ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Each week there are an average of 165,000 garage sales in the U.S. and some 690,000 people buy something at one each week.
They are good places to get some pretty good deals on a variety of things, but they can turn bad pretty quickly if you get something that is not safe.
Public safety officials say it is not a good idea to buy a car seat or crib at a garage sale.
In fact, a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission law says that you cannot resell a crib made before June of 2011.
“There are so many toys that are recalled every year. There’s probably 340 total recalls, and a good portion of those are toys, so I would say if you’re buying toys at a garage sale, do a little bit of research,” said Debbie Cooper, Environmental Specialist with the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Officials are simply asking that you go to sales prepared.
“I can’t say that if you buy dishes that they’re all going to be safe because some dishes have been recalled because of lead paint or something. I don’t really know if there’s anything I would say is totally safe, because like I said, there are so many products that are recalled every single year,” Cooper said.
She said it may be cheaper to buy kid’s clothes at a garage sale, but make sure you are getting ones without drawstrings because they can be a big choking hazard.
She said there are some good websites to check before heading out to a sale, or to simply subscribe to for updates on recalls.