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10 Things you should never buy at a garage sale

While most items at a garage sale are worth your money (since they’re so cheap), some items should just be bought brand new. Here are 10 things you should avoid buying at a garage sale.

Garage sale

I’m one of the most frugal people you’ll ever meet. Seriously, my dad even refers to me as “too cheap,” and he’s the cheapest person I’ve ever met! That being said, I enjoy rummaging around garage sales on weekends. Though I have to really love something in order to part with my hard-earned dollars, every now and then I do find something spectacular (and affordable) at a garage sale. There are certain items, though, that should never ever be purchased at a garage sale — even for the super-duper thrifty like myself. Here are 10 items that should always be bought brand new.


Socks and underwear

While there’s nothing wrong with buying used clothes, there is something wrong with buying used socks or underwear. It’s just… gross. Socks and underwear should be bought new, no matter what. Luckily, they’re pretty cheap, unless you’re buying the fancy stuff.


Cribs and car seats

Safety guidelines change regularly for both cribs and car seats. When it comes to the safety of your child, you can never be too safe. Shell out the extra money it costs to buy new — it’s worth it to ensure the safety of your precious baby!



Similar to socks and underwear, buying a used mattress is never a good idea. Mattresses can’t be fully sanitized, so always buy new unless you like the idea of sleeping with other people’s germs, bacteria and body fluids.


Pet toys and stuffed animals

No matter how bad your child may want a stuffed bear they see, make them wait and buy it new from the store. Both pet toys and stuffed animals for children are full of unsightly germs and bacteria that can be hard, if not impossible, to get rid of.



Shoes mold to your feet once you break them in. If they’ve already been broken in by someone else, they’re not going to fit your feet properly and can cause backaches and other health problems. Unless you only plan on wearing them for short lengths of time, it’s always best to buy them new.



Desktops, laptops and other computer software should be purchased new. Computers have a shelf life and may not run properly or efficiently, depending on what the previous owner used it for. Computer software has a serial number that can only be put on one computer, so unless the package is unopened, always buy new.


Video games

Just like computer software, most video games now come with codes or tracking devices so they can only be downloaded into one gaming system.



Knives and other kitchen items that have a blade, such as blenders, should be bought new. You do not know how often the previous owner used these items, so the blade may be dull to the point of no longer working.


Breast pumps

Sure, you can sanitize the parts on the outside, but what about the inside? Unfortunately, the insides of breast pumps are a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. A new breast pump is an investment worth making — for the health of you and your child.


Upholstered furniture

Did you know that re-upholstering furniture can cost just as much as purchasing all new furniture? And that upholstered furniture can contain germs, bacteria and bodily fluids from previous owners? Unless you have your eyes on a wooden couch, it’s best to purchase upholstered furniture new.

Tell us

What items do you refuse to buy at garage sales? Share in the comments below!

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