I’ve seen some social media posts lately about people shopping garage sales for Christmas items. Not that there’s so many garage sales this time of year, but I gather some folks do this earlier in the year in preparation for Christmas Day. I’m not at all ashamed to admit that, growing up, we wore some garage sale clothes because all too often that’s what we could afford. And I’ve picked up one or two items over the years at someone’s sale because the deal was too good to pass up. Not clothes, mind you, but I’m a sucker for tools and record albums. But I’ve seen some things advertised that I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. And I certainly wouldn’t give them as gifts, either.

Used mattresses or bedding

Who in the name all that is Holy rolls up to some stranger’s home and buys a used mattress?  I mean, if you actually know the person selling the bed and trust them, that’s one thing. But to pull up to the curb at a strange home and just plunk down $100 or so on their old Serta? That’s really rolling the dice.  I got two words for you: bed bugs.

Underwear

I’ve only ever seen underpants for sale at an actual garage sale once. My wife and I had stopped at a very nice home in a very upscale neighborhood. Apparently, the lady of the house had no shame in her game at all. She had a whole box full of lacy drawers plopped out on a table with a hand-written sign “$2.00 each or 5 for $8”.  Yes, she’d even worked out a bulk rate. My very Cajun wife got one glance of that, muttered something in French that I’m sure I can’t say on the radio and we got outta there really quick. I’ve even seen women advertise panties for sale on Facebook.  I don’t care how ‘gently worn’ they are, that’s just gross.

Hats

Would you walk up to a stranger on the street, take their hat and place it on your head? Of course not. You don’t know them, they’ve sweated it out, most likely and it’s likely not your size anyway. And again, two words for you: head lice. 

Shoes

This was a line even my family didn’t cross back in the day. We might have worn used Polo’s and jeans from time to time (which were always washed first), but our shoes always were brand new. Come on now, people!  Feet sweat, they stink and then there’s athletes’ foot. I need a bath just talking about it.

Deodorant and assorted other hygiene items

I can’t believe I’m even addressing this one, but I actually saw a post on Facebook over the summer and some lady had, among other things, deodorant for sale.  She was also selling rolls of toilet paper and, uh, other hygiene items that I won't go into in detail. I had to ask if the deodorants were new or used. The reply was “It’s new, of course! What do you take me for?” Well for one thing, I take you for a gutsy gal for posting that in the first place. And anyone who’d buy it, I call them desperate. You can pick up a fine deodorant at Wal-Mart all day long for $3 or less. For the record, she insisted it was not a joke. And I’ll bet someone actually bought it.