East Texans share tips to prevent yard sale theft - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texans share tips to prevent yard sale theft

East Texas Yard Sale (Source: KLTV Staff) East Texas Yard Sale (Source: KLTV Staff)
Matt Oxler says he uses his past experience in retail to run his garage sales like a store. (Source: KLTV Staff) Matt Oxler says he uses his past experience in retail to run his garage sales like a store. (Source: KLTV Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Running a yard sale is just as hectic as running your own store for a day. You have to open extra early and be attentive to the cash register. However, unless you wire your yard sale with security cameras, your weekend event is probably wide open to thieves.

Matt Oxler says he uses his past experience in retail to run his garage sales like a store.

“When they come in, I greet them. I talk with them, ask them what they're looking for, [and] tell them about the specials. I just watch them. I, in essence, sell to them rather than let them just wander around and pick up whatever they want,” he said.

Oxler says he focuses on paying attention to detail.

“We sell bags and suitcases. When they check out, you open it; you look through it making sure they're not hiding anything,” he said.

Shaunda Stetson recruits her family members to help at her annual yard sales.

“We try to have one person always at the money table for checkout and then the other people just kind of circling and reorganizing things, but also just keeping an eye and having a presence there so people know that we're watching our things,” she said.

But Stetson says preventing all types of theft is difficult.

“People take off price tags or they'll switch price tags, so maybe something is five dollars and they'll take it off and then come up and ask us. We're so busy that most of the time we'll say one dollar. Then, we end up losing four dollars on that item,” she said.

This year, Stetson says she’s trying something new.

“We just decided to use painter's tape because it's brighter. It's blue so you can see the tag easily and it sticks better than masking tape does,” she said.

To guard yourself from theft at your next yard sale, police say to interact with your customers, don't be distracted, place expensive items near your register, and keep your money close to you.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.
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