Does anyone have a good method to secure cash at market?

jebfarmMarch 13, 2013

Hello everybody -

The market that I participate in is starting up outside for the first time this year on April 6th! Hope we get good weather - it is an unpredictable weather time of year, so I will have to be prepared for just about anything.
Last year I had a 'situation' where two young boys, maybe 10 or 12 years old were sort of hovering around the back of my stand and I am not sure, but they may have grabbed a handful of cash out of my cash box before they were asked to leave. What I could really use is a good idea to protect and secure my money and change at the market so that next time they don't just grab the whole box and run with it. There are police that are regularly at the market every Saturday - the market is held in a good part of town, but the neighborhood next door is not one of the best.
How do you bring your cash and change to the market? I greatly appreciate any response.

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we kind of wandered into this in the "trouble finding market" thread talking about urban markets.

I take about $60 in change (nickels, dimes, quarters, singles, fives and tens) and keep it in a fanny pack, with the coins in old pill bottles in the main compartment and the bills in the separate rear zippered compartment (against my body). As I take in money, I have the customer hold their bill(s) until I count out their change, then I take their money and hand them the change. Stick their bills in my pocket. When I run through the bills that I brought in the fanny pack, I pull all the bills out of my pocket(s), sort them into 1,5,10 (keep the bigger ones in my pocket) and put them in the fanny pack.

When I start packing up I put the fanny pack in the cab of the truck and lock it, then start loading the bed. When I get home I go through the fanny pack and sort out my change so I have the $60 mix to go to next market, and count out what's left to compare with the records of each sale I try to write down as I make them.

I do have a cash box but I haven't used it at market b/c it just seemed too easy to grab if I left it out, too hard to get into if I put it under my scale. But some people here have cash register drawers that I guess work well. If you have a printing calculator (like someone else was looking for and you keep the printout/receipt rather than giving to customers, that would help too.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Several vendors use a nail pouch, then keep the big bills in an inside pocket.

I've never had any trouble over the years, but there are usually more than 1 of us at the stand.

My husband uses his pocket on the pocket T-shirts.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 4:23PM
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We always have two people. The money box is on the tailgate of the truck and one of us sits on either side of it. No one walks behind us, other than family. If anyone insists on walking through there; I don't try to stop them, but I immediately go sit next to the cash box until they leave. Thieves don't want confrontation. They want you to turn your back and not notice them.

As a side job, I have worked event gates before and have dealt with large amounts of cash by myself. I keep the money on a table in front of me in a small plastic bin with a snap-on lid. It's open only when I need it to be, and then I snap the lid back on and don't turn my back on it.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 4:34PM
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I might just make myself an apron with 5 pockets (1 for pill bottles of coins, the others for 1,5,10 and "incoming", maybe another small pocket up top if I do a bib apron for "waiting for change"). Thanks or mentioning the nail pouch/carpenter's apron!

DS was helping me last summer so 1 of us could just handle food, the other money and I wouldn't have to keep sanitizing my hands, but he's got a lot of Scout things going on this summer so I'll be on my own again.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 8:57PM
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I also clip my bills together in groups of 10. so 1 clip of $1=$10 1 clip of $5=$50. Not only do they stay (don't blow away), but easier to count the box at end of day. When I get more than 2-3 clips of any 1 demonation, it gets either dropped in the bottom of the money box or goes into pockets (out of sight). I also lock the doors farthest away from where I'll be.

I love those medicine bottles for dimes/nickles/quarters. I don't deal with pennies and most people aren't interested in stealing them. This is how I determine how much change I need. I mark on the top of the bottle how much each bottle holds.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 9:26PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I have an outdoor apron with bug repellent built in. I bought two from Sierra Trading Post. I cannot find more online in a search though.
Several pockets and bottom only kind of apron with guides for the ties so it doesn't slip. One pocket gets ones and quarters, one pocket gets fives and tens, the smaller pockets get pens, twenties, checks, etc. I bought a vest from Duluth Trading to switch to but it is too warm compared with the apron.
I do not want to switch to a money box.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 9:01PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I have an old cash drawer from an old cash register. Not just the dividers, but the whole box with a drawer that rolls in and out. it is 6 inches tall about 2 feet by 2 feet square. Most time I have a little bunge strap holding it closed (especially when we are busy). When we don't have customers it is shut. I feel safer with this. With it being that big, it also holds our scales. I have thought about putting a bolt in the bottom of it and then putting a hole through the table, but I haven't thought I needed it. That way the shut drawer is bolted to the table.

Also, our market is on the Courthouse square. There are usually 3 or 4 law enforcement vehicles parked near by at all times. The county jail is also there. Not to mention several of our law enforcement officers frequent the market during the day.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 9:33PM
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After working in retail as a teenager, a cash box seems way to risky for market. I alway have my nail/carpenter apron, and if we have multiple people working the booth, then designated people wear aprons while other people bag produce, answer questions, etc. Each apron has a small notepad with starting bank & an area to write down sales.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:06PM
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never had this problem. we keep the metal cash box on the table with the stuff we sell and the scale. if i were concerned about it i would put a hole in the side of the box and get some braided wire and put it through the hole and tie a knot inside the box. tie the other end to the table leg.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:27PM
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I start with a two compartment nail apron. Bigger bills are transfered to the buttonable pocket of my cargo shorts/pants. Most everybody at our market prices stuff out in increments of a quarter, so there's not a lot of change making in regards to coins.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 12:05AM
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I used a bank pouch, with zipper, and it disappeared within seconds when I had my eye off it at a market in 2011. The best solution is to keep the money in your pocket, and when it gets to be too much, put some of it in a money belt which is strapped around you. Don't use cash boxes! Don't have purses lying around, these days there are thieves lurking EVERYWHERE.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 8:08PM
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To me, the smaller your pouch or whatever, the easier for someone to steal it. After all, if someone is going to try to stuff a large cash box down their pants, it would look very odd. We've only had it happen 1 time in the 12 years in one market.

Hold everything close.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 1:50PM
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I keep a couple throwing hatchets close along with a 15 lb sledge in 20 years of selling only had one person try to rob me and it was because I was last to leave...needless to say once the sledge hit him he changed his mind

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 2:44PM
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