s are the most counterfeited bill in America. If you are concerned you might not recognize a counterfeit you can purchase a pen at any office supply store to mark bills to be sure they turn the right color, indicating they are real. If you aren’t sure – ask for another bill for payment. Hold your fishy bill up to another bill in your wallet. Most counterfeit bills will be slightly different size and texture.
7. Keep cash you have been given laying out while you make change. This will prevent anyone from saying they gave you more money than they actually did.
8. Keep your cell phone or home phone close by.
9. Do not let strangers come in your house for any reason. If someone needs to use the restroom, direct them to the nearest gas station or grocery store.
10. Tell others. Make sure the neighbors are aware of your sale — the dates and times.
11. Keep the sale in plain sight. Set items outside the garage and on out toward the sidewalk or street. This keeps you from getting trapped in a place where others can’t see.
12. Lock up. Keep the front door to the house locked, as well as the door from the garage — and make sure you have the key.
13. Inform the police. Let your community police officer or local police department know about your sale.
14. Post a sign with your rules. Only cash accepted, all sales are final, etc.
15. Get help with young kids. It’s too easy to get distracted with little ones around. Get a babysitter or neighbor to watch them, or take turns with others involved in the sale. If you have bright orange cones to put in the street to slow down cars – use them.
16. Remember that your safety is more important than your stuff. If you feel frightened because of someone at your sale, or are threatened in any way, do what is needed to keep you and your family safe. If you have a dog that you can trust to be outside with you they can be great deterrents to criminals.