Garage and yard sales this time of year can be a great chance to pick up cheap baby items and other toys, but use caution while bargain hunting.
Finding a gently-used high chair or toy for a fraction of the price can be great. However, Brock Bergey with the state Division of Consumer Protection says you should check out second-hand items thoroughly before using them.
The first thing to always consider is whether an item was recalled at some point, and the owner may have missed the message or already stopped using the product by that point. A full list of recalled items is available at the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website. Bergey suggests checking the list before using a baby item, if you can’t do so before buying it.
Buyers may also want to be wary of older models of baby items, since the designs are frequently improved and safety features are constantly changing. Bergey says something that’s 10 or 15 years old may have been safe then, but falls far short of current standards.
Bergey says sellers also have a responsibility to make sure cleaning out the basement doesn’t put someone else at risk. He suggests they also check to make sure an item hasn’t been recalled before putting it out for sale.