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Shopping secondhand is a smart way to cut costs and save money. Nevertheless, not every used item is a wise investment. Some used items could pose health or safety risks and might even lead to higher long-term expenses. Bearing this in mind, here’s a list of 12 items you should never buy used.


crib in bedroom
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For safety reasons, it’s best to avoid buying secondhand 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 cribs, and older models might not meet those requirements.

Car Seats

car seats
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Similar to baby cribs, it’s best to avoid buying secondhand baby car seats for safety reasons. Car seats must meet current safety standards to ensure proper child protection. Older models may not meet these safety requirements.


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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.

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Upholstered Furniture

chair in living room
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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.

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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.


pillows on bed
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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.

Used Tires

old tires
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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

organized undergarments
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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.

Non-Stick Cookware

kitchen with stove
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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

stuffed animals
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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.


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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.

Untested Appliances

hair appliance
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You’ve likely seen a wide array of small appliances when shopping at thrift stores. From hair dryers to televisions, thrift stores have it all. However, if you can’t test the item in the store before purchasing it, it’s best to skip it altogether. Buying something without the ability to verify if it works is too much of a risk.

14 Best Places to Buy Cheap Furniture

thrifted chest books and chair
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Furniture plays a vital role in our daily lives, offering both comfort and functionality while contributing to the aesthetics of our living spaces. Whether you’re in search of affordable options for your living room or undertaking a larger home improvement project, here are 14 of the best places to buy cheap furniture.

14 Best Places to Buy Cheap Furniture

25 Online Thrift Stores for the Best Second-Hand Shopping

upscale thrift store
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Thrift shopping has expanded beyond department stores, garage sales, and consignment shops. Many thrift stores now offer a convenient way to shop their items online.  From retro dresses and vintage accessories to timeless denim and statement stand-out pieces, here are some of the best online thrift stores to help keep your wardrobe fresh and unique.

25 Online Thrift Stores for the Best Second Hand Shopping

Thrift Store Shopping Hacks That Can Save You a Ton of Money

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There’s a secret world of thrift store hacks waiting to be revealed – tricks that will take your savings game to a whole new level and leave you with much more money in your pocket. If you’re eager to uncover even more ways to save big on your thrifting adventures, you’re in for a treat! These thrift store hacks are a must-try – and trust, they’re the real deal, even for the savviest shopper out there.

Thrift Store Shopping Hacks That Can Save You a Ton of Money

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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.

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