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Don’t Invite Burglars To Your Garage Sale!

July 23, 2012

Summertime and Garage Sales go hand in hand. You have accumulated boxes of stuff that you no longer use. Why trash it if it can be sold. Other than items that are broken, dangerous or prohibited, there is always someone who may be looking for that exact thing. So you are planning to hold a Garage Sale.

Rules for Garage Sales in Edmonton

As of March 1, 2009, you no longer require a permit to hold a garage sale in Edmonton. According to the City of Edmonton, the following rules still apply to garage sales in Edmonton:

  • A maximum of 3 garage sales per calendar year may be held from one location and for no longer than 3 consecutive days.
  • Garage sale holders are liable and obligated to ensure the items sold at a garage sale are safe and have not been recalled by the manufacturer for the product.
  • For a listing of items that should not be sold, please visit Health Canada or view Facts for garage sale vendors.
  • Garage sale signs must not be posted on City property.
  • Holding garage sales longer than the allotted times requires a development permit and business licence.

Date and Time for your Garage Sale

Keep in mind that holiday weekends are not a good bet for attracting a lot of people to your garage sale. A much better idea is to plan your sale around common pay days. Most people receive their paycheques on the 1rst and/or the 15th of the month and will be more likely to spend after payday than when they are strapped for cash.

Garage sales attract early birds. Unless you want people locking on your door at 6am, choose a firm starting time.

Advertise your Garage Sale

Planning your garage sale well in advance gives you the opportunity to advertise your event in serveral venues and increases your chance for a profitable garage sale. Take advantage of free advertising in your community paper (Edmonton Examiner), and on bulletin boards at your local schools,churches and grocery stores.

Let your neighbours know and ask if they want to participate.

Keep in mind that signs are not allowed on City property. Make sure your signs can withstand possible rain. Post your address and a big arrow pointing the way on every sign. Remember where you place your signs and take them down as soon as your garage sale is over.

Stay safe during your Garage Sale

You want to protect yourself, your items and your visitors during your garage sale. Please follow these steps:

  • Never hold a garage sale alone.
  • Protect your items from theft. If they are close to the street, it will be easy for people to steal. Lock up any items that can be carried away.
  • Make sure sharp objects are kept separately from other things. You don’t want a customer rummaging through a box of kitchen utensils to cut themselves.
  • Make sure someone is watching the cash box at all times.
  • Post a sign: “All Sales Final”.

So here is the bad news:

Garage Sales May Invite Burglars Into Your Home

You advertise your address and map the way with signs and balloons. Keep in mind that you may be attracting would-be burglars. They are finding all the information they need to destroy your privacy and security. They can quickly size up your spending habits and lifestyle from the items to be sold. Most likely your garage door is open during your garage sale. A would-be intruder may judge you by the make of your vehicle parked in the garage, your golf clubs and other expensive possessions obviously not part of your sale.

A professional burglar can quickly memorize how access can be made into your home via a side door, back door, or basement window. They may even be asking your children about personal details of your life.

Unless you have signage indicating a monitored security system in your home, be very aware that you are giving away your privacy when holding a garage sale!

If you don’t have a security system, are not happy with your current security provider or don’t have your system  monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986

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