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5 things you should never buy at yard sales

Things you should never buy at yard sales.

Last week I shared 5 things you should always buy at yard sales and this week I thought I should follow up with a list of things you should never buy at yard sales.

Although yard sales are great places to find some fantastic bargains, there are some items you should never consider picking up, for various reasons.

1. Hats

When someone wears a hat, they leave their sweat and possible remnants of hair products behind. They may even share their head lice with you. Gross!

2. Mattresses and bedding

Bed bugs are everywhere these days and you don’t want to risk bringing them home from a yard sale and letting them take up residence in your home. Not only are bed bugs a concern, but by purchasing used mattresses and bedding, you are likely sleeping with someone else’s bacteria and even worse – their bodily fluids.

3. Tires

Tires can become unstable and very unreliable if they’ve ever been in an accident. Play it safe and buy them new. Don’t ever take chances with your safety.

4. Child car seats

If the car seat you purchase was in an accident, it may not protect your child to the extent that it should. Buy this item new – brand new. There are often many great deals on car seats. Don’t put the safety of your child at risk.

5. Helmets

Just like a child car seat, you never know if someone was in an accident while wearing a helmet – and if they were, this could affect just how much you would be protected by wearing the same helmet on your head. Avoid buying this item used – get it new, instead.

I’m sure there are some honest people out there having yard sales, trying to sell these items. I’m sure there is nothing wrong with them.

The point is that you likely don’t actually know these people, so you don’t know for sure just how those items have been used by the previous owner.

Play it safe and just stay away from these items at yard sales all together (avoid them anywhere used – not just yard sales – thrift stores and online classifieds, too!)

What is something you would never buy at a yard sale?


  1. DianeG

    I would never buy shoes ….
    or underware/swimsuits for that matter LOL!!!
    I put clothes in there with the hats for a never but that’s just me.

    Thanks for all the work you do on your site.


  2. Elizabeth

    I’m planning to sell my winter tires (on rims) after I sell my car. There’s nothing wrong with them, and while they’re a common size, they just won’t fit on the vehicle I’m planning to buy. If I include them with the car as part of the deal, I probably won’t get anything for them, so I’ll sell them separately. I’ll ask the buyer if he/she wants to buy them separately once the deal on the car has been made. If not, I’ll sell them to someone else.

    I’m sure that there are plenty of people who appreciate the importance of winter tires but don’t want to spend $800-$1000 for a set. The fact that they’re already mounted on their own rims makes them even more convenient.

    It might be more unusual to be buying a used set of all-seasons, but there are people who don’t like the tires their new car comes with who quickly change them to the tires they like. Guys interested in modding and performance would do this.

  3. Shannon

    I loved the last article and this one I agree with as well. Im having a multi family garage sale on Saturday June 23 at 4222 Martlen Cres near Folkway and Glen Erin in Mississauga feel free to check it out the rain date would be the 24th.

    New Brand name clothing, New brand name toys, Furniture, Baby items…

    Come check it out id love to meet you and discuss couponing. My parents and Husband think couponing is a waste of time and money maybe you could convince them otherwise:)

  4. CaseMaster

    i think many people are not aware about the dangers of buying a used car seat. as honest as you think people are, you just never know what happened to that car seat. Even a minor collision can affect the car seat. Also, car seats have an expiration date that many are not aware of. For something as important as a car seat, which can save your child’s life, I think it is important to buy new and to invest in a good quality one. There are some areas that I am just not willing to save on.
    Even when buying a more expensive item, there are still ways to save and be smart (online coupon codes, sales, etc.)

  5. Karen Z

    Please don’t buy pets from yard sales

  6. Cheryl's Crazy Coupons Canada

    Underwear… Bras… Lingere.
    Anything along those lines. You never know where that’s been!
    Or what the person wearing it’s been doing. :\

  7. shirley

    As an FYI, as of January 2012, it is now illegal to sell, giveaway, or lend out car seats, boosters, or infant carriers in Canada that were manufactured prior to January 2012. It is because of new regs put forth by Transport Canada. Many people are not aware of this. If you do sell/giveaway/lend one and a child is injured, and its found to be a prior to 2012 seat, the seller can be held liable.

    Also, baby walkers are something that should never be sold or bought at garage sales, as they are banned in Canada.

    Also, watch for recalled items as those should never be resold either

  8. Mandy

    I agree with Elizabeth. My husband and I have bought and sold tires on rims several times.

  9. denise

    cribs, play pens and bassinets. Cribs could be outdated, and may not be put together right and might not have alll the safety requirements. playpens when knows what is growing on them and where they have been and bassenets again might not be put together right.

    these are certain things that you should buy new.

  10. The One Income Dollar

    Glad to see you mentioned the hats.
    My sister’s girl got head lice years back when letting another child put on HER hat while they were playing. I always shudder when I see someone put on someone else’s hat that was on THEIR head.

  11. jen newell

    I would never buy any type of bedding due to the bedbugs festation going around. Im way to scared of that. Also the food toys that have been used (dq ice cream maker, easy bake over ect.) you dont know exactly what they used to wash it or if it even worked properly. I am guilty though of buying a hampster last yr at a garage sale, poor little guy was sitting out in the sun all day and we look at it as giving him a loving home because if we didnt how long would they have left him there?

  12. Kailey

    Here’s a question…what is a good way to dispose of old car seats? They seem so bulky to throw out! I was going to donate mine, but now it doesn’t sound like a good idea.

  13. Cassie Howard

    Kailey: Unfortunately, throwing them out is the only option.

  14. Angie

    I just want to point out that things like sofas, shelves and books etc may contain bedbugs. They will crawl into anything.

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