How To Have A Garage Sale During Pandemic?

If you’re like most people, the pandemic got you thinking about ways to declutter your home and make a bit of extra money. A garage sale is a great way to do both – but it can be risky if you don’t take the right steps. Here are some tips on how to have a garage sale during pandemic times that will keep everyone safe and happy – while also allowing you to offload some of your unused gear! 

Can You Have Garage Sales During COVID?

Can You Have Garage Sales During COVID?

In most cases, you can still have garage sales during COVID. However, you’ll want to check with your local town or city planning office to see if any extra precautions or guidelines apply – and if you need a permit.

Garage sales and yard sales are safe in most cases, since they are held outside and the virus does not spread easily outdoors.

That said, you should still try to space items out and be mindful of how many people are at your yard sale at any given time. 

Pandemic Garage Sale Tips for Success (and Maximum Sales!)

Here are a few tips for hosting a garage sale during the pandemic so that you can keep everyone safe – while also maximizing your sales.

1. Check on Permitting

You’ve been planning for weeks and now the day has come – it’s time for your yard sale!

In addition to planning out how to keep people safe at your yard sale during the pandemic, it’s important to also consider any legal and logistical hurdles you might have to address. For example, in some states and cities, you need to have a permit to hold your sale.

Check in with your local planning office to find out whether this is the case. Even if you need a permit, these are usually pretty easy and inexpensive to maintain – it’s not worth getting a fine for the violation, so make sure you do your research ahead of time. 

When you get the permit, you might also receive a checklist of tips to help keep everyone safe during a large gathering – something that can be beneficial for planning purposes. 

2. Plan for Crowds

Put some thought into what you will do if lots of people show up at once. 

Choose one person to keep a headcount and to ask anyone over the limit to wait a few minutes to browse until another shopper has left. You could also draw lines with tape or chalk to mark six feet of social distancing, too.

3. Require Face Masks 

This is a simple step that can have a big impact. Request that visitors wear masks and make sure that everyone running the sale is also wearing face coverings.

One simple tip? Offer free face masks to shoppers as they arrive – then, there’s no excuse for not wearing one. 

4. Offer Hand Sanitizer

Just as you might offer face masks to your shoppers, you can also provide hand sanitizer. This will encourage frequent disinfecting. You can even set up sanitizing stations at the exit, entrance, or payment area. 

5. Choose Contactless Payment Methods 

This option might not work for everyone – for some shoppers, cash is key. 

However, whenever it is possible, consider using a payment app like Venmo. You may also explore options for you to accept credit/debit cards.

When you can’t use payment apps, request for exact amounts in cash. That way, you don’t need to give back change. Choose one person in your party to be in charge of taking payments from customers to limit the number of times that money is being handled.

6. Have a Virtual Yard Sale

One last alternative? If an in-person yard sale just isn’t an option (when you don’t have a garage, for example) – or you don’t think the turn-out will be quite what you’d like – have a virtual yard sale instead. 

This will let you unload all of your unwanted stuff. It’s different from an in-person sale, but will still let you get rid of some clutter. We’ll give you more tips on how to host a virtual yard sale later in the article. This video may also prove to be helpful as you plan out this unique type of event:

7. Sanitize and Display Items Strategically

Before the yard sale opens for the day, go through and sanitize any surfaces that can be cleaned. Although there’s not much evidence that COVID-19 spreads on hard surfaces, this is still a great piece of advice for preventing other kinds of transmissible diseases!

Organize your items with social distancing in mind. Set the displays up so that people can flow around them easily rather than having to come into close contact with others as they brush by. 

Use tables to spread out articles of clothing, books, and other items, and make sure visitors can easily see each object without having to dig through. Tables should be six feet apart, too. 

Virtual Yard Sale Tips

Virtual Yard Sale Tips

If you’ve decided to go the virtual yard sale route, these tips should help to set you up for success. 

1. Take Great Photos 

First things first – it’s time to bust out the camera and take some clear, telling shots of your photos. This is perhaps the most important aspect of selling items in a virtual garage sale since your buyers won’t have the luxury of seeing what you have for sale up close and personal.

Photograph your items in well-lit areas and do so from different angles. The goal is to show any damage, like dents or scratches, so you can be as transparent as possible. 

If you want to hide a background or anything you have in the background (like the rest of your living room!) consider laying down a white bed sheet or piece of posterboard to serve as a backdrop. 

2. Pick the Best Platform

There are all kinds of social media platforms that will allow you to post your items for sale. Use all of them or just pick one. Some good options include:

You can also create or join a neighborhood social media group to share any items you have for sale virtually. 

3. Write Enticing Descriptions 

A picture says a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you can leave the description of what you have to sell blank! Make sure your descriptions are as clear and as descriptive as possible – there’s no such thing as too much information.

Include everything you can about the time, including its condition, size, name, years of use, model, and so on. 

Often, the sales platform will allow you to categorize items, so be sure to tag everything correctly. 

4. Set Fair Prices 

The only problem with selling items online at a virtual garage sale is that it can make it a bit more difficult to haggle – but not always! 

Do your best to set prices that are fair for the item you are trying to sell. Adjust the prices slightly if you plan on offering shipping – you’ll have to cover those costs. 

If you’re not sure how to set your prices, look at other garage sales as a guide. Even if you plan on offering shipping, try to keep your search local, since prices can vary by area. 

5. Safety First!

Finally, make sure you put safety front and center when you’re dealing with online customers. Although safety is a priority for in-person sales, too, when you’re selling items online, you unfortunately just don’t know who you are dealing with.

Rather than scheduling meet-ups at your house or the customer’s house, meet up with your potential buyer in a public location. Choose a crowded spot like a shopping mall or grocery store parking lot  – one that has lots of security cameras outside is also a good choice.

Meet during the daytime and bring someone with you. Of course, in the day and age of COVID-19, it’s also a good idea to wear a mask and to maintain social distance guidelines. 

Keep Everyone Safe at Your Garage Sale

These tips should help you keep your shoppers (and yourself) safe when you hold a garage sale during pandemic times. Follow Them and you can have a stress-free experience. 

Remember to have fun! Holding a garage sale is a great way to make some extra cash during the panic, especially if you follow these tips for success. 

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