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Yardsale Rules and Advice from APD

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Yardsale Rules and Advice from APD

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:23 pm

From APD


Dear Foothills Area Command Neighbors,
With summer here, we are seeing a lot of yard/garage sales in our area. I have written up some helpful tips for you to be safer if you decide to host a yard/garage sale. A yard sale can be hard work, and they can attract shoplifters or shady people. If you are well prepared you will be able to relax and have a positive and fun event.

City Rules (for residences):
One garage/yard sale allowed once every twelve months
A sale may not exceed 3 days in length
Only normally accumulated household goods can be sold
Only 1 non-illuminated sign, no more than 6 sq feet area
No signs in medians or on utility poles
Call the City’s Zoning & Residential Code office at 924-3850 for questions

Safety in Numbers: If possible, have an assistant to help you. Have a designated cashier/bagger. Consider having a ‘greeter.’
Visibility: Be out in the open, not hidden away out of sight. Good sight lines are safer. Avoid having a garage sale IN the garage; use the driveway or front yard.
Pricing: Make sure customers know ALL SALES FINAL. You want to avoid someone coming back to your home the next day to try to return something for a refund.
Put a price on everything; put prices on top of items to avoid breakage.
Try bagging the same type of things in clear plastic baggies and staple at the top and sell for one price; for instance, one bag for $1; people can see what’s inside, you don’t need to bag items separately and it’s stapled to prevent swapping out items in the bag for more expensive items elsewhere.
Pets: Pets can be a distraction and may be stressed at the extra activity. Keep them safe inside your residence. A pet could cause a fall, trip or bite.
Children: Give children safety instructions ahead of time according to your family rules; this may not be a ‘teachable moment’ for them to learn how to make change, but they can have fun greeting visitors in your presence and help you bag items.
Personal Safety: Keep a cordless phone or cell phone with you (in a pocket – don’t lay it down and walk away) at all times.
Try not to chat too much with neighbors and friends; keep focused.

Protecting your Home:
Keep doors and windows locked at all times. Keep the garage door closed and locked! You don’t want anyone checking out items in your garage for a post-sale burglary.
Be present and visible at all times. Acknowledge everyone.
Do not allow anyone inside your residence under any circumstances.
Protecting your personal information: Inspect every item you will be selling to remove any credit card receipts, personal information. Check pockets of clothing, inside books, inside boxed items – you may even find some cash!
Display safety: Watch for trip hazards – cords, boxes, bags, clutter.
Watch where you display items; don’t put breakables where the wind could blow it over or a stray elbow could knock something over.
If selling a TV, have it on; if items need batteries, have used batteries on hand to test the items.
Consider an extension cord at an outdoor outlet to test electronics. Put it away neatly when customer is finished; this eliminates a trip hazards and asking to test an item inside your home.
Bundle up sharp items together (knives, utensils, etc). Use caution.
Make sure anything you don’t want to sell is out of sight. This helps avoid trips/falls/theft.
.Mid-way through sale: Stop a moment and assess; consolidate unsold items.
Consider re-pricing items that are left unsold at mid-day.
Consider a ‘FREE’ box at the end of the day so you’ll have less to pack up.
Pack up unnecessary goods and bag up any trash.
Cash Handling:
Have lots of change (singles, quarters); you’ll need it most early in the day.
Consider a centralized table for all purchases and bagging.
Have the cashier table visible; good sight lines are necessary for safety.
Have one designated cashier (a buyer can’t say they paid someone else).
Guard your money! Keep money in one location. Keep a low amount of cash on hand.
Keep money in a fanny pack or wear a carpenter’s apron.
Do cash-only sales unless you are willing to risk a bad check.
If you get a large bill ask the customer to get change and come back; tell them you will hold the item for them.
Be familiar with local banks open during your sale or ATM locations you can send people for change or if they need more money to make a purchase.
Have a calculator handy; you will have a lot of distractions.
Making change: leave their bill partially in view until AFTER you have given them change; this gives you get a chance to double-check the bill you were handed and keeps a dishonest person from short-changing you.
Stay safe,
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist
Foothills Area Command, Albuquerque Police Department


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