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What Not to Buy at Garage Sales

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Garage sales are great. You can find some serious deals, but did you know there are certain things you should never buy at a garage sale? 

There are obvious no nos like underwear, but did you know you shouldn’t buy swimwear or wetsuits at a garage sale? Obviously, things that hug your body and nether regions can be washed in hot water and be less sketchy, but salt water and chlorine wear on swimsuits and wetsuits, making them more likely to tear and render them unusable. The only time it’s OK to buy those sorts of things is if the tags are still on them.

Bike and motorcycle helmets protect your brain, so they’re very important to wear when you’re on your bicycle or motorcycle. Some helmets can cost a pretty penny, so you may see one at a yard sale for a bargain, but beware. Helmets are pretty much only good for one accident and one accident only. The wear and tear may not be completely obvious. You’re better off shelling out the dough for a new helmet. It is your brain, after all.

Baby stuff costs a lot of money. A really good car seat can cost hundreds, so you may be tempted to buy the one you see at a garage sale, but resist. Like helmets, car seats are designed to protect in one accident and one accident only. Did you know that one in ten car seats has been in an accident? You don’t know if that car seat you’re ready to pick up has been in a crash, plus, technology for car seats improves every year, so you’re better off buying new. Cribs should also never, ever be bought at a garage sale. There are too many crib recalls out there and safety standards are getting more and more stringent. Again, you’re better off buying new.

A new mattress can cost hundreds, or even a thousand dollars, depending on what kind of mattress you’re looking for, but head to the mattress showroom and not a yard sale if you’re mattress shopping. With bedbug infestations more common than not, and not to mention things people do in bed, even if it seems like a good deal, don’t buy a mattress at a garage sale. You don’t want to sleep in other people’s mold and dead skin cells, do you?

Electronics like plasma TVs and laptop computers may seem like a bargain at a garage sale, but TV technology changes so often, if you’re looking for a plasma TV, you’re better off getting a refurbished model direct from the manufacturer. At least then you’re covered by a warranty. TV shopping at random garage sales, who knows what you’ll end up with. Laptops are the same. Plus, a laptop at a garage sale could have been banged around, dropped or infected with a virus.

For other things you shouldn’t buy at garage sales, click here.

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