Tips for buying (or selling) at a garage sale

It’s that time of year again; garage sale signs are springing up everywhere. You may also be thinking of holding a sale of your own.  Here are some things to consider when buying, or selling at a sale.

  • Beware of bike helmets. They are designed to be discarded after they have been in an accident. It may be hard to tell if this particular helmet was used in a crash.
  • Used car seats for a baby; these too may have been through a crash or they may be outdated. Safety for your child is nothing to short cut.
  • Used cribs can also be a danger to your child or grandchild. Know what the current standards are for a safe crib.
  • Personal items that hug the body may not be a good purchase. It is hard to know, even with hot water washes, that the item is clean.
  • Mattresses are also a questionable purchase. Who wants to buy bed bugs or some other problem?
  • Electronics like TVs, computers, and tablets. It is hard to know, just by looking, how much longer these items will last. Buy with caution.
  • Reconsider buying old, worn dishes or pans. Cast iron can be rejuvenated but some other surfaces may not be safe for cooking. Of course, you can always use them decoratively out in the garden.
  • Used makeup should be avoided. There can be bacteria growing in the old makeup that will make you sick.
  • Beware of stuffed animals. You may not be able to clean them sufficiently for use by small children.

Hard surface toys can be washed in the dishwasher or sanitized by washing and dipping into a sanitizing solution.

Sanitizing solution:  Use 1 Tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of cool water or use ¾ teaspoon of bleach in a quart of cool water.

Follow these tips to safely buy (or sell) at a garage sale near you.

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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