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On Your Side: What NOT to buy at a garage sale

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 6:24 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Garage sale season is here.

No doubt there are deals to be had, but consumer experts say there are just some things you should skip.

Car seats

You don’t know the history.

“You have no idea whether this car seat has been in a crash. Car seats are designed to save our kids if they are in a crash in a vehicle, but once this car seat has been in a crash, they’re no longer good,” said Becky Spain with Safe Kids.

Car seats have expiration dates.

So do helmets.

“Remember what Mom always told you about not putting other people’s hats on your head ... this is going to go on the child’s head so we need to consider cleanliness that there might be germs or mites or other things in there,” said Spain.

Use caution with cribs. There are many recalls. It’s not worth the risk.

Inspect the toys. Make sure batteries are screwed in. Many older toys don’t have this feature.

Spot a power tool? Ask the age and how much use.

“Things like a string trimmer, a leaf blower ... generally speaking might last four to seven years. Something like a gasoline powered law mower might last ten years. If you come across any electric tools ... plugin or battery powered ... generally speaking it’s probably best to skip those items,” said Paul Hope with Consumer Reports.

Those are a gamble. You might get more for your money if you buy new so you have the entire lifespan.

If you’re hosting a garage sale don’t get ripped off. Use a counterfeit detection pen to detect fake cash. Be wary of customers who buy a high dollar item and need change.

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