List of things not to buy at Garage Sales

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List of things not to buy at Garage Sales

Do you agree with this list? Would you or have you bought things on this list at garage sales?

21 Things You Should Never Buy at Garage Sales | Reader's Digest

Helmets
Child car seats
Tires
Wet suits and swimsuits
Mattresses
Cribs
Laptops
Plasma TVs
Shoes
Sheets and Pillowcases
Baby Bottles
Worn plates, pots, and other cookware
DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes
Upholstered furniture
Clothes that require a tailored fit
Video Games
Fragrance or makeup (new or old!)
Stuffed animals
Blenders and other kitchen electronics
Running shoes
Hats

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For the most part I agree with that list. The exceptions are the electronics. We have bought plenty of video games, movies, small appliances etc. They have all been fine. And for newer tech items if you have done some research you know what games need new codes or what tvs are ok. And it is always ok to ask if something can be plugged in to see if it will work well.

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What's on the list? I keep getting an error and the only thing I see is the helmet.

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

What's on the list? I keep getting an error and the only thing I see is the helmet.

Updated OP with list. I have probably bought at least half of the things on the list at garage sales.

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I've bought dvds and cds with never a problem at a yard sale.

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Thanks Gloria.

Helmets - agree
Child car seats - agree
Tires - well, only if you're not diligent enough to check the tread wear
Wet suits and swimsuits - agree, for the ick factor
Mattresses - ditto above
Cribs - agree
Laptops - agree. if someone's selling it at a garage sale chances are it's slower than molasses and probably missing stuff.
Plasma TVs - agree.
Shoes - agree. kids shoes have already been molded to another kid's foot, and adult shoes might have like fungus and crap in them.
Sheets and Pillowcases - agree, again, ick factor
Baby Bottles - agree, even those ones that don't contain bpa. i would buy glass ones though
Worn plates, pots, and other cookware - agree. lots of plastics can't go in the dishwasher and I wouldn't buy non-stick cookware since that stuff peels off. if it was a sturdy steel pot or pan i'd probably buy it, same with ceramic or glass.
DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes - disagree. not a health issue and whatever, you spent a buck or two
Upholstered furniture - depends. with stains then nope, but clearly in mint condition i probably would
Clothes that require a tailored fit - disagree. if it fits you perfectly then all the better.
Video Games - disagree. ditto the DVDs
Fragrance or makeup (new or old!) - absolutely agree. gross. bacteria party
Stuffed animals - agree
Blenders and other kitchen electronics - IDK. maybe. Running shoes - agree
Hats - disagree.

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I agree with Claire'sMommy except for the sheets/pillowcases. I do buy these but for the most part to use for material for other projects.

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Things on the list I have bought at garage sales.

Helmets -its not hard to tell if a helmet is scratched up or broken
Child car seats
Wet suits and swimsuits - a washing machine does wonders. How do people use diaper services and things if this is ick?
Mattresses - stains and smells are easy to spot. Wouldn't buy one with stains
Cribs
Shoes - Many shoes sold at garage sales look brand new and were only worn a few times because they didn't fit well or grew out of them too fast
Sheets and Pillowcases -a washing machine does wonders. How do people use diaper services and things if this is ick?
Baby Bottles - easy to sterilize but would buy new nipples
Worn plates, pots, and other cookware - obviously wouldn't buy something scratched up other than that no problem
DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes - they are ususally so cheap that there isn't much risk
Upholstered furniture - again not hard to spot smells or stains
Video Games - again usually not much of a risk based on price
Fragrance or makeup (new or old!) - Have been to many sales where the person sold Mary Kay or Avon or something and has leftover stuff brand new.
Stuffed animals - Easy to tell if its dirty
Blenders and other kitchen electronics - Why not? Most places will let you check to make sure it works

Would have no problem buying a plasma TV as long as I could plug it in to see if it worked. Just haven't seen one at a garage sale when I needed one.

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I wouldn't buy any mattresses or stuffed animals, due to the risk of bugs. You don't need stains to have bed bugs.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Things on the list I have bought at garage sales.

