Let’s Talk

shutterstock_155981243During the summer, garage and estate sale signs seem to pop up faster than a field of dandelions on a sunny day. While holding a garage sale is a great way to unload some of your possessions and make some extra cash, if you are not careful you might unwittingly sell some of your family’s personal information. In order to safely prepare for your next garage or estate sale, consider the following tips:

Be Careful with Computers & Other Electronic Devices

Chances are good you have at least one old computer gathering dust in the garage. Before you sell it at your garage sale, be sure you remove any personal data from the hard drive. The last thing you want is for the new owner to have access to your bank or credit card data. How To Geek offers easy-to-follow advice on preparing your computer, tablet or phone before selling it. Back up any personal data from the old computer and then wipe the drive clean.

Check Family Heirlooms for Personal Information

If you plan to sell family heirlooms at your garage sale, take some time to inspect each one to be sure it doesn’t include names, birthdates and other info. An example of this: an old family Bible that might contain notes about the birthdates and birthplaces of many of your relatives. Access to a list of personal information like this would be like striking gold to an identity thief. Also, if you would like to sell old books, check the first few pages and black out any names and other personal information. Since people often write the full names of people in photos, remove any pictures from old frames you want to sell. Despite your best efforts, thieves may still gain access to some of your family’s personal information; as an additional layer of protection, invest in identity theft monitoring.

Remove Name Labels from Kids’ Items

Yes, garage sales are a perfect way to get rid of that old bassinet, rocker swing, mobile and zillions of gently used onesies. And yes, in a perfect world your precious child’s outgrown items will be purchased by other parents. But identity thieves can also use a child’s name to open a credit card or other nefarious activities. Remove name labels from jackets, toys and children’s books.

Additional Tips

Garage sales can be busy and chaotic. In order to make sure that bad guys are not walking off with some of your family heirlooms or your cash, you must be extra vigilant. Enlist the help of a few friends and family members and assign each of them a job — for example, your best friend can be cashier, and instead of an easily stolen cash box, have him or her keep the money in a fanny pack or money belt. Have a family member walk around and organize your items while keeping a sharp eye on shoppers. Conduct all sales in full view of others. If you are selling grandma’s antique couch, pay someone to help you haul it out front rather than inviting strangers into your home.


Selling Your Vehicle: Tips to Close the Deal With Parents of Teenagers

May 23, 2015

Many people are skipping the dealer and choosing to sell their used cars privately. Some of the target market will be parents who want to purchase a used car for their teen. As a private seller you need to learn how to close the deal with these parents and offer assurances that their teen is […]

Read the full article →

Three Home Improvements that Deliver Great Value

April 24, 2015

When a remodeling frenzy hits a town, neighborhood or even a circle of friends, kitchens and bathrooms are often the targets. However, smart homeowners refuse to make a quick decision. They consider the lifetime benefits of any project, including the added convenience, pleasure, comfort and aesthetics as well as the increased value.These three diverse home […]

Read the full article →

Services provided in a professional and expeditious fashion!

April 15, 2015

Description Of Work: Removed and auctioned personal property from storage units and home for an estate. Comments: The services were provided in a professional and expeditious fashion.  Everyone we dealt with was courteous and professional.  We received a detailed inventory and accounting.  I would not hesitate to recommend Four Sales. Shari S. ~ Vienna, VA (April 2015)

Read the full article →

4 Ways to Protect Your Backyard From Mother Nature

March 7, 2015

You’ve invested a lot into your backyard, including time and money spent on designing, landscaping, cleaning and weed pulling. Hundreds of record-low temperatures are being set across the country as the Siberian Express continues to pummel the central and eastern United States. Don’t let the winter freeze ruin all your hard work. Use these tips […]

Read the full article →

Top Tips to Protect Your Home & the Valuables in It

February 24, 2015

Manila folders, photo albums and plastic wrap—these were the typical methods used years ago to protect our sensitive files, family photos and cherished items. Of course, homes and their contents should be protected by lock and key, security systems and even a pet dog—but these may no longer be enough. Go further to protect for […]

Read the full article →

7 Steps to Take if Your Home is Burglarized

February 10, 2015

A home burglary can leave you feeling betrayed. Even if you carry a hefty homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, there’s still a feeling of emptiness that can’t be explained. While it may take some time for the emotional wounds to heal, here are some immediate steps to take to soften the financial blow: Step 1: […]

Read the full article →

Staging Your House To Sell

January 30, 2015

Staging a home for sale is not the same as designing its interior for day-to-day living. As sales people, we are creating a visual story that will ultimately result in happy customers. According to the National Realtors Association, to best sell a house, we need it to be neat, neutral and detached from emotion. This […]

Read the full article →

4 All-American Guns for Collectors & Sellers

January 20, 2015

Firearms left to family members as part of an estate require a lot of paperwork to make a legal transfer. Depending on your state of residence, private sales can also be tricky, or as simple as exchanging the merchandise for cash. Before buying firearms from an estate sale, make sure you are familiar with state […]

Read the full article →

Home Insurance: Upgrades That’ll Cost You

January 13, 2015

When you decide to remodel your home, one of the main things to consider is how the change will add to the existing aesthetics. However, interior designers, as well as homeowners need to practice caution when using certain materials. Some materials and projects may add charm, but with a high price tag on your home […]

Read the full article →