Learn About 4 Things You Should Never Buy at A Yard Sale
Yard sales have been popping up in neighborhoods across the United States for several decades, as these events provide homeowners with an easy way of selling unused items at a discount rate. While there are many items you can purchase at your local yard sale, you may want to steer clear of purchasing certain items for safety and hygienic purposes. Purchasing previously used clothing, hats or sheets can prove problematic, as you can never be sure of what type of bacteria has been caught in the fabric over repeated usage throughout the years.
Before you start digging through the displays at your local yard sale, learn about the items you may want to avoid, as this can help you protect yourself from any unpleasant side effects. People selling their goods at a yard sale are well-intentioned, but some items are simply unsanitary. In some cases, items sold at a yard sale are also outdated compared to newer models and have many safety hazards, or the items have deteriorated, which poses additional safety risks. More information about what items to avoid at a yard sale is covered below.
1. Protective Items
Buying protective items at a yard sale can prove unsanitary if the previous owner has used the item on multiple occasions. Helmets, car seats and other items used for protection may not be as effective once they have been worn down over time.
Purchasing a used helmet can prove harmful, as these items are not designed to withstand repeated accidents. The previous owner of this helmet may have gotten into an accident and potentially could have damaged the helmet unknowingly in the process. If this has occurred, it means you are not receiving full protective coverage from the helmet in the event of an accident. To secure your own safety, do not buy helmets at a yard sale and opt for buying a brand-new helmet instead.
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You may be tempted purchase a car seat at a yard sale, as these items can typically be expensive in new condition, but buying a used car seat can pose a potential safety threat for your child. There is no guarantee the car seat you are purchasing is within good working condition and taking the word of the previous owner is not a viable solution. You must ensure all safety features of the car seat are working properly before purchasing one for your child, and the best way to accomplish this is by purchasing a new car seat in lieu of a used one.
2. Certain Types of Clothing
Clothing, particularly more formal pieces like those you would wear when going to an interview or a wedding, can be expensive. You can purchase clothing from a yard sale if you have deemed the item to be in good condition, but there are certain types of clothing you may want to steer clear of purchasing due to hygienic reasons.
Items such as bathing suits, undergarments and hats can retain bacteria and germs even after they are washed extensively. To avoid the prospect of contaminating yourself with this bacterium, it is best to steer clear of buying these items secondhand. Additionally, these items may be more susceptible to tearing as they can become worn down with repeated use.
Hats can retain sweat, hair products and skin infections of the previous owner, which can be passed to your head when you decide to purchase a used hat at a yard sale. To promote your overall well-being, do not purchase hats at a yard sale unless the item is still adorned with tags and the owner expressly states the hat has never been worn before. You can use your judgment in these situations or you can choose to avoid buying the hat anyway and stick to buying new hats at the store if you feel more comfortable doing so.
3. Bedroom Items
If you are looking for a new place to live, you might consider buying new or used furniture. It is advisable to refrain from buying any type of bedroom items at a yard sale, including:
It is generally seen as an unsanitary option to buy these items secondhand, as the material for these items can hold in sweat and dead skin cells from the previous owner. Sheets, pillows, blankets and pillowcases may additionally hold bacteria and germs from the previous owner and can pose health risks for you and your family.
Additionally, you run the risk of buying an item infested with bed bugs when you choose to buy a mattress from a yard sale. Even if the item appears to be in good condition, you must avoid buying a mattress secondhand to evade any potential sanitary issues.
Buying a crib at a yard sale is both unsanitary and unsafe, as you cannot be sure the safety features of the crib are still functioning when you are buying this item used. The owner of the crib may tell you the item works properly, but you may find the condition worse than originally described once you get the item home. To prevent a potential injury to your child, opt for buying a new crib and a new crib mattress.
4. Children’s Items
You must never buy children’s items at a yard sale, as this can prove to be dangerous for your child. Do not purchase items such as bottles, sippy cups and stuffed animals when perusing a yard sale as you may inadvertently place your child at risk if you choose to buy these items secondhand.
Plastic baby bottles from previous generations may contain BPA, which is a harmful chemical. The FDA has banned plastic bottles containing BPA, but previously manufactured and used bottles may not follow this new rule. Sippy cups may additionally contain BPA or other harmful bacteria, so you must avoid buying these items at a yard sale to keep your child safe.
Stuffed animals, like other upholstered items, can contain germs from the previous owner. As your child may be susceptible to biting the stuffed animal or cuddling with the stuffed animal, it is advisable to only purchase these items in new condition. You can buy a secondhand stuffed animal and attempt to wash it, but many plush figures fall apart in the hot water cycle of your washing machine.
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