Garage sales become more frequent as the weather cools off, but there are risks involved in hosting or shopping garage sales.

The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana offers the following tips to keep buyers safe at garage sales:

· Avoid helmets, cribs and child car seats, as it's hard to tell if these are damaged.

· Try out electric appliances before buying, since many garage sale hosts follow a strict 'all sales are final' rule.

· Always ask for a receipt and write down a purchase agreement with both your signature and seller’s signature so you have written proof of expensive purchases.

· Remember that state taxes and other fees may be required to legally transfer ownership of old cars,trucks, and boats.

Garage sale hosts should beware the following:

· Do not accept checks to avoid scams and only accept cash.

· Be careful when accepting $20 bills, as they are popular with counterfeiters. Consider investing in a counterfeit detection pen.

· Make certain to fully guarantee your own safety and that of your family and property when allowing strangers on your property. Lock doors to your home, outside buildings, and cars.

Both buyers and sellers are encouraged to have a buddy to help keep an eye on things and never allow yourself to be pressured into buying or selling anything.

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