Helmets -its not hard to tell if a helmet is scratched up or broken
Child car seats

I am sure this varies by area, but here it is illegal to buy or sell a used car seat at a garage sale.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

I wouldn't buy any mattresses or stuffed animals, due to the risk of bugs. You don't need stains to have bed bugs.

I'm not really worried about bed bugs in the neighborhoods where I go to garage sales.

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Helmets - No way!
Child car seats - Illegal in my state too (but wouldn't anyway)
Tires - No
Wet suits and swimsuits No
Mattresses - No Way!
Cribs - No way!
Laptops - maybe
Plasma TVs - maybe
Shoes - I'm okay with used shoes
Sheets and Pillowcases - don't know
Baby Bottles - No way!
Worn plates, pots, and other cookware - don't know
DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes - yeah. Usually they're cheap enough I can risk them being scratched
Upholstered furniture - No way!
Clothes that require a tailored fit - Not sure
Video Games - same as DVDs & CDs
Fragrance or makeup (new or old!) - No way!
Stuffed animals - not sure
Blenders and other kitchen electronics - maybe
Running shoes - maybe
Hats - maybe

Some of the items on the list are for health/safety reasons. I'm surprised people would actually try to sell some of them.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I'm not really worried about bed bugs in the neighborhoods where I go to garage sales.

We don't really have much of a bedbug issue around here either; however, I didn't realize how easy it is for them to spread.

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Jeez, are Margaret and I the only paranoid ones? Wink Maybe paranoid isn't the right word. Over zealous maybe?

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Nope. I am with ya. I get skeeved out pretty easily. And although it is easy to see scratches on safety equipment, that is one place I don't ever buy used. I used to be a climber and that equipment is very strong but you simply don't know what stresses it has been through. I always err on the cautious side. Plus, carseats here have an "expiration date," for what is legal.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I'm not really worried about bed bugs in the neighborhoods where I go to garage sales.

As much as I like a healthy dose of elitism, I think that its misplaced in this case.

  • 95 percent of U.S. based professional pest management companies have encountered a bed bug infestation in the past year.
  • Prior to 2000, only 25 percent of respondents had encountered a bed bug infestation.
  • Bed bugs are a much greater problem in urban and suburban areas with larger populations of people who live close together and interact in enclosed spaces on a regular basis. Because of the bed bugs' ability to "hitchhike" on people and their belongings, these living environments will continue to see higher infestation occurrences than those living in rural areas. According to the survey, 52 percent of pest management companies report treating bed bug infestations in rural areas compared to 71 percent in urban and 80 percent in suburban areas.
  • Bed bugs are THE most difficult pest to treat, according to 76 percent of survey respondents, more so than cockroaches, ants and termites.
  • As for where infestations occur, residences top the list with 89 percent of pest professionals treating bed bug infestations in apartments/condos and 88 percent treating bed bug infestations in single-family homes. Respondents also report other common areas, with 67 percent treating bed bug infestations in hotels/motels, 35 percent in college dormitories, 9 percent on various modes of transportation, 5 percent in laundry facilities, and 4 percent in movie theatres.

I agree with the list.

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I have never known or even heard of anyone that had bed bugs here.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I have never known or even heard of anyone that had bed bugs here.

I doubt many people brag about it.

Orkin Pest Control says last year, the DFW area ranked seventh in the nation when it comes to number of bed bug complaints.
That’s a dramatic rise from 2010, when it ranked 50th.

North Texas’ Bed Bug Infestation Growing At Alarming Rate ? CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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Yep bed bugs do not know money or neighborhoods. Once they are in they're in.

You can't sell used mattresses here. That I know. I'm not sure on car seats or helmets though. Although I would never buy those used.

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Curious why people say no way to cribs? I have never bought one, but will be selling mine when we are done with it. I know tons that are sold after the baby is grown.

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For cribs, there are just so many recalls that I think it's hard to keep up with. The drop down sides are iffy at best and after a particularly rambunctious child has been in one, screws and bolts can shear.

But for me, there is also the peeing and pooping and puking and chewing on, etc.

