Saving money and staying safe this garage sale season

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A favorite pastime for bargain hunters is starting to come back!

Garage sales and estate sales are picking up again.

You can find garage sales near you with a simple internet search.

They are a great place to find bargains but in the era of COVID-19, you should take some steps to stay safe.

First up, wear a mask and try to practice social distancing.

Typically these are outside affairs, so they should be a little less risky than going into a confined space.

It is also a good idea to bring your own supplies, so you know there will not be any cause for concern.

We're talking about boxes and bags. Also, you can bring your own old newspapers with you to wrap up anything you buy.

If you are in the market for electronics, bring batteries and make sure the items work.

"I would recommend not buying anything you cannot test or try," said Barbara Stewart, who teaches Global Retailing and Consumer Science at the University of Houston. "You do not want any negative surprises when you plug it in or try it, and it is just a door stop instead."

RELATED: How to sell out at your next garage sale

Additionally, know what you are looking for ahead of time. Then, make a budget and stick to it so you don't bring home things you don't need or have a use for.

Finally, be sure to know the value of the item you are looking for. If you have something specific in mind, look it up on Craigslist or eBay to see what it costs before you start looking at garage sales. That way, you won't overpay.

SEE ALSO: Leftover 'garage sale' signs could cost you $2,000

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