What items should you avoid at a yard sale?

WTHI Photo, John Timm
WTHI Photo, John Timm

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A warning for bargain hunters and sellers, are you always searching for a good deal?

The summer season means more weekend yard sales.

Finding that $50 item for $15 can make you feel like a million bucks, but even with a steep discount there are some used items that you want to avoid.

“Items like car seats, we see them out at garage sales and folks are trying to get a good deal on them,” said Brandon Halleck, Chief Operating Officer at Chances and Services for Youth.

A good deal that could come at the high price of safety.

“The main concern we have with that is you just don’t know the history. You don’t know if the car seat has been recalled. You don’t know if the seat has been involved in a crash, so you don’t know if it’s safe for your child,” said Halleck.

It’s often difficult to tell if a car seat has been involved in a wreck and the consequences of using a damaged one can be serious.

“It’s a matter of life and death.”

More than 5 million used items were donated to the Goodwill last year, but before they hit the shelves employees make sure those items are safe for you and your family.

“Daily we get recalls that we print and send to our stores. Our people are trained in finding those most commonly recalled items,” said Bill Tennis, Executive Director of Wabash Valley Goodwill Industries.

Items such as, cribs, hair dryers, basketball nets, and even children’s clothing can be potentially dangerous.

“Kid’s clothes with drawstrings on the neck where kids have a tendency to get hung up while on the playground,” said Tennis.

Goodwill even goes as far as testing for lead.

“Children’s clothing and jewelry that has painted appliqués and rhinestones we found are often contaminated with lead,” said Tennis.

Unlike some thrift stores people often selling used items don’t know they are dangerous goods, so buyers beware.

“If you are going to buy something used for your infants you need to take the time to make sure it’s safe,” said Tennis.

As the saying goes, sometimes the deal is too good to be true.

For a list of recalled items you can visit the Consumer Product Safety Commissions website at the link below.


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