There are some things you should never buy at a yard sale. While some of them are common sense, a few items may surprise you, and anything on this list is a sure no-go in terms of purchasing. Any yard sale items worth money won’t be found on this list, and might be saved for an article down the road. In any case, here’s how to avoid any garage sale horror stories from happening to you and your family. Check it out!.
One item that you should never purchase from a yard sale is a mattress. Even if it seems to look all right on the outside, you never quite know what’s going on inside. Mold, mildew, and pests are all very real concerns when buying a secondhand mattress. It’s best not to gamble with things to not sell at a yard sale. Otherwise any yard sale can probably save you a few bucks and you might be able to make out all right.
2. Electronics and Power Tools
The problem with most electric based yard sale items is that they might not work. In the case of electronics, even plugging it in and having a test run might not reveal a real issue with the item in question. A simple scratch on the lens might convince you that the DVD player could work, until you try to put in a new DVD.
Keep in mind:
When purchasing power tools, make sure that they work as intended first. The main factor here is generally going to be battery life if they are wireless, and cord issues if they are not. Any power tools with faulty wiring should not be considered for use.
“Thank you, yard sales, for being the perfect way to say to your neighbors: 'We think we're important enough to charge money for our garbage." - Jimmy Fallon
3. Bike Helmets
While a bicycle helmet is always a good idea to wear, the fact of the matter is that they are only designed to protect you from impact once.
Along the same idea as a baby stroller or car seat, a single impact can destroy the structural integrity, even if the damage appears hidden. So it’s a good idea to exclude this item from any potential yard sale purchases.
If you are looking at any of these safety items as a possible acquisition, be absolutely certain that they’ve never been in an accident, and preferably never used. Generally it’s not worth the risk to save a few bucks. If anything dangerous does occur, you’ll be happy you listened followed this advice.
4. Adult Shoes
Unless they were for a child, shoes should never be purchased at a garage sale. Even with style and durability issues aside, it’s never a good idea to wear shoes that another person had prolonged use with. Otherwise, baby and toddler foot garments probably weren’t worn long enough to have any health risks involved, so in this case if the shoe fits, buy it.
Because things like Teflon and aluminum already weren’t considered safe to ingest in large amounts, older pots and pans are usually at the greatest risk of having trace amounts leak into food.
This is especially compounded if you detect scratches, stains, or burn marks on the piece. Be safe and purchase your cookware new, never used. Conversely, tupperware garage sale prices tend to favor the savvy consumer and are perfectly safe to incorporate in your kitchen.
6. Baby Items
For many parents, it’s obvious that you should only purchase new items for your newborn. If you’re thinking of stocking up on cheap yard sale items however, there are a few health and safety concerns that you should be aware of. As previously mentioned, a child car seat is only good for surviving a crash once. So if the device has been through an accident before, it may have weakened the chair, thus defeating the purpose.
Otherwise purchasing used bottles at a yard sale might contain the chemical agent BPA, which the FDA banned in 2012. And many baby cribs have been recalled over the years thanks to the ever-changing safety standards set for infants.
7. More Items to Never Buy
Whenever you’re at a yard sale, make sure to cross examine any of the following items on the sale table. In the effort of avoiding any garage sale horror stories, second guess everything “at risk” on a table. Either give it another look or just disregard it altogether.
- Old paint
- Car seats
- Sleeping bags
- Old food
- Holiday lights
- Baby bottles
- DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes
- Boxes of old LPs
- Upholstered furniture
- Stuffed animals
- Board games
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