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"ftmom" wrote:

Curious why people say no way to cribs? I have never bought one, but will be selling mine when we are done with it. I know tons that are sold after the baby is grown.

It is also illegal here I believe to sell a used crib. The reason is that once it is used, the manufacture does not have a way to notify you there is a recall. Also, years ago the bars were far apart and a baby could get stuck or hang themselves on the bars. There are strict regulations about how far apart the bars can be and other safety standards that need to be followed. If you buy a crib used, you do not know if the crib follows those standards.

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I have a plan for bed bugs:

Wait till a really cold snap, pack our bags and leave them outside for a day or two, go to a hotel with the kids, turn off the heat and leave the windows open for a few days (with taps running). They cant handle the extreme cold that we get here Smile

Having said that, I am actually really bed bug paranoid (especially in the summer) cause they are gross, but they havent made it to our part of the country yet.

I would never buy a carseat or helmet, and I am totally a shoe snob for my kids and would never do second hand except prewalkers for them, but I might buy a pair of fancy, out for dinner shoes for myself if I liked them enough. And why would I ever buy more stuffies.

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On the bed bug front, I am totally paranoid about it. A hotel here was recently found to be completely infested with them. I also know of a small private college that had them. The hotel was permanently shut down and the college had to completely get rid of all their furniture in that dorm and pay a TON of money to have the problem fixed. Because I know that they have been found in this area, we are extra careful about it.

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"ftmom" wrote:

I have a plan for bed bugs:

Wait till a really cold snap, pack our bags and leave them outside for a day or two, go to a hotel with the kids, turn off the heat and leave the windows open for a few days (with taps running). They cant handle the extreme cold that we get here Smile

That would not work here, we get tons of cold -40C every winter Sad but it would freeze everything and damage so much.

With helmets, my first thought was bike helmets and I know at least in Canada there are now warnings not to use beyond 2 summers due to UV breakdown. Funny thing with me being a huge hockey fan I never thought about hockey helmets but I would not buy that either.

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Bed Bugs I believe are normally killed by heat not cold.

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Hey! Dont knock my plan, it helps me sleep at night! Bed bugs seriously skeeve me out.

Heat is usually used, because you have to reach and maintain very low temperatures to kill them with cold.

You would need to remove your electronics, and leave the hot water running, but I cant see what else would be damaged by the cold. Maybe I am missing something?

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"mom2robbie" wrote:

That would not work here, we get tons of cold -40C every winter Sad but it would freeze everything and damage so much.

With helmets, my first thought was bike helmets and I know at least in Canada there are now warnings not to use beyond 2 summers due to UV breakdown. Funny thing with me being a huge hockey fan I never thought about hockey helmets but I would not buy that either.

You wouldn' know it this year though. So far our winter's been a joke. I heard that cedar oil kills bed bugs too.

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"ftmom" wrote:

Curious why people say no way to cribs? I have never bought one, but will be selling mine when we are done with it. I know tons that are sold after the baby is grown.

I have bought and sold cribs before. People here do it all the time. It has been so long since the laws changed on the slat size I doubt if you could even find a crib that old.

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I am totally bed bug paranoid-- since I travel a great deal and most hotels have had an infestation of at least one room....if not more. I have things I do in a hotel room before I even open my suitcase (rip off all sheets, inspect behind the headboard, look under mattresses, etc) and I never ever keep my suitcase near anything soft (always in the bathroom on tile/marble!) I'm so scared to bring them home.

(www.bedbudregistry.com)-- turns out the more expensive hotels see them just as often as the cheap places, since many people pick them up while on international travel. Ick.Ick.Ick.

I agree with the list.....

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I am totally bed bug paranoid-- since I travel a great deal and most hotels have had an infestation of at least one room....if not more. I have things I do in a hotel room before I even open my suitcase (rip off all sheets, inspect behind the headboard, look under mattresses, etc) and I never ever keep my suitcase near anything soft (always in the bathroom on tile/marble!) I'm so scared to bring them home.

(www.bedbudregistry.com)-- turns out the more expensive hotels see them just as often as the cheap places, since many people pick them up while on international travel. Ick.Ick.Ick.

