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Garage Sales Complaint

Garage Sales - Tips, tricks and what to avoid

Handle My Complaint's vital tips to help you successfully navigate garage sales.

1. Arrive early, but if you can't, don't panic - The best stuff is available early, but the best deals can be had late in the day when the seller is tired and reluctant to carry everything back into their house.
2. Make safety paramount - All items sold, whether new or second-hand, should be safe for their intended purpose. However second-hand items may not be covered by safety laws. Check the product comes with all safety instructions and warning labels, particularly when purchasing cots, child restraints, electrical items and car jacks. Look for a testing tag on electrical products to confirm that they've been safety tested.
3. Consumer Guarantee does not apply - Goods purchased through private sales such as garage sales and fetes are not covered. Warranties can be transferred for certain purchases, however you'll need the original purchase receipt.
4. Get prepared - Make a list of items you're looking to buy before arriving.
5. Know your measurements - Both of the item you want to buy and of the place you want to put it in.
6. Do a price comparison - Get online and compare prices of new with used goods. Consider the value of purchasing a new item covered by a warranty.
7. Check product reviews and product recalls - Go to forums and Product Safety Recalls website or use the new Recalls Australia iPhone App.
8. Inspect thoroughly - Check items for hard-to-see tears, stains and breakage. Look for corrosion on metal parts as this could indicate a problem.
9. Consider assembly and spare parts - Confirm if a special tool is required or if spare parts will be available to avoid possible complications with use.
10. Be polite - Haggling is acceptable and expected. Always ask politely if the seller will reduce the price. If you can't agree on a price, leave your name and number in case they change their mind.
11. Think twice - Exercise extreme caution if buying: electric tools; baby car seats; cots; mattresses; exercise bikes; car jacks; life jackets; bike helmets or swimming pool fencing. Check items are not missing any parts or safety features and are not visibly damaged as the item may no longer be safe for use.
12. Refund rights - Usually items sold at a garage sale are sold "as is" Therefore, buyers aren't entitled to a refund. However, if the item is not as described you have grounds to request a refund.
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