7 things not to sell (or buy) at yard sales
After years — make that decades — of going to yard sales, the Yard Sale Secrets team has seen some crazy stuff available for purchase. We’ve seen demolished cars, brand-new kitties and broken statues for sale. Sure, someone might want to buy a cat, but really, it’s quite easy to get one for free. A broken statue might be good filler for the bottom of a flower pot. And yes, you can fix a car.
But sometimes we see things we just can’t figure out why people would think “this will sell!’ and even more, we worry about people who say “I need that!”
So here’s our list of things not to sell (or buy) at yard sales.
OPEN CANS OF PAINT -- More than once we’ve seen stacks of old, open cans of paint for sale at yard sales. They are often half empty, dented and crusted with dried paint.
- Why you shouldn’t buy it: Aside from the fact that old paint will separate into its component parts, you also can never be too sure what kind of paint it is. It could have lead in it, for example.
- What you should do with it: If you’re an owner of some cans of old paint, fill them up with
USED MAKEUP –You might see these bottles and palettes on a table with new stuff or as a kit in with girls’ toys. But there it is, makeup that’s been partially used — sometimes a dab out of some rouge or a lipstick that’s been worn to a stub.
- Why you shouldn’t buy it: Makeup can house bacteria and dead skin cells from the previous user. These people are putting it on their lips and eyelids. Do you want to swap germs with a random someone? Probably not.
- What you should do with it: First and foremost, we’d say throw out your old makeup. If you can’t bare to do that, then let your kids have it to paint or draw with.
SWIMSUITS – Maybe they lost weight. Maybe they bought it but only tried it on when they got home and it didn’t fit. Whatever the reason, some people think you want their old swimsuits.
- Why you shouldn’t buy it: Well, they had their private parts jammed into the thing. Even with a good washing it seems kind of weird.
- What you should do with it: Really, just throw them out. The world will be better for it. Although you might be able to use the mesh out of swim trunks to go fishing for minnows.
OPEN BOXES OF CRAYONS – Yes, crayons. People will put out boxes of crayons for sale. From the big cases with a 100 or more to the sample packs that only have four colors. Somehow people think we’re desperate for crayons.
- Why you shouldn’t buy it: Chances are you can get a free box of crayons at any sit-down restraurant. Beyond that, crayons that have been used by multiple people tend to be broken, stubs of their former selves and kind of dirty.
- What you should do with it: Just keep the crayons. For goodness sake, sometime in the future you might need to color something — a yard sale sign, for example. Heck, you can even melt them down and make a candle or something.
ICE CUBE TRAYS – We can’t say how many times we’ve seen people trying to sell old ice cube trays. We’re not even talking about the ones that make the fancy shaped ice. Nope, just plain old rectangular ice.
- Why you shouldn’t buy it: Even if you clean it 10 times, you’ll have a few lingering questions in your head: Why did they want to get rid of this ice cube tray? What did they put in it?
- What you should do with it: Use an old ice cube tray to store things in your workshop. Washers, staples and tacks can go in them. Artists can use them as a paint tray. Or you can just throw them away.
WELL-USED MEN’S CLOTHES – No we aren’t talking about a suit coat or even a pair of jeans that were barely worn. No we’re talking about old T-shirts with the designs wearing out, flannel shirts with torn sleeves, old belts with stress marks on them and baseball caps that just hit the decade mark.
- Why you shouldn’t buy it: Call us sexist, but men are sweaty and do lots of gross things like mowing the lawn, gutting fish and working on greasy cars. That all adds up to a lot of ground in gunk on their clothes. We don’t really need to pass that gunk along, do we?
- What you should do with it: Turn them into rags for cleaning up.
“COLLECTIBLE” FAST FOOD CUPS – Starting in the 1980s, the entertainment and sports industries decided that people who eat at Hardee’s really love to stare at their gallon-sized cup of Mountain Dew. “Why not put one of our logos or characters on it?” those industries asked themselves. And with that, the collectible fast food cup was born.
- Why you shouldn’t buy it: Do you really want to buy a 1994 Mark Messier N.Y. Rangers collectible cup? What would you do with it? Put it on your mantel? Ask yourself these simple questions.
- What you should do with it: Put it in the recycling bin. It’s that simple.