At this time of year, farm sales and flea markets are in full swing. Not only do they offer the opportunity to pick up countless items at affordable prices and get some unique vintage finds, but buying used is (usually) a more sustainable way to shop.
That said, there are certain things you should not buy when you see them at garden sales, flea markets, root sales and / or thrift stores. Here’s what you should know.
Items that are not to be bought at yard sales
Most of the items on this list are there for health, hygiene and safety reasons, and apply if you plan to use them for their original purpose. In other words, if you buy something with intention to recycle itthese guidelines do not necessarily apply.
It is common to see products designed for babies and young children – such as car seats – at garden sales, because at some point no one in the household can use them. But for the most part, it’s not a good idea to buy car seats at workshop sales or flea markets.
Because their parts (especially all made of plastic) deteriorate over time, car seats comes with an expiration date, usually six to 10 years after the date they were produced. In addition, once they have been in an accident, they should not be used again.
Even if you find a car seat that has not yet expired and you know where it comes from (and that it has not been in an accident), make sure that it included with the registration cardso you can find out if it has been revoked for any reason.
Unless it is brand new and shows no signs of peeling or scratching, skip the nonstick cookware at yard sales.
Everything with mold
Whether it is furniture, clothes, books or household items, it is best to leave something with visible mold or mildew and / or musty smell.
according to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), cots that are more than 10 years old or that are damaged or have been modified will no longer be used. This is because they posere a security risk if any spaces between loose components or broken slats, as the baby may fall through them while the head remains inside the bed.
It’s one thing if you find a vintage Art Deco powder container with remnants of the original product that you plan to show off and never actually use. But in general, you should avoid buying used or older cosmetics. If the products are open and / or used, skip these for sanitary purposes. And anyway, makeup has one short shelf life (usually around 12-18 months), so it has probably expired.
Whether made for children or adults, bicycle helmets are not an item to buy used. Like car seats, they should not be used after an accident. Plus, like Safety Institute for Bicycle Helmets points out that older helmets may not meet current safety standards.
Thanks to normal wear, used baby doors often lacks important components, such as springs, and may no longer be safe to use.