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Consumer Reports: Garage sales don't buy

Consumer Reports: Garage sales don't buy
1 month 4 days 8 hours ago Friday, June 14 2024 Jun 14, 2024 June 14, 2024 6:14 PM June 14, 2024 in News - Consumer News
Source: Consumer Reports

No doubt there are deals to be had at garage sales, but no matter the bargain, there are a few items you should never buy. There are also a few things to keep in mind when it comes to used lawn tools. Consumer Reports explains.

Spring is in the air, and that means pennies on the dollar at the nearest yard sale—old records and books, kid clothing, antiques—but Consumer Reports says not everything is as good of a deal as it seems. Take battery-powered lawn tools. The product should come with the charger, extra batteries, and the manual if the seller still has it. The most important thing you want to know is the age of the tool.

For mowers many riding mowers have an hour meter. So you’ll know exactly how many hours it has been on the job. Don’t just examine the mower, size up the yard. If you're buying a mower from someone who has a lot of trees and not much grass, you might get a great deal because that mower might not have been used much.

If you have kids, you know that yard sales can be a great way to get what you need without breaking the bank—but you still have to be careful that the gear you get for your baby is safe.

While it’s illegal to sell recalled products, including on the second-hand market, people might not be aware of the law or may not realize the product they’re selling has been recalled. It’s not uncommon to find recalled infant sleepers and other products.

Cribs with drop-down sides are another dangerous item to never buy. These have been linked to dozens of infant deaths and were banned in 2011. Even parents planning on using newer cribs still need to be careful. Sometimes, a used crib may be passed on to you disassembled. You won’t know if hardware’s missing unless you have the assembly instructions.

Used car seats are also problematic. Buying used car seats is not a good idea because you won’t reliably know much about them, including their crash history. If you’re still considering a used car seat that has no broken or missing parts and you know hasn’t been in a crash, you’ll want to check the seat’s expiration date on the label and in the owner’s manual, as well as search for any open recalls on the model. You can find the model number on the seat's manufacturer label. If you need a crib or car seat, check with nonprofits in your area. Many sell them at a discounted price.

And be careful about buying old used toys. A safe battery compartments will have a screw. 

Another tip: The voluntary safety standard for walk-behind and ride-on mowers is ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2003. The CPSC says that if you are shopping for a mower, a label certifying that the mower or garden tractor meets the 2003 ANSI B71.1 standard indicates that the machine has these safety features.

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