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9 Things to Never Buy at Yard Sales

A yard sale is a dream come true for a person who is on a budget or just generally wants to save money. You have to admit, finding a $50 item for $15 makes you feel like, well, a million dollars.

But even so, there are some used things you shouldn’t buy at a yard sale, even if you get a steep discount. They may pose a health risk or not work the way they should. It can be hard to resist a cheap price tag, but spending money on a non-quality object is just as bad as overspending for something new. Either way, money is wasted.

Here are nine examples of things you should not buy at any kind of yard sale:

Bicycle helmets. Helmets are pretty tough, but they are made to withstand only one crash. So don’t buy one at a garage sale, because it may have already met the pavement.


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Car seats. This one is sort of unfortunate, since seats can be pretty pricey in stores. But with ever-changing safety guidelines, product recalls and no guarantee that the seat you are buying isn’t defective, it’s best to stay away from buying them used like this. On top of that, seats are like bike helmets—one crash is enough.

Kitchen appliances. Stuff like blenders, toasters, coffee makers and other small items may only work part of the time or, worse yet, pose a fire hazard. Blenders can also have dull blades.

Tires. There are a host of problems that could accompany a yard-sale tire purchase. The tire tread could be worn down too far, there may be rot on the tires, and there could possibly even be a safety recall on that model. For your family’s safety ,those aren’t risks you want.

Mattresses. Ever heard that expression “Don’t let the bed bugs bite”? Well, between bed bugs, mold, bacteria, just plain being worn out and more, it’s better to buy new mattresses than used ones.

Cribs. Again, safety concerns and guidelines. Cribs don’t somehow become unsafe overnight, but if you buy one that ends up being on a recall list, that’s trouble you and your baby don’t need.

Baby bottles. There are sterilization and bacteria issues at work here. Don’t risk your baby’s health to save a few dollars.

Pots, pans and cookware. Older cookware has run its course. Not only has it possibly lost its no-stick coating, but it can also have rust or a loose handle on it.

Running shoes. Good running shoes are cushioned to support your feet, knees and legs. If someone is selling a used pair, that probably means they have worn the cushioning out. Even at a cheaper price, that’s not something you want to pay good money for.

Yard and garage sales are great ways to keep from going over on your spending plan, and that extra money can be applied to debt or savings. But making a budget is where it all starts, and doing a quick and easy one is just a click away!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

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