The warm and sunny weekends of summer bring to mind not only planting flowers and picnicking, but also the great American tradition of garage and yard sales. Typically, starting in the summer, homeowners kick into active de-clutter mode, and garage sales are a great opportunity to make some extra cash, pass along unwanted treasures or simply create a social gathering for neighbors and friends.
Oklahoma City residents planning to host a garage sale this spring or summer are reminded to get a garage sale permit first, said the city’s Kristy Yager.
Permits are $7 and are available online by logging on to www.okc.gov, calling 297-2606 or by visiting Oklahoma City’s licensing office at 420 West Main.
The permit number will be given to applicants over the phone and must be posted at the sale location.
Each household is allowed to have two garage sales annually. The sale must be held between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and each permit is good for three consecutive days.
People who enjoy bargain hunting at garage sales can log on to www.okc.gov/services/garage_sale to view daily garage sale listings throughout Oklahoma City. The listing is free to those who get the required permit for their garage sale.
Garage sale signs are not allowed on utility poles, traffic sign poles, medians or in the City right of way.
No matter what the reason, there are many things to take into consideration – whether you’re a sales novice or an experienced negotiator – to ensure a successful and safe sale:
Time it right – Many neighborhoods schedule an annual date for all homes and neighbors to participate and will promote the date on your behalf. If you don’t live in a neighborhood like this, consult local newspapers for upcoming community events in order to plan around them. Some say a weekend around the first or fifteenth of the month is most profitable, but if you’re competing with the town fair, live entertainment will trump your toddler’s toys.
Stage for a sale – Plan the layout of your merchandise with the customers in mind and think about how you like to shop. Staging similar items together, like children’s toys on a small table or electronic items near an outlet for testing, will help bargain hunters hone in quickly on items they want. As they’re often family outings, make sure outdoor and garage items are secured out of children’s reach and cords are tied up to reduce tripping hazards.
Be inviting, but cautious – Greeting guests as they arrive offers a chance to quickly evaluate whom you’re letting near your home and valuables. Once determined, be available for any questions they might have about the merchandise, and reassure the quality of goods by allowing customers to test or examine them before purchasing. Always monitor shoppers and keep an eye on higher-priced items, especially if they’re placed near the road.
Monitor your money – With all of the bargaining and movement during a sale, cash can get lost in the shuffle – especially if you are conducting a group sale with neighbors or friends. Theft at garage sales is a common worry, so take precautions by counting and separating your quarters and bills before shoppers arrive. Secure the money in a safe and convenient place, like a cash box with multiple compartment trays, or the fire-resistant and waterproof chest featuring a convenient carry handle and key lock.
For more information, log on to www.okc.gov. Safety tips complements of First Alert.
Planning a garage sale in Oklahoma City? Permits required of residents
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