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Do Not Buy These Items At A Garage Sale

A garage sale is a great way to find inexpensive items for your home. Although you may find some great deals, not everything is better bought second-hand from your neighbors down the block. This article will discuss some items you should not buy from a garage sale.


Cell Phones

A cell phone may seem like a good find at a garage sale, but if you aren’t tech-savvy, it could be more trouble than it’s worth. No matter the phone’s condition, data such as contacts and previously installed apps could still be on the device. If an ID or password is necessary for the phone to work, you will not have access to them without paying for technical support from your service provider. It can also be challenging to activate an old phone because most people don’t save the required information if they need to make changes down the line. You may have to provide proof that you are allowed to use that phone, which is not something you usually worry about buying a used cell phone.


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If you aren’t careful when inspecting a used mattress, it’s easy to miss things that can cause problems. Although a mattress may look perfectly fine from the outside, you could be buying bed bugs or other invisible germs. Bed bugs are minor and complex to see with the naked eye, but they have been known to live in old mattresses. You will not know if a mattress has a problem until it starts causing health issues for your family. 

Car Tires

You may want to buy a cheap set of tires for your car at the next garage sale, but they need to be in good working order. Buy new or certified pre-owned (CPO) rather than used. Purchasing used tires could cause problems down the road, such as blowouts. 

Baby Car Seats

It may seem like a great idea to buy a used baby car seat, but this is another item that you should never purchase at a garage sale. While the exterior of the car seat may look fine and it’s still in working order, you can’t inspect all of the internal material. Over time, car seats wear down due to exposure to the sun and everyday use. As such, you never know what could happen if you aren’t buying new or certified pre-owned (CPO) rather than used. 


A dehumidifier may seem like a helpful purchase at a garage sale due to its high cost but think twice before purchasing. New dehumidifiers come with a warranty, and some homes may not need one at all. If there is no problem, you could be paying for an unneeded appliance. If you find a used dehumidifier that seems like it would be the right fit for your home, make sure it works before committing to buy it and that there are no mold or water spots inside. Even though most new appliances have manuals included, you should still look on the Internet for information about operating and maintaining the product.


Shoes are another item that many people sell at garage sales. Shoes with damaged soles and heels should be thrown away rather than sold, though. Shoes can contain a host of different kinds of bacteria and fungus that you don’t want in your house or on your feet. If you see shoes that have been cleaned but still look old, it’s better to pass them up, so you aren’t putting germs in your home. 

Baby Bottles

The last thing you want for your baby is to expose them to more harmful things on top of everything else you’ve taken on with a new child. Buying used baby bottles is not recommended, as they can provide a hiding place for bacteria and germs. New bottles may even be from recycled materials these days. It’s better to go this route than take the risk of using unsafe bottles that will only cost you in the long run if they cause health problems.

Parts For Cars & Trucks

Parts from a car or truck may seem like they’re in good condition, but you can’t be sure until you inspect them. If the piece doesn’t look too worn out, there could still be something wrong with it that an inexperienced person will not see. Some parts are expensive, and it may seem like it’s not economical to pay for them when you can find the same thing at a garage sale for almost no money. It’s better to stick with buying new parts rather than taking your chances on used ones. You should also realize that most auto parts come with warranties, so if you do buy used, you won’t have much luck getting reimbursed by the original owner in case of problems down the road.


There are many valuable things that you can find at garage sales, but not everything is worth buying. Tires, dehumidifiers, shoes, baby bottles, and car parts usually need to be new or used with warranties to avoid the risk of getting something that isn’t safe to use or costs too much money to maintain. When you’re ready to repurchase a product for your home, check around for reviews online instead of making an impulse purchase at a garage sale because it might save you some trouble down the road.