I agree with the list.....

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"boilermaker" wrote:

I am totally bed bug paranoid-- since I travel a great deal and most hotels have had an infestation of at least one room....if not more. I have things I do in a hotel room before I even open my suitcase (rip off all sheets, inspect behind the headboard, look under mattresses, etc) and I never ever keep my suitcase near anything soft (always in the bathroom on tile/marble!) I'm so scared to bring them home.

(www.bedbudregistry.com)-- turns out the more expensive hotels see them just as often as the cheap places, since many people pick them up while on international travel. Ick.Ick.Ick.

I agree with the list.....

Have you seen this? I would totally get one if I traveled a lot.
Bed bugs: use heat to kill them in your stuff with a Packtite

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

You wouldn' know it this year though. So far our winter's been a joke.

We had a week of -40C weather, far too much for me... it has been a weird winter though.

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"ftmom" wrote:

You would need to remove your electronics, and leave the hot water running, but I cant see what else would be damaged by the cold. Maybe I am missing something?

Walls, flooring, carpeting could all be damaged, electrical wiring...

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"mom2robbie" wrote:

Walls, flooring, carpeting could all be damaged, electrical wiring...

I am so with you about not trying to let your house freeze. Smile

I have seen it. My friend's apartment, where she had the upper floor and college kids had the lower. Over xmas, she left with her heat turned down and then they did. . . but they turned it off. Broken pipes, Electronic nightmare scenario as they left everything plugged in. Every single houseplant turned to blackened rot. Drywall, carpet, sub-floor, all damaged. Sad story.

Please don't try to freeze them out. A toilet drain busting is not a good solution to clean out something else that is icky.

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I bought a helmet from a garage sale for ds, but I also knew the lady selling. My Mum bought a car seat for her car from a garage sale but again from friends of the family. I bought sheets for DS yesterday from someone selling, they had been freshly washed but I ran them through a boiling care wash with nappisan anyway and hung where they could get a bit of sun to dry.

Yes if I didn't know people for certain things I wouldn't buy them, but the helmet and car seat I felt ok about because of knowing the sellers.

We also bought DS's cot secondhand, I checked it met the current standards and we had to buy a mattress for it anyway so none of that worried me or grossed me out.

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Geez people, you are really raining on my parade here Smile It was really not a well thought out solution, but I did figure the house should be able to take it, since it would be better than if the power went out, which happens about 10 times a winter, though usually not for more than 5-6 hours. I did think about the electronics (take with) and the pipes (keep trickle of hot water on), but never considered the toilet (guess I could drain it though).

Again, that really surprises me about the rest though. Our crawl space isnt insulated, so I would suspect our sub floor gets pretty cold whenever we go away and turn the heat down, and I know for a fact that our drywall gets pretty darn cold (it actually forms ice when we run the humidifier). But that isnt as cold as I am thinking I guess. Oh, and carpet is icky! We dont have that stuff in our house Smile

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"ange84" wrote:

I bought a helmet from a garage sale for ds, but I also knew the lady selling. My Mum bought a car seat for her car from a garage sale but again from friends of the family. I bought sheets for DS yesterday from someone selling, they had been freshly washed but I ran them through a boiling care wash with nappisan anyway and hung where they could get a bit of sun to dry.

Yes if I didn't know people for certain things I wouldn't buy them, but the helmet and car seat I felt ok about because of knowing the sellers.

We also bought DS's cot secondhand, I checked it met the current standards and we had to buy a mattress for it anyway so none of that worried me or grossed me out.

Yea, the crib thing still puzzles me. It is easy enough to check the safety regs. A pop can shouldnt fit between the slats, and drop sides are out. As long as it was sturdy beyond that I would be happy.

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It's not just the slats. My oldest had the right slats, no drop sides but it got recalled when she was 2 because they found that the it could collapsed partially where their necks could get caught between the end of the crib and the mattress. We got to return it but you wouldn't necessarily know all the recalls when you get it at the yard sale. I know I don't know of every single recall out there.

