Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Security Tips for an Indoor Yard Sale

We are typically quite careful about the people we let into our home; yet all our efforts may be for naught when a yard sale moves indoors. Having people you don’t know and likely won’t ever see again tromping through your most private of spaces can lead to a few issues. My mother found this out when she lost several television remotes (at least this was the worst of her losses) during one of her indoor sales.
Here are some of the steps our family takes when having such a sale to help increase security.

Don’t Have an Indoor Sale
One of the best ways to secure yourself from losses and security issues due to having a yard sale inside your home may be to keep it outdoors. We tend to do all we can to keep our sales limited to the garage, driveway and yard. From checking the weather forecast ahead of time, to having a backup plan (such as quickly moving everything inside the garage) should rain or inclement weather hit, we do our best to keep people out of our private spaces to begin with.

Create Barriers
While we don’t want guests to our home tripping or having to navigate awkward obstacles, using barriers to block off certain areas within our home can come in handy. A doggy gate, large chair, or similar item, accompanied by a sign reading something along the lines of “private”, “restricted”, or “no sale items past this point” can keep sales attendees from wandering into private spaces and help keep confusion about what’s for sale and what isn’t, to a minimum.

Lock or Close Doors
We tend to keep doors other than the one or ones that we’re using during the sale closed, and if at all possible, locked. We try to keep extra doors leading into and out of a home locked. Doors inside the home that might not be possible to lock, or lock from the outside, we tend to close in order to provide an additional barrier against unwanted entry. Who knows? Someone might be sleeping in there! And a sale visitor with ulterior motives might not be willing to chance opening that door in search of valuables.

Hide or Secure Valuables
Even though it’s nice to hope for the goodness in people to stand out when they’re inside your home, I figure, why temp them with valuables scattered around. We tend to secure valuable items that aren’t for sale -- especially smaller ones that can easily be picked up and slipped into a jacket or pants pocket -- to keep the temptation for a five-finger discount to a minimum. And just slipping them inside a drawer or cabinet might not suffice if you’re working out of multiple rooms and won’t be able to supervise all areas at all times. Keeping smaller valuable sale items close to the checkout or where someone will be most of the time may help to reduce theft of sale items.

Use the Buddy System
I almost always try to have someone with me during a sale. This can help to keep people from entering private spaces, but also help with assisting customers, answering questions, making sales, and keeping an eye on the cash drawer. If nothing else, having a sale buddy can just act to provide someone to talk to and keep me company during those boring down times during the sale.


  1. You have to remember that not everyone who go to your garage are sale visitors. Some of them might have an ulterior motive. So, don’t be too complacent and don’t let people roam around your place. You must be always on your guard so you are sure that nothing bad will happen in your home.

  2. Definitely a good point, Libbie. Some people could be there to "case" the home, noting entry points and valuables for future reference (and possible ill intent).