Garage Sales: know what you can sell … and what you can’t

So you want to have a garage sale. You’ve got the stuff, you’ve picked the date, you’ve set the prices and the sale is started. But wait… is everything you have out for sale legally able to be sold?

Health Canada and various other government agencies through laws and regulation state some items cannot be legally sold or even given away. Before you buy or sell know what you are able to sell.

This article only gives a small sample of some of the regulations for more detailed information visit and get the facts. To ensure accuracy in reporting some information has been copied directly from the Health Canada web site.

Car Seats

Car seats must have a National Safety Mark and meet current regulatory requirements. Remember that it is illegal to sell car seats that do not meet the current regulatory requirements. You should always check with the manufacturer before selling a car seat.

Car seats must come with warnings, guidelines for use, installation instructions, and date of manufacture. Do not sell a car seat that is past the lifespan recommended by the manufacturer or that has been in a vehicle during a collision.

Before selling a used car seat, check with Transport Canada (1-800-333-0371 or for more information and to find out if the car seat has been recalled. Also, be sure that it is in good condition with no missing parts and with functioning anchoring systems.

Children’s Sleepwear

Do not sell loose-fitting children’s sleepwear made of cotton, cotton blends or rayon as they burn more easily. Loose-fitting children’s sleepwear includes nightgowns, bathrobes, and loose pyjamas. They should be made of polyester, nylon or polyester/nylon blends.

Tight-fitting children’s sleepwear includes polo pyjamas and sleepers (with tight cuffs at the end of sleeves and pants legs, close fit to the body). They are less likely to make contact with a fire source and are likely to burn more slowly. They can be made from cotton, cotton blends or rayon.

Ice Hockey Helmets and Face Protectors and other helmets

Ice hockey helmets and face protectors sold in Canada must carry a sticker indicating they meet safety standards set by the Canadian Standard Association (CSA) and clearly showing the standard number. If the standard number is not present, discard the product.

Ice hockey helmets must also have a chin strap and a label with the date of manufacture. These items must not be sold if previously subjected to major impact, if older than five years, if showing signs of damage, or if parts are missing. Be careful as damage done to helmets is not always visible. If you are unsure of a helmet condition, it is better not to sell it.

Helmets are designed to protect the head against either single or multiple impacts. They can be certified through a number of organizations (for example, Snell, CSA, ANSI) and should have a label stating to which standard they have been certified. Bicycle, in-line skating and equestrian helmets. These helmets are designed to protect the head against a single impact.

It is not recommended that you buy these products second-hand or that you borrow them from others. Ski and snowboard helmets. These helmets may be designed for single or multiple impacts. If you are unsure which type it is, Health Canada recommends that you do not buy it. Do not buy second-hand single impact helmets. If you decide to buy a multiple impact helmet, ensure it meets a recognized safety standard by checking for a label.

For more information, contact Consumer Product Safety, Health Canada: 1-866-662-0666, email, or visit and To check for consumer product recalls posted by Health Canada: Grab a few bargains at your next garage sale but be sure you don’t end up with someone else’s problems. Buyer beware that it may not be what you see.