If haggling over a $2 toaster at your garage sale is an awful experience, then explaining to the police why your dog bit a customer is a complete nightmare. Yard sale safety is often lost in the excitement of prepping, pricing and promoting. But turning off the sprinkler system is just as important as creating an enticing flyer. By taking precautions to reduce your risk of theft, injury or damage, you can make certain that your profits will not go to waste.
1) Staff properly for your merchandise. Hauling around sofa beds, tables and recliners can equal broken fingers, crushed toes and sore backs. Have enough able-bodied workers available to help customers with heavy purchases. Having a dolly on hand would be a bonus.
2) Placing furniture by the street is a nice sales trick, but it can also be a safety hazard. Make sure you place items at least 4 feet from the curb, especially if you live in a high traffic area or have parking spots in front of your home.
3) Use the yard to showcase glassware and ceramics. Try to avoid driveways and walkways, but if there are no other options, place a thick comforter underneath your breakables to prevent any accidents. Remember, yard sale weather usually corresponds with open-toe shoe weather, and broken glass loves feet.
4) Pets can gather foot traffic to your yard sale, but they can turn customers away too. Not everyone is comfortable around animals, and pets can sometimes be unpredictable – even Scooby Doo used his teeth sometimes. Keep all pets inside or in the backyard. Their old leashes will sell just fine without them.
5) Make sure the lawn is freshly cut and in proper shape to accommodate displays and customers. Wait until after the yard sale to plant new grass or spread fertilizer. As mentioned above, turn off your sprinkler system. An artificial rain shower would not be a good time for anybody.
6) Thoroughly clean all items. Thick basement dust or garage grease can leave permanent stains, and your yard sale profits should not be used for dry cleaning bills. Certain items, such as lawnmowers and grills, will always be dirty. It would be a good idea to provide hand wipes for customers who need them.
7) If a garage is being used to display merchandise for the sale, clear all potential hazards from the space. Protect yourself as well as your customers. Cash from the yard sale would not cover the cost of someone stepping on a nail or tripping over a weedwacker.
8) Do not let anyone inside your home. People who frequent yard sales can be very sweet and charming, then again, so can serial killers. If a customer asks to use the bathroom, the answer is no. Be vigilant; always be aware of customers’ movements when they are on your property.
9) Yard sales often attract children, especially if you are selling old toys or old sports equipment. Even if adults accompany them, always watch out for the little customers. They prefer to touch first and ask later.
10) A cash box looks professional and makes it easier to provide change, but it also invites thieves. Keep the cash close to your body. Wear cargo pants or any other item of clothing with large pockets. It will be easier to separate your money and organize your change while at the same time remaining discreet.