At Tag Sales, Remember, it’s Always “Buyer Beware”
Choice Magazine of Australia has highlighted the top things you should not buy at a garage sale:
- Electrical tools: Who knows what kind of condition it is in. There might be electrical faults that could short out your wiring or give you an electrical shock. In 2001 a man was electrocuted while adapting a soldering iron he had bought for 50c at a garage sale.
- Car jacks: It is impossible to assess the condition of an old car jack – it may also be so old it doesn’t meet current standards.
- Life jackets: Older jackets were so uncomfortable people tended to not wear them and the more comfortable ones simply weren’t effective. It’s worth spending the money on modern life jackets that fit properly and are comfortable.
- Bike helmets: A helmet needs to be perfectly fitted to be effective. They are also built to withstand one serious crash. After that they are substantially weakened and ineffective. It is impossible to tell whether a helmet has been involved in an accident simply by looking at it.
- Baby capsules/car seats: Unless you know the complete history this is dangerous. Standards improve regularly and older models might not meet these standards and if the seat or capsule has been in a car during an accident, it may be structurally weak.
- Swimming pools: There may be a host of unseen structural problems associated with an old pool and they may come with older skimmer boxes (part of the filtration system) which have been known to cause serious injuries.
- Swimming pool fences: Choice tests have shown that many new pool fences have been poorly constructed, failing safety standards. A second-hand fence may come with such problems unseen to potential buyers.
- Cots and mattresses: Older cots don’t meet present standards and may be coated in lead paint, have bars that are too wide and can trap a child’s head or be adorned with decorative knobs that could catch clothing and pose a strangulation risk. Old mattresses could be full of dust mites.
- Exercise bikes: Current standards require secure frames around all moving parts to protect little hands. Older bikes don’t have frames and pose a risk to young children.
- Criss-cross accordion baby gates: These older kinds of gates can trap a child’s head or clothes and have caused injury and even death overseas.