Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What I Never Buy in Stores

 As an avid garage saler there are some things that I almost never buy in stores. I know that there are people out there that are grossed out by buying used things. If you are one of those people garage saleing may not be for you. Here is what I would say. Give it a try. I know that when you say the word garage sale you are thinking about peoples nasty, dirty used items but to be honest most of the time it's really not that way! There have only been a few garage sales I have been to where I have just been so grossed out I haven't wanted to touch anything. If you find one of those DON'T GO!  I have a sister-in-law that was a serious germaphobe but because of a tight budget, she was forced to start garage saleing. Let me tell you all a little secret.... she is still alive! She actually really enjoys getting out there and scoring some awesome deals! You can also find a lot of unopened products out there. There are a lot of Couponers that either get tired of storing so much stuff or decide that for whatever reason they don't like a certain product that they stocked up on. To get rid of their excess a lot of these people will sell it at their garage sale! Score for you!

I have compiled a list of the things I never and almost never buy in stores. Now some of you might think, oh my gosh, that's gross but remember if it grosses you out DON'T BUY IT! A lot of times whether I buy an item at a garage sale really depends on the atmosphere of the garage sale. Is it clean? Is it organized? Was it taken well care of? Who is the seller? These questions will make the difference of you feeling comfortable buying a certain item. Also keep in mind that you can sterilize most of the things you buy! 

What I NEVER buy in stores:

  • DVD's- Kids/ Mom&Dad movies
  • Kid's toys
  • nail polish remover 
  • little swimmer's diapers
  • Pots and pans
  • Dishes
  • silverware 
  • baby bottles- I only use Avent. When I had my oldest I bought a bunch of used ones off Ebay but I have found plenty of Avent bottles at garage sales since then.
  • children's sippies
  • Kid's books
  • Little girl dress ups
  • Baby safety outlet plugs and cabinet latches
  • Pack n play
  • baby swings and bouncers
  • Car seats- You need to be VERY careful buying car seats at garage sales or any second hand store. Most people might actually prefer to buy new car seats but there are lots of people that buy them used. If your going to do this look for stickers that state the expiration date. If the seat is expired DON'T buy it. Also ask if the car seat has ever been in a wreck. You don't want a car seat that has been in any sort of accident.
  • Strollers
  • Coloring books
  • Halloween costumes
  • bikes
  • weed eater
  • lawn mower
  • garden tools
  • BBQ grill 
  • Water hose
  • camping gear
  • Life vests
  • Plastic storage bins
  • mattresses- I will admit that our first mattress we ever had was bought at a garage sale. We were dirt poor and didn't have a few hundred dollars to spend on a mattress. We found one that looked like it had hardly been used and I went and bought a plastic cover and a fabric cover so there were more layers between me and the mattress. My daughters mattress is also from a garage sale. She was still potty training when we put her into a big girl bed and I did not want to have to go spend money on a mattress that she was going to have accidents on. Again some people are ok with this and others are not. If it grosses you out DON'T do it!
Things I almost never buy in stores:
  • Kid's clothes- I shop the sales when ever I can but for the most part I stick to garage sales
  • Kid's shoes- the only time I will buy kids shoes in stores is if I am looking for something really specific for a family picture or something.
  • My clothes- again unless it is something very specific
  • eyeshadows- you would be surprised at how many people sell unopened makeup! 
  • Crafting supplies
  • Cleaners
  • Dish soap
  • dish scrubbers
  • cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • Aloe Vera
  • Shampoo for my kids
These last few are usually items I find unopened at a couponers garage sale.

**updated 10/4/12**
I thought I would start this list for people to see what I don't buy at garage sale

Things I NEVER buy at garage sales

  • underwear
  • Adult swimsuits
I will be adding to this as more thoughts come to my mind. 


  1. I buy pretty much everything second hand...if it's washable, it's mine. For wood furnitures there are always clorox wipes :)

  2. I didn't see any "gross" items on your list. The only one I even thought twice about was the makeup. But you specified "unopened" so as long as it wasn't expired (does makeup expire?) then why not (I don't wear makeup so I have no clue).

    The only thing I don't even LOOK at when I thrift are swimsuits and underclothes. Those are "gross" to me.

    I don't do shoes much because I never find anything that fits well enough.

  3. I think it's wonderful that you:

    1. Share all of this wonderful knowledge with us and
    2. Are actually reducing waste/consumption by reusing and recycling perfectly good items!

  4. I'm with you on this list! I have just never found makeup at a garage sale. I CAN NOT stand clutter, so I am very picky about what I purchase, PERIOD. But, for mostly everything I purchase, I look for it in garage sales, in season, and thrift stores the other times. Because paying retail just gives me the hives, lol!

  5. I love garage sales and would buy all kinds of things (within reason) and only some things if they were unopened like you said.

    There are a few things that I would never buy at a garage sale or used. A car seat is one of them that was on your list. They expire and you never know when someone has gotten into an accident with one. I probably wouldn't buy any safety equipment for that reason, like helmets too. I also stay away from things like matresses and things that conform to your body (like shoes, unless they are basically new).

    1. These are the EXACT things I won't buy at garage sales. It's hard because car seats are so pricey, but I just can't do it because I would never be able to forgive myself if the carseat didn't work properly. I might buy it from someone I know if I knew when it expired though. I am pretty picky on car seats and mattresses (and underwear).

      ~The germaphobe Sister-in-law

  6. I think I am the same. I definitely don't buy new kids books! Goodwill has practically new books for 50 cents each.

  7. Some of those things...like soaps and eye shadows I'd never even think to look for at garage sales. It really pays to go with an open mind. Thanks for the tips!

  8. Some of those things...like soaps and eye shadows I'd never even think to look for at garage sales. It really pays to go with an open mind. Thanks for the tips!