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Ours is a drop side, I still use it. I know lots of people here who still use drop side cribs. I was supposed to get the one my aunt had from her son which would have been 16 years old at the time, but we then found out that a cousin needed it as her daughter was pregnant and she knew she would end up with the baby ( just like the other three grandchildren) again if it met the safety regs I had no issue using it.

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Honestly, I just don't think its that hard to look these things up. Just like I looked up my exersaucer, high chair and bouncy seat for recalls. Our crib was new, but only because my parents bought it for us 3 kids ago....and yes it is a drop side, though I have the conversion kit around here somewhere.

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I never said it wasn't hard to look up...I just know when I'm at a yard sale I'm not looking up recalls and I'm not going to spend money on a used item without knowing if it is safe or not.

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I am an uptight and squeamish person, so I always will have an ick factor with other people's stuff and that usually cancels out any monetary savings I would have from buying from a garage sale.

In fact my crib was 2nd hand, drop down side, from my best friend. Which I converted immediately but that made it a PITA to move because it wouldn't fit through the door from our bedroom to their bedrooms without completely disassembling. And I bought a new mattress even though she had one.

It's now been passed on to her niece, who will have her baby in a few days. So it is safely up to date, complete with instructions from us, but I got rid of our mattress and made them get a new one, 'cuz I know how many diaper accidents my 2 kids had there and I remember when we all had the flu - baby included. I am compulsive. I can clean that off stained wood, the creases in the mattress seams. . . I did my best.

Most moms are probably almost as OCD about this stuff, but how do you know? All you see is the outside. And I am assuming that the original list posted was for garage sales that your best friend or sister wasn't the host of.

It would be easy to look up recalls, but in my cost benefit analysis. . . there are some things that you just should buy new.

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Kind of feeling like a snob here, I never go to yard sales. I think I have bought one thing ever, and that is only because I saw it when I was driving, it is a table I painted with chalk board paint for my classroom.

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I think you are either a yard sale person or you're not. Not snobbish. I like to get certain things for my kids and I can save a lot of money. Like, last summer I picked up a new wagon that I saw for 80-90 online and locally and I scored it for 20. Hardly used.

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Our neighbours had a big sale last year and I got enough clothing for Claire to last her from fall through this spring. I maybe spent $80 for about $400 worth of stuff. Kids' clothes I have no problem with, esp like in our case it was a family we know and the mom is compulsive about cleanliness but you can wash that stuff so no biggie. Our crib was a drop side. Storkcraft sent out 2 repair kits - the first was new metal brackets because some people were installing the brackets upside down and the metal was getting stressed, and the second was the conversion kit to make it a fixed side crib. Based on all the headaches we had with that crib I would never buy baby furniture used. You just never know, you know?

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The bed bug thing TOTALLY freaks me out. I listened to a thing about it on NPR, about how hard they are to get rid of, and the very idea of them just fills me with dread.

I agree with the list except for the DVDs. If it were a good price, I wouldn't worry that much about it.

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I never go to yard sales just because it isn't how i want to spend my weekend mornings. That said I do love certain consignment stores near me for kids clothes ~ especially for my daughter. I don't consign stuff as I prefer to pass it along directly to family or friends, but I just got about 8 summer dresses for her for this coming summer ~ Lilly pulitzer, mini boden, Janie and Jack etc all in great shape for a fraction of what I would have spent on new clothing. Love it.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I never go to yard sales just because it isn't how i want to spend my weekend mornings. That said I do love certain consignment stores near me for kids clothes ~ especially for my daughter. I don't consign stuff as I prefer to pass it along directly to family or friends, but I just got about 8 summer dresses for her for this coming summer ~ Lilly pulitzer, mini boden, Janie and Jack etc all in great shape for a fraction of what I would have spent on new clothing. Love it.

Yep. This is why I love second hand stores. Every brand all under one roof. I'm a one-stop shopper and I can't stand the mall especially with kids in tow.

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We also have an awesome consignment store, I love it for DD3. I cant really hand down clothes from one girl to the next as they have different body styles and now they are liking different styles.