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How to Host a Safe (and Clean) Yard Sale

June 19, 2020 — 4 min read

With summer in full swing, it's only a matter of time before our telephone poles, and neighborhood corners are chock-full with yard sale signs. Despite most states rescinding their stay-at-home orders, many Americans are still wondering if life can return to normal. With a few cities reporting a spike in coronavirus cases, it's best to air on the side of caution for now. With safety at the forefront of our minds, we can't help but also note the financial and environmental benefits of hosting a yard sale. In 2018, the estimated total US weekly revenue from yard sales was a staggering $4,222,375. So, how do we balance "regular" life while keeping our communities protected?

Over Clean Then Clean Again

You may not have anyone in your home that is at risk for getting sick, but someone at your yard sale could be. It doesn't hurt to wipe down items with disinfectant or run any clothes for purchase through the washer. Most of your customers will likely be aware of their health conditions and take their own precautions; however, you may get more items out the door if they appear clean and taken care of. PRO TIP: Think outside the box when cleaning. What are people touching the most? Are items being picked up and set back down? Are you handling money and cards at checkout? These are extra items and surfaces that should be wiped down throughout the day for maximum cleanliness.

Crowd Control

If you live on a busy street or in a large neighborhood that could attract plenty of shoppers, prioritize keeping guests 6 feet apart. During peak traffic times, you may need to ask guests to wait at the end of the driveway or near their cars until the current crowd thins out. Are you concerned about upsetting your shoppers? Think ahead! If you have enough lawn and driveway space, consider setting up tables and displays far apart so your guests can safely shop. Even signs encouraging social distancing or taped off sections can be a helpful reminder during this time. Keep in mind, while some people are still comfortable wearing masks, your guests may not be okay with wearing a mask, or they may be unable to, so distance may be easier to enforce than asking people to come with masks.

Be a Smart Host

You may have been preparing this sale for months, but some of your shoppers may be getting out for the first time in months. Masks will likely be forgotten at home, or hands will have touched multiple items since last being washed. Think ahead for your guests and provide the materials needed if they are required at your sale. These are a few items that you could offer:
  • Gloves
  • Masks (unused)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bottled water or packaged snacks (instead of homemade treats, as some usually provide)
  • Contactless payment options
If some, or all, of these items aren't in your budget, but you'd still like your guests to come prepared, make sure your signs and online posts include this information. You don't want to turn away crowds of people simply because they forgot their mask at home.

The Bottom Line

Be transparent with your shoppers! If you are uncomfortable with large crowds, explain this from the get-go. If you think you should hold off on holding a yard sale, you may find guests are more willing to browse and buy once all states are completely open. For more information about CDC safety recommendations, start here.

We know a little about yard sales and so much more about home sales. Contact us today to connect with a Mortgage Advisor.

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