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Save by Avoiding These Garage Sale Items

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If you're lucky (and like to rummage), you can score a great deal at a garage sale, but not everything is worth the low price. Here are a few things you should avoid or be wary of when shopping for local bargains.

First, avoid buying used helmets, child seats and cribs. The prices for baby items and protective gear may be cheap, but their safety is unverified, so it's not worth the risk. If you're looking at a used toy, do a quick search on your smartphone to make sure it hasn't been recalled, and check that it has all of its original parts.

Although safety is generally not an issue when it comes to secondhand furniture, you still want to protect your wallet. Tables, chairs and desks can cost you an arm and a leg to repair if you don't look closely.

Chairs and sofas can also end up costing a bundle if they need to be reupholstered. Avoid chipped or missing glass tabletops, too, as they can be complicated and costly to restore.

So, the next time you hit a neighborhood garage sale, remember these key buying tips. You'll know when to keep your eyes open and your wallet closed.

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