Handy Hints | The Saturday Weekly Review

The Ultimate Guide To Prevent Garage Sale Theft : The Saturday Weekend Review #255

Share to...

The ultimate guide to prevent garage sale theft


Spring and summer is the perfect time to de-clutter the house but before you host your garage sale this weekend keep garage sale theft and scams on your mind.

There comes a time when even blogging about garage sale theft is a hot topic because it happens and it occurs more than you think especially to unsuspecting sellers.

The problem is homeowners don’t know about it, aren’t aware or don’t care to discuss it because they are embarrassed.

How would you feel if something you worked hard for was swiped when you turned your back or if someone went a step further and had a master plan with a few friends or family members?

It really boggles my mind how far someone will go to get stuff for free at the risk of getting arrested and charged with theft at a garage sale.

How bad do they really need it?

Typically garage sale prices are already super low so why does someone steal? Because they can.

I’m the type of person who would say if someone really wants something and takes it, so be it. That’s not always the case for others who hold a garage sale especially when they are selling high-ticket or vintage items.

I might whistle a different tune myself if I was in the position of my neighbour who held a garage sale last weekend only to find that someone had committed a garage sale theft right under his nose, literally.

In the coming weeks Mrs. CBB and I were planning to host a garage sale at our house because we have far too much stuff.

We’ve sold plenty over the past two months on Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji raking in almost a $2000 in cash in most cases making more than what we purchased items for.

There are always those items that don’t sell online such as baby blankets, odd toys that aren’t name brand along with shoes and clothes that are hard to find a target audience.

As seasoned garage sale lovers we’ve always did the early morning trek around town looking for bargains in which I’ve shared many tips for all of you how to get the best deals.

One thing I haven’t talked about is garage sale theft because I haven’t experienced it however after talking to my neighbour I’m pretty much in the loop.

I wanted to share his experience with you so YOU too don’t become a victim of garage sale theft.

Don’t Turn Your Back

So, here’s what went down.

It was a bright sunny morning and as I left with the family to go to my sister-in-laws for breakfast I noticed our neighbour was hosting a garage sale.

He had 3 long tables set out and plenty of stuff on the ground including bits at the end of his garage.

I went over to small chat and then went on my way when the Mrs. finally made her way out of the house.

When I got back he was wrapping up so I thought I’d check in to see how he made out selling and that’s when he told me the story of someone walking off with his snow blower (snow thrower).

NO, I thought to myself, not the snowblower.

I loved that thing only because him and I would help each other out in the winter and it sure did come in handy. It wasn’t a big one but enough to do a small driveway and sidewalk.

Over the years Mrs. CBB would tell me to just buy one but I’ve refused because I really haven’t needed it.

As the morning drew more customers in one particular person started chatting him up about a lawnmower that he was selling.

The mower was off to the side on the front lawn and as he was testing it and in essence being distracted another guy walked off with his snow blower which was tucked away on the side of the garage near the garage door entrance.

How creepy is that? Well, it happens and just like theft at open houses with realtors happen people will stop at nothing to get what they want when the opportunity presents itself.

Anyways he sold the lawn mower and lots of other bits and with the money he collected he now has to buy a snow blower. What about house insurance?

Well, the deductible doesn’t even make it worth it for him so he’d rather just spend a couple of hundred dollars and be done with it.

Keep in mind that you are inviting these people onto your property which means that even if they get hurt they may be able to sue you.

Having home insurance is more important than you think although buying a house without is not an option in Canada.

When you least expect it something happens and who gets the tail end of it, YOU! Be aware.

Garage Sale Theft Tips

Below are some of the sly ways garage theft occurs and if you or someone you know is planning on hosting a garage sale, yard sale or any type of sale, be aware.

If you have a security camera on hand you may want to make sure it is turned on.

Just have a look at how easily this lady walks off with something from a garage sale.


Garage Sale Theft

As  you just witnessed in this mind-boggling video garage sale theft happens and will do as soon as you turn your back.

The lady was stuffing an item in her bag right in front of everyone even having someone stop her to tell her that everything was fine when an item fell to the ground.

Then, she just walked away and no one blinked an eye.

Money Swap and Fake Money

Deal with one customer at a time.

Pay attention when you are taking money from your garage sale customers and treat it as if you were working the counter in a shop.

It’s imperative to do this because there are plenty of people who will go out of their way to play stupid if they get caught handing you a $5 bill instead of a $10 or a quarter instead of a Loonie for something.

