RW Learning Center – What Not To Buy At A Yard Sale

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What Not To Buy At A Yard Sale

The U.S. Consumer Protection Agency has highly recommended that you do not purchase certain items at yard sales. Below is a partial list. This gives you a general idea of what not to buy and to get you thinking about potential yard sale purchases. Further below I have listed some of the gross things I’ve seen for sale at yard sales.

What NOT to Buy:

  • Soft bedding for babies. It is believed that plush products like soft mattresses, comforters, pillows can cause SIDS. Basically, ANYTHING baby-related should be bought with extreme caution. I’ve even had a reader tell me she BUYS baby things at yard sales that she knows to be recalled by manufacturers just so she can take it home and DESTROY it.
  • Old baby cribs. Older ones don’t have the proper spacing in the slats and/or could have cracked or peeling paint.
  • Accordion-style baby gates (primarily manufactured prior to 1985).
  • Hair-dryers with plain plugs. Hair-dryers manufactured prior to 1991 do not have “full immersion protection.”
  • Propane gas camping heaters. Heaters sold under the brand name Bernz-O-Matic and Turner have been found responsible for numerous deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Toy chests without spring-loaded supports. The heavy lids can fall on head/neck or suffocate a kid inside.
  • Kid’s clothes with hood draw-strings or neck draw-strings. Many U.S. kid’s clothes manufacturers have stopped making them due to the strangulation possibility,
  • but millions of old clothes like this are still in use, and for sale at yard sales.
  • Zippered bean bag chairs. Kids can crawl inside, zip themselves up and choke on the loose beans or pellets. If you buy one, make sure it’s not a zippered one.


Gross Things I’ve Seen For Sale Lately:

  • A Fruitcake. Yes, THE same fruitcake that has been circling the world for about 20 years was sale for .75. I wonder who will get it next.
  • A dirty, rusty eyelash curler
  • Feminine protection device for dogs in heat (at least it wasn’t used)
  • Hamster cage, with the used wood shavings still inside
  • A used ant farm – I didn’t see any ants in it, but still it was gross looking.

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