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Update in OP: For those who are covid cautious: to hold garage sale or not to hold garage sale?


Loowit
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*Update*

For those who might be interested - Cases have really surged here and very few people in our community are taking it seriously.  There were hundreds of people that came through the neighborhood, though our cul-de-sac had less.  I only saw 2 or 3 people with a mask on.  We decided to put out a couple of tables of things along with a sign for people pay what they wished.  We put a can on a stool for people to drop in money.  It worked really well.  We didn't make much money, but since we were just trying to clear out junk that was fine.  We took some of the stuff left over to the dump, and the rest went to Goodwill which is now taking donations again with limited hours.

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That is the question.

We have a neighborhood garage sale every summer.  It is a huge thing with maps of who is hold a sale, port-a-potties brought in, and food vendors.  It is coming up in two weeks.

Last year we wanted nothing to do with it.  Our neighborhood is not known for being very covid cautious at all, and in fact many think it is either overblown or a "plandemic".

This year we signed up to participate.  We are committed to paying the fee, which is only $5 and the organizer will come collect sometime that day.  Our whole family is fully vaccinated, numbers in our county were lowering, and things were looking better.  However, in the last couple weeks numbers are going back up rapidly and our percent positive rate is around 14%.  Most people do not mask unless required.  So now I am thinking it would be a bad idea to hold a garage sale at our house.  DH is high risk if he were to get covid, it could be pretty bad.  DD is leaving for college a few days after the sale, and doesn't want to get sick.  DS has several specialist appointments we have been waiting months for and is holding up his enlistment.  And on and on, like there is ever a good time to get sick...

We have a bunch of stuff we would like to get rid of that is just wasting space and we will never use.  I would just donate it to a local goodwill or something, but no one in our area is taking donations at the moment. We could just do a dump run, but that would be such a waste, throwing away things that are perfectly usable, we just don't need.

We have been trying to come up with a safe way to do this and have a couple ideas.  Since we are just trying to off load things, can we just put out the stuff on tables and say, "free to a good home"  or would that be considered bad form since others are trying to make money?  Could we have a coffee can set out with a sign saying, "Pay what you think it is worth. No change available."?  Or would wearing masks, having hand sanitizer available, and maybe a fan blowing behind us be enough if others aren't masking (and most, if not all won't be masking)?  Should we just give up on the idea, go to the dump, and leave out a sign about not being able to participate after-all due to the plague?  Is there some other option we are not thinking of that would keep us relatively safe, get rid of the stuff, and not contribute to dumping perfectly usable things in a landfill?

Edited by Loowit
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Holding a garage sale outside seems fairly safe to me, but it sounds as if you are just not interested in taking on any unnecessary exposure right now.  

I'd put the stuff out with a Free sign,. but perhaps just not on the same day at the garage sale?  Anything left over goes to the dump.  But if your neighborhood is like mine, there won't be anything left over -- people love free stuff!

 

Edited by JennyD
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1 minute ago, mommyoffive said:

Are you guys vaccinated? 

Even if you were, I wouldn't do it.  All the issues that you guys have with health and things going on, I wouldn't risk it.  

Put out the stuff for free on the day of the sale and it will disappear.  

We are vaccinated.  Four of us with Pfizer but DH got J&J because it was what was available to him with his time constraints due to work.

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I always have a free table/box at my garage sales. As the garage sale day wears on, I fling stuff in the free box as it becomes clear it's not going to sell and I don't feel like packing it back into the house. What I would do in your case, since you're ok with just letting stuff go, is set up 1 table in the driveway marked "Free". Add to it hourly or so as stuff gets taken. That way, your neighbors won't get too upset with you (you only had the one free table!), but you can add stuff to it all day. It won't work if you have skads of stuff, but it'll cut down on your donate pile quite nicely I think. You wouldn't even have to have anything else, just the one free table to monitor and add to.  

Edited by historically accurate
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I'm not a fan of garage sales in general but if this is an opportunity to get rid of stuff you don't need, what about putting it all out with a jar for $$, and a sign saying "pay what you wish."   Some people won't pay, most likely. But I bet most would put in something.  

There is a woman in my neighborhood who grows flowers and often has bouquets out for sale. She has a box for money, and the bouquets are priced. I've seen people do that with tomatoes and zucchini too. Maybe it would work?

Edited by marbel
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I’d do a “free” table and not worry about what others are doing. 
 

As for the garage sale, with a 14% positivity rating, little masking (and, from the sound of it, probably a low vax community) *and* a high risk family member (regardless of vax)….hell no.  

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For what it is worth it would never occur to me to be mad at my neighbors for giving things away at a garage sale day.  Not at all.  And I wouldn't put a thought into it of if they got mad at me for doing it.  I put things on the curb every month to just give away.  

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Bigger items could be marked with a price (make it ridiculously low so it’s sure to go quickly this limiting exposure & time spent).

Smaller items mark free with a purchase. 
I’ve used this technique when I had small children and my dh wasn’t available to help. I was sold out in 2 hours. It was a beautiful thing and I think I made $75. Yeah, I easily could have made over $200 but I had my sanity, very little time committed, and no clean up of unsold items! 

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I would just put stuff out for free.  You'll be on the map so it'd be nice if you had your stuff out and didn't waste people's time coming to you, kwim?

Your neighbors shouldn't care. It's not like you're all selling the same items and they'll lose a sale.  They could come take some stuff for their own sale!

 

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Just now, happi duck said:

I would just put stuff out for free.  You'll be on the map so it'd be nice if you had your stuff out and didn't waste people's time coming to you, kwim?

Your neighbors shouldn't care. It's not like you're all selling the same items and they'll lose a sale.  They could come take some stuff for their own sale!

 

That's an idea. If you have a friend in the neighborhood (who you trust enough to work with), give them your stuff and let them sell it and keep the profits.

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I would not spend time mingling right now, even if it is outside. Too much risk. I see a few options:
 

1) You could ask neighbors ahead of time if they’d be interested in adding your stuff to their sales, telling them to keep any proceeds, because something has come up and you can no longer participate.

2) You could price things and put out a box where people can put in money. (Sometimes “pay what you want” makes people have to think too hard and they’d rather see a price. Or you could have a suggested price that would at least give them an idea.)

3) Usually at the end of the day or the next day lots of stuff that hasn’t sold is put out for free, so you could put your stuff out then. Of course you risk being stuck with a lot of stuff. 
 

 

Edited by bibiche
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  • Loowit changed the title to Update in OP: For those who are covid cautious: to hold garage sale or not to hold garage sale?

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