This is the time of year many of us throw a yard sale to clear out our junk. It's also the time of year we shop garage and yard sales, hoping to score a bargain.
But some finds are no bargain at all.
Good finds are possible, but be careful
We all dream of a garage sale find, like an old sterling silver tea set or vintage oil lamp for a couple of bucks.
But a report in Readers Digest magazine says beware, because some of the deals you find on your neighbor's driveway could jeopardize your family's safety.
The magazine released a list of things to never buy at garage sale.
Don't buy these used:
- Bicycle helmets
- Child car seats
In all three cases they could be damaged or cracked internally, and unsafe.
Also don't buy:
- Beds: Think bedbugs. Enough said.
- Cribs: Too many have been recalled. All drop-sided cribs are now illegal for sale.
- Adult shoes: Health and poor fitting issues should be considered, unless we are talking about a rarely worn pair of Manolo's or similar designer wear.
- Hats: Because no one washes hats. Ever.
- Swimsuits: Because that's like buying used underwear. Would you buy used undershorts from some guy you met at a bus stop? Didn't think so. Same for swimsuits.
Used electronic items to avoid
Avoid laptop computers and HDTVs, unless they are almost free. All old laptops have been banged up or dropped. If it was trouble-free, they wouldn't be selling it.
And fixing an HDTV can cost more than a new one. Chances are if they are selling an HDTV, there's something wrong with it. Then it becomes your problem.
The bottom line: If it's a safety-related item, don't buy it used, period. Think of it like buying the used seatbelts out of a wrecked and totaled car.
This is one time where paying for quality pays off.
And that way, you don't waste your money.