People want to shop fast and some too fast which means they will hand you money when you are talking to someone else and that’s when they might scam you.

Another way a money scam might come into play is with fake money (oh yes!) or telling you they gave you a $20 when they only gave you $5. In this case ALWAYS keep the money out that they gave you on a table or in your hands.

Having a wrap around money pouch or someone at a table who takes money is a smarter way to sell. If you do opt for the table with a second garage sale host always keep in contact with pricing but this could get tricky.

If you are the only person hosting a garage sale NEVER leave a money-box unattended. In fact, don’t even have one and opt for the fanny pack or wrap around apron or work-pouch to keep your money safe.

When you find your money pot is increasing consider taking the higher priced bills into the house for safe keeping. This way you have less opportunity for theft and mix-up.

House Theft

Lock all of your doors including the front and back doors and the windows so no one can get in and out of your house even when you are on the premises.

The garage door is just as easy to get in when you are distracted. One of the most popular ways to get out of it is to say they were looking for a bathroom. Be Aware.

Lock your vehicle

You probably won’t be surprised to find out that people will scan the inside of your vehicle for goods when you’re not looking.

They may come to the garage sale to see who the host is and then when he/she is not looking enter the vehicle if the doors are open.

Anything from wallets to purses and other valuables should be kept locked up inside the house.

Garage Sale Distractions

When it comes to resale of high-priced items or if someone spots something of interest but has no intentions of paying for it they may play the distraction game with you.

Typically this involves more than one person so always be aware of who is at your garage sale.

Garage sale theft is not something you might think would happen but when someone is waiting for opportunity they will sail on in.

What happens is the same that would happen at any other store, one person chats you up while the other is stashing goods or walking away from your garage sale with items in their hands. Always be aware.

High-Priced Item Theft

If you plan to sell DVD’s, CD’s take the discs out and put them in a separate spot like you’d find at many of the second-hand shops.

You may notice that all of their vintage or high-priced items are under lock and key in a display and that’s because people steal.

Jewellery is a hot ticket item to keep close as well and often having someone monitor a jewellery table is in your best interest.

Any expensive clothing you may want to hand on a clothing rack or even a drying rack close to the money table as well and not near the end of the driveway.

We’ve also seen homeowners who use a rope from tree to tree or other means to create a rack for clothing or other items.

For pricey shoes (have you seen the price of shoes these days?) whether it be for kids or adults only put one shoe out and keep the others in your garage or in a box for easy access.

Even items like electronics, phones, tools, cameras and camera lenses are popular garage sale theft items so make sure to keep them close to you and under a close eye.

Price Tag Swap or Missing Tag

Seems petty garage sale theft includes price tag swaps or ripping tags of items in hopes of getting a better deal.

If you’re worried about price tag theft consider a colour coordinated sticker system or a master list of prices especially for mid-higher priced items.

This means that you will have customers asking you what the price is for each colour but it may deter theft.

I’ll Be Back Promise

Don’t fall for the person who says they will go to the ATM to get money out because they didn’t bring enough and want to take the item with them.

If that’s the case tell them to go and come back and if the item is still available then they can buy it.

You should never hold an item only because they likely won’t come back and you may just miss a sale.

No one wants to take stuff back in the house. If the buyer doesn’t come prepared with money it’s not your problem.

Item Stuffing

If you plan to sell anything that zips up or that is boxed keep in mind that buyers may just stuff other items inside and then try to buy it.

When you checkout at just about any store have you noticed they open up zippers and bags to make sure nothing else was put inside?

Well, you need to do the same thing to protect yourself from garage sale theft.

Math Money Scam

Always have a calculator on hand if your math skills are not the best or you get easily distracted when adding up numbers in your head.

Never allow the customer to tell you how much their items cost otherwise you WILL get scammed.

Do it yourself.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all cash out at the stores that way?

Not really great for the store but a win for the scamming customer.

Be Aware At All Times

If you’re worried about your high-priced items do the same thing as we have and sell them online and save other items that are lower in price for your garage sale.

Alternatively if you don’t want to go through the hassle of a garage sale consider donating it to families or people in need.

Discussion: Have you ever hosted a garage sale only to find out you were the victim of garage sale theft? Share your story below in the comments. What other garage sale theft tips can you come up with?

