Potentially dangerous items to avoid at a garage sale

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 18:33:08-04

This is the time of year many of us throw a garage sale to clear out our junk. It's also the time of year we shop these sales, hoping to score a bargain. But some finds are no bargain at all. 

Reader's Digest Magazine says beware: some of the deals you find on your neighbors driveway could jepardize your family's safety, and it has released a list of things to never buy at a garage sale. 

Among them: 

  • bicycle helmets
  • child car seats
  • tires 

We spoke with garage sale pro Christina Win-Sek from about these safety concerns, and she said, "a car seat id one of the number one things we recommend you don't buy secondhand. Because you don't understand the history of the car seat. When you don't know the history of the product it's not worth buying secondhand. So, I would avoid bike helmets for sure." 

Experts recommend any car seat that has been in an accident, even a fender bender, should be replaced. As for those bike helmets, if a child falls or has an accident while bike riding, the helmet may also have damage that is not obvious to the naked eye. 

Other things to stay clear of this garage sale season according to the report are

  • beds: think bedbugs 
  • cribs: too many have been recalled
  • shoes: health and poor fitting issues 
  • hats: because no one washes hats 
  • swimsuits: because that's like buying underwear

There are also some electronic items you may want to avoid like laptops. Many have been damaged or dropped, and may not be worth the money. LCD and LED tv's should also be avoided, because fixing one can cost more than buying a new one. 

There are many great deals that you can find at garage sales. Win-Sek says one of her favorites is children's clothing because you can find some items with the tags still on.

The key to shopping at a garage sale is to make the right choice on what you purchase. Win-Sek also stated, "the great thing is we live with our phones right in our hands these days. Go ahead and take it out, do a quick google, see if there's been any safety issues or recalls so you have more information to make the right decision."