Opting for secondhand shopping at thrift stores and garage sales can help you save money. However, buying items that are used doesn’t always prove beneficial. In fact, there’s a potential for certain used items to carry health or safety implications, and others might not be in good condition. Instead of impulsively filling your cart with items that catch your eye, make sure the items you’re choosing are safe to use. With that in mind, here are ten items that you should avoid buying used.
Car Seats and Cribs
For safety reasons, it’s best to avoid buying secondhand car seats and baby cribs. It’s important to have cribs assembled correctly and meet current safety standards while also ensuring no recalls from the manufacturer. Meeting safety standards is crucial for car seats and cribs; older models might not meet those requirements. If you’re using a used car seat or crib, there’s uncertainty about whether it can provide the expected level of protection for the child.
When you purchase a used mattress, it’s almost impossible to know its full history. Moreover, a pre-used mattress’s longevity pales compared to a new one. There’s also no telling what issues might lurk within, like mold, bacteria, dust mites, or even pests, and it is very challenging to clean an entire mattress. All in all, the potential risks to your home and health make buying a used mattress not worth it.
It’s wise to exercise caution with fabrics that have the potential to harbor bacteria. Similar to the situation with used mattresses, the uncertainty surrounding the history of furniture raises concerns about the presence of germs, dust mites, or bedbugs within. These items can also easily accumulate odors, stains, and various substances, such as food and fluids, making them less desirable choices for your household.
Rugs can become quite gross and unhygienic over time. Unless the prior owner maintained a no-shoe policy, it’s hard to know what might be concealed within the rug. There could be questionable stains or even mold. Despite the efforts you might put into cleaning it, investing in a new rug is often the best choice.
Much like mattresses, pillows can become breeding environments for pests, mold, and other unwanted elements. Additionally, they’re prone to staining from bodily fluids. Given these considerations, the effort of purchasing them used might not be worthwhile, especially when you can find reasonably priced options at local department stores.
Pre-owned tires pose a safety concern due to the inability to confirm their prior usage. Even in cases of careful usage, tires naturally deteriorate with time. All things considered, the potential risk outweighs the benefits.
Swimwear and Underwear
Buying secondhand intimate items such as swimwear, lingerie, and underwear can raise concerns regarding hygiene and sanitation. Swimwear and underwear stay in close contact with the skin for extended periods, making them susceptible to accumulating bacteria. It’s best to avoid these items altogether.
A Non-stick pot’s coatings tend to deteriorate over time and are easily scratched. When nonstick pots are scratched, they can potentially cause the release of toxic chemicals that you wouldn’t want to end up in your food or body.
Stuffed animals might house dust mites and allergens. Some of them might raise safety concerns due to detachable parts, like eyes, that could become a choking risk. Even with washing and sanitizing, gauging their true cleanliness remains uncertain. Additionally, you never know how frequently the previous child had the toy in their mouth while teething. Opting for secondhand purchases can lead to obtaining toys subject to recalls or ones carrying unwanted elements that you may prefer not to introduce into your home.
Buying used jigsaw puzzles can be risky unless sealed and visibly unopened. You could bring home a puzzle and invest hours into solving it, only to discover that some pieces are missing. While puzzles are fun to solve, it’s best to avoid buying them used if you’d rather not face such a situation.
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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.