Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team
Looking to clear out the clutter? Hosting a rummage sale is a perfect (and fun) way to do it! However, much like holding an open house, it’s important to keep your customers safe while shopping on your property. Read up on these simple tips to keep your yard sale safe, so you can focus on selling your goods.
Getting ready for a yard sale is all about anticipating issues. It’s important to prevent people you don’t know from entering your home with a strict “no strangers” policy. Here are a few other ways to boost safety at your garage sale:
Lock up. Be sure to lock any doors that lead to your house, including doors that might lead to your basement from your garage.
Keep watch. Keep kids and pets out of the way by corralling them in the yard. That way you know they’ll be safe and your customers will be able to browse more easily.
Have backup. It’s important to never leave your sale unattended. In case you need to break, call a backup with your cell phone. Have them watch over the event while you grab a snack or run to the bathroom.
Control the garage doors. If you’re allowing customers to enter and exit through your garage doors, be sure you’ve assigned someone to watch those areas. Shoplifters can grab and go if other entries are left unattended.
Stay hydrated and cool. When you’re spending long hours outdoors, it’s a good idea to stay in the shade, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated in order to avoid dehydration and overheating. Portable canopy tents are perfect for garage sale check-out areas. You’ll manage purchases in the shade and will be able to oversee the event without cooking in the sun.
No strangers. Instead of letting customers use your bathroom, direct them to the nearest gas station or store.
Organize with care. Be mindful of how you arrange your goods to reduce liabilities. Never place heavy items in locations they can topple over and keep items out of the way so people don’t trip.
If you’ve advertised well, and are lucky enough to have great weather for your garage sale, you stand to bring in a lot of cash. When money’s on the line, it’s important to manage that cash safely at your garage sale. Here are a few tips to keep tabs on the money you bring in:
Keep cash close. Instead of keeping a cash box, consider an apron or fanny pack. That way it can’t walk off when you’re not looking. After a big sale, move larger sums of cash into a safe place in your home — keeping only enough on hand to make change for purchases.
Let your kids make change, but keep a watchful eye. Because your children will one day need to manage cash on their own, work with your children to manage making change. They’ll get a feel for dealing with cash from this teaching moment.
Offer online payment options. From Square to Venmo to Facebook, options to make payments electronically can be both convenient and help to hide funds from would-be thieves.
Have a no personal checks policy. Unless you know the buyer well, accepting a personal check from a stranger can be a bad idea. Disallow personal checks and save yourself the hassle of dealing with bank fees and the headache that comes with them.
Our personal umbrella policies offer extra protection for you and your family. Accidents happen. And when they do, the possibility of being held liable for a large settlement can happen, even when you’ve done all you can to keep your home safe. Before you have your garage sale, make time to check in with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) and take a look at our great personal umbrella liability coverage.
Now that you’ve got the tools to keep your customers and your money safe, have fun making room for new memories, and enjoy that bit of extra cash!