6 Things You Shouldn’t Buy at Yard Sales

yard_sale_bearYard sales are a great place to find all sorts of treasures that you need or want, as well as those items you didn’t even realize you needed or wanted. Take note, however, that there are certain things that you should never buy at yard sales. Here are some of them:

1) Car seats

It may be tempting to save some money on a secondhand car seat, but don’t sacrifice your child’s safety for a few dollars. That car seat may have already been in an accident, which can compromise the seat’s safety and reliability.

2) Helmets

It’s perfectly fine to purchase a motorcycle or bicycle helmet that is brand new. Used helmets, on the other hand, should be avoided. Like car seats, helmets are often designed to protect the owner from one accident. If a helmet is already scratched or damaged, it’s best to prioritize your safety and buy a new one.

3) Mattresses

If you’re considering buying a used mattress at a yard sale, keep in mind that you may be paying for a lot more than just a mattress—such as bed bugs, mites, mold, and even bodily fluids.

4) Shoes

Not many people realize that when worn for a long time, shoes tend to mold to the size and shape of the owner’s feet. Even if they’re the right size secondhand shoes may not fit your feet correctly, and could potentially cause blisters or knee and back problems.

5) Cribs

Cribs often face safety recalls for various reasons, and it may be hard to figure out if a secondhand crib at a yard sale is one that should no longer be sold in stores. To be on the safe side, you’re better off purchasing a brand new crib that adheres to current safety standards.

6) Hats

Hats are rarely cleaned before being sold at yard sales. These articles of clothing may contain remnants of another person’s sweat, dead skin, hair, and sometimes even lice. Is a cheap hat worth the possible headache later on?

As irresistible as it may seem to get a good deal on a particular item, always take your health and safety into consideration first and foremost. A smart shopper is a happy shopper!

Photo Credit: IntangibleArts

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Comments

  1. Veronica Hayes says:

    You’re probably right about most of these things, but hats? Really? I don’t see how they are any worse than buying clothing second-hand…or towels, bed sheets, quilts, blankets, jackets…all of these items can be counted on to come into contact with someone else’s “sweat, dead skin, hair, and sometimes even lice.” That’s why you’re supposed to launder these items before using them.
    I understand that sometimes it is necessary or advisable to purchase items new instead of used, but please think it through before ruling out secondhand items. It’s so much better for the planet to reuse something that’s already been produced than to contribute to the production of something new. Also, many people are hurting financially and it can really save a lot of $ to seek out items at yard sales, rummage sales, clothing swaps, mom to mom sales and thrift stores. Another great resource that I use all the time is Freecycle.org, which is completely free and is a great way to both get and give away items for free between people in localized areas. I encourage everyone to go to their website and look up your local freecycle group. I have given away many items this way as well as received many great items, all for free.

  2. I agree with you completely Veronica and I’m very much FOR using and buying items secondhand as it’s not only good for the budget but good for the environment. Thanks very much for mentioning Freecycle.org – that is a GREAT resource! The reason that hats made the list of things not to buy is simply because they’re not always as easy to clean as laundering secondhand clothing and professional cleaning can cost more than the hat is worth. I’m just suggesting that buyers consider that when purchasing used hats :)

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