Protecting Adult Materials

If you're planning to sell adult-themed materials at your garage sale, it's good to remember that there will be a lot of children coming through your yard or garage (unless you've made it clear on your advertisements that it is not a kid-friendly sale).  Although you're under no obligation to protect children from the adult nature of your items, it's a common courtesy to do what you can to prevent young eyes from being corrupted.

A plastic doll on a lingerie.Put the products in a box and close it well, with a warning written on the top.  Something fun and friendly, but definitely informative, is the most useful.  Try, "Not For Little Eyes!" or "Adult Access Only!"  Don't make the box seem inviting to young ones -- meaning colorful markers or stickers are probably out -- but don't make it so plain that everyone goes digging around in it.  A piece of paper on the outside with a rating marker (like "R-Rated Materials") will also do.

You can take a page out of adult magazine publishers' books and wrap the products in paper.  Write in plain, safe terms on the front what is contained in the paper, and then children are not likely to just tear open someone else's property without asking.  This does take a lot of work, so you may just want to paper up the stuff you'll be putting on top of the box, keeping some extra paper handy in case someone buys those items and exposes the ones underneath.

Mark off a section of your sale and make sure it is clearly labeled "Adult."  Move things out of the way so children will not accidentally stumble into it, and put anything colorful and interesting out of sight of little ones.  You can even draw them away intentionally by grouping toys and games on the opposite side of your sale, so they won't even have a reason to enter the adult section.

No matter how you organize the sale, put the objects up high, out of reach of small hands and eyes.  You may even want to set up a special section of a table where you layer more things (boxes or boards or something similar) underneath so that youngsters won't even be able to pull the box down to see what's inside.

When parents arrive with children, quietly give them a verbal warning.  Let them know where the adult materials are, so they can keep their kids away from that area.

Have you had any trouble selling touchy materials?  Tell us your story, and how you handled it!  Send us an email at; we'd love to blog about it.

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