'Tis the dawning of the season... the ever popular and much anticipated... GARAGE SALE. Where "One man's junk is another man's treasure." And where you can buy all kinds of cool things that you don't need, think you need, or actually do need. I am someone who really likes a good yard sale. My passion? Radios. I like to collect vintage radios from the 40s and 50s. It doesn't matter if they are the RCA Victor Radios or the RCA Victoria Record Players....if it plays a sound wave, it's mine.

Radios may not be your passion, but whatever is, there are some things that you should just avoid at a garage sale. Consider this a friendly, unsolicited advisory of what not to buy when shopping on the neighbors' concrete sales booth:

  • Tires: There are many problems that you can face when buying used tires period. I remember buying some used tires one time that where "a great deal" and some of the radials in the tires were broken. Of course I found that out after the fact. The tread on these tires could be worn down, or there could be some unforeseen rot.
  • Bicycle Helmets: Like a safety harness, a helmet is set up to withstand one major crash. Not a good idea to buy a bike helmet at a garage sale as it may have already bit the dust a time or two.
  • Mattresses: This is a bad purchase on so many levels. I think it goes without saying, but to fulfill my civic duty to my fellow man I will share with you a few reasons why you should not buy a used bed mattress at a garage sale... Years ago, there was an ad in the paper for the sale of a used mattress. The article read, "Lightly stained, but like new." If that's not enough to send you packin', then I don't know what will. Not to mention the "wear and tear," bed bugs, mold, bacteria and "other" stains that may be hazardous to your health.
  • Baby Bottles: There are bacteria and sterilization issues that can put your child at risk. It's not worth the few bucks you might save by purchasing a set at the local garage sale.
  • Car Seats: I know that car seats these days can be a bit pricey, but there are many "hidden" dangers to buying a used car seat at a garage sale. If you think about the many recalls that the industries have out on faulty car seats, there is no guarantee that the one you might purchase at a local garage sale fits that bill.

While I haven't created an exhaustive list whatsoever....these are the ones at the top of my list when I shop around.

Be cautious and remember, if you find a great deal on a used radio, let me know.