Buyer beware of bogus bargains

One way to save money is to buy used stuff. But avoid being burnt by being aware of bogus bargains, deceptive duds and painted pigs.

There are more than 5,000 flea market-type operations in North America, of which at least 1,000 are considered semipermanent, according to These markets are also referred to as swap meets, trash and treasure, boot sales and outdoor markets.

Watch out for new paint on old items at yard sales, flea markets, auctions and Craigslist. Heads up on a fantastic deal that’s just too good to be true. Pay attention to the long-winded sales pitch.

I bought an outdoor wooden bench at a flea market. I knew it was older, but I

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