CBB at Home

Hmm, could this week get any busier for us. Not only is Mrs. CBB spending most of her day on the phone dealing with utility companies, banks, lawyers and her mom’s illness she’s having to deal with watching our little guy who wants attention at all times.

It’s tough for us both right now and although at times we went to give up we keep pushing forward. We’re hoping that a light will shine down on this family so we can all sort things out and move on.

This week I managed to clean out my truck which was filled with crumbs from our little guy and I managed to wash his car seat so it’s in pristine condition for at least a day.

Gardening has been fun for me at least it gets my mind off of what is going on in our family. So far the herbs are coming up nicely and the grass is greener than green!

I managed to NOT burn the grass this year with fertilizer and decided to mix it with water first before spreading it around… BINGO! It didn’t matter what the instructions said to do every year I would burn the grass following them.

I would water the living heck out of the lawn and still find burnt patches in the morning,  not this year!

On that note I’m working on filling the driveway cracks and will be making the driveway look pretty again by sealing the driveway.

I don’t often find those fancy driveways that people pay a fortune for without weeds, cracked stone work or uneven finishes.

I still think sticking with asphalt was our best option and putting the $15,000 towards other renovations in the house.

Other than that this week was all about privacy in Canada with the GDPR in the EU deadline yesterday so you will notice a new privacy policy on the blog.

I’m in the midst of moving my email subscription to Mailerlite with my designer and unveiling a new blog design.

This may mean I will need you to re-subscribe to the blog which I hope each and every one  of you will do but I will keep you in the loop!

Happy Days to all!


CBB Published Posts

copycat starbucks pink drink ketoIf you have a question that you would like to ask me fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each question.

If you would like to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details!

Contact me for more info.

Top Post This Week: Free Money Saving Tools


Parenting and Home Life

how to grow an avocado tree 2

This was funny when I found this about blog about how to grow an avocado tree from seed because Mrs. CBB has been tossing her avocado seeds in a huge planter out front in hopes one would grow. I think I might get her to read this so she understand how to properly grow her avocado tree.


Send me a photo of your deals with the low-down on what you bought and how much you paid for it. Did you score some deals? Each entry gets you a chance to win gift cards at the end of the year. More than one prize!

silicone heart baking cups

Not sure if you’re doing the budget brag this year but thought I’d share anyway. I scooped up three dozen of these silicone baking cups for $1 a dozen. No more need to buy the paper ones! – PAT

Hi Mr.CBB and Fans!

garage sale deals Jen 1, 2018

Despite the rain we ventured out to see if we could still find some deals. We did! It seems the rain makes sellers give better deals.

Today’s deals:

  • Two picture frames and Sony headphones $4 (asking was $6)
  • Face cloths, hand towel, brand new shaving cream, brand new Doterra essential oils $2 (the oils alone are worth over $45!)
  • Two adult colouring books $1 (asking was $2)
  • Vaseline lotion and Paw Patrol mini golf game $2.25 (asking was $3.25)
  • Tissues, wipes, fidget toy, painters tape, 3M hooks and recycle bin $.75

Total spent $10

Jen P.

Frugal Recipe Of The Week

chicken fried steak recipe

Not everyone can afford a juicy steak to throw on the grill so chicken can be a more affordable option especially when it goes on offer.

Over at Lettuce Indulge they have a wonderful looking and sounding Chicken Fried Steak that I wanted to share with everyone. It has to be crispy, right?

CBB Words of Wisdom

quote say yes to budgeting

Saturday Search Term Giggles

Every week I get tens of thousands of people who visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. (SIC) means I’ve copied the text exactly and it has spelling errors.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • How much discretionary income is needed to become well-off?– Hmm, well it depends on how much money you earn, how much debt you have and how you plan to invest your money.
  • Stockpiling in Canada in 1929’s –  That’s so random.
  • How much shoulda single person spend on groceries?– You SHOULDA …
  • No Frills selling stale dated products– Check the dates before you buy and if you don’t like it, return it. It’s that easy.
  • Secret society that will make someone rich– I’m seriously laughing my butt off!

Don’t forget to Follow me on Social Media and Subscribe to the blog.

Hey…if you see any mistakes let me know. I’m not an editor just a guy who likes to write and yes I make mistakes.

Note: Some posts on CBB may be paid and written by me and is of my opinion of a product/service that I’ve tried and used before. Please read my privacy policy and disclaimer.

Share to...

Similar Posts