I love a good garage sale and I LOVE finding an awesome deal at a garage sale. Last summer, we scored an awesome double stroller for $25. It's awesome and we've used it a lot, but I failed to notice that it didn't have a front canopy and it should have. It was possible stowed away in the owner's garage and they would've gladly given it to me, but I was so excited about the great deal that it didn't even cross my mind.
That was a minor flub, but I want to bring attention to buying other baby products at garage sales…specifically carseats and booster seats. ALL carseats and booster seats have an expiration date, between 5 and 10 years after they were manufactured. Check the bottom or side of the carseat for expiration information or call your carseat manufacturer for help in locating it.
Make absolute sure to check any carseat or booster seat expiration dates before purchasing. Also, ask the owner if the seat has ever been in a car crash. Even a little car wreck can effect the carseat's safety, as it can have tiny cracks that become bigger or some other problems.
Some people advise against buying used carseats, but if you know and trust the previous owner and they guarantee it hasn't been in any crash, have inspected it and it is not expired, I say go for it. But keep in mind that you're paying only for the years (or months) you can use it. If it's August and it expires in December, you could be paying more than you would if you just went out and bought a new carseat that was on sale.
If you find a used carseat for a cheap price, you might let the garage sale owner know that it is illegal to sell expired carseats….or buy it and save it for Babies 'R Us trade in deals that come about every so often.
Just keep all of this in mind so your little one(s) can stay safe!