Thrift stores are a great way to save cash while still getting quality items. These stores are great for recycling the things people don't want or need anymore. There is a saying, “One person's trash is another person's treasure,” and thrift stores are perfect examples.
However, there are a few times you should be mindful of what you buy from thrift stores. These items might look like a profitable deal but could come with cons that could outweigh the pros.
In this article, we will be sharing the top 12 items you should be careful about before purchasing them from a thrift store.
Helmets, especially motorcycle helmets, are crucial safety gear designed to protect riders during accidents – top manufacturers like Arai, AGV, and Bell Helmets offer a variety of helmets, including full-face, ADV, dirt, half, and open-face designs.
Each helmet is engineered with advanced safety features and an exceptional fit for rider protection.
However, buying a second-hand helmet can be risky as it might have been damaged, compromising its protective abilities. Therefore, it's recommended to purchase new helmets to ensure maximum safety.
2. Car Seats
Car seats are designed to keep children safe while traveling – like helmets; it's hard to tell if they've been in an accident and are no longer safe. Used car seats may not meet current safety standards or have expired safety features.
Additionally, wear and tear could compromise their functionality. Therefore, buying new car seats is advisable to guarantee your child's safety on the road.
Buying used mattresses can be a gamble. They can harbor bed bugs, dust mites, and other pests that are not only a nuisance but could also lead to allergic reactions. In addition, over time, mattresses lose their support and comfort, which can affect your sleep quality.
Therefore, investing in a new mattress ensures you get a clean, comfortable, and supportive place to rest.
Used shoes can be unhygienic and uncomfortable. They might harbor fungus or mold, which could lead to infections.
Moreover, shoes tend to mold to the shape of the wearer's feet over time, so used shoes may not provide proper support or comfort. Investing in a new pair of shoes for optimal foot health and comfort is better.
However, if you find something looks good and can be replaced cheaply, you can buy it.
Everything that has to do with skincare must be high quality. This is because of the potential bacteria and other microorganisms these items may have been exposed to.
Makeup is no exception – used makeup brushes, lipsticks, eye shadows, etc., can cause you infections or irritation. It's best to buy new makeup that has never been opened before for maximum safety.
It only makes sense to avoid second-hand underwear. Used underwear can be unhygienic and uncomfortable to wear. Even if they are branded, there are still chances that they have been used or washed many times and are now worn out.
Also, it might carry bacteria and other germs from the previous owner, which can cause skin infections.
It is better to buy new underwear for maximum hygiene. And no one will see whether you are wearing second-hand or new underwear, so why not invest in something safe and comfortable?
Similar to underwear, it's also a good idea to avoid using swimsuits. Since they are worn in water, there is an even higher risk of skin infections.
Plus, they may not be of the right size for you and, thus, won't provide you the comfort or support needed in a swimsuit. Investing in something nice and new is always better for your health and comfort.
8. Plush Toys
Some plush toys can be expensive to buy brand new, so buying them from a thrift store is tempting. However, plush toys are ideal breeding grounds for dust mites and other pests that can be harmful to kids' health.
Furthermore, due to their age, they might contain toxic chemicals or materials that can harm your child. To ensure your child's safety and health, buying plush toys from the store is better.
But if you still insist on buying used ones, check for damages and wash them in hot water before handing them over to your child.
Thrift stores are hugely famous for their collection of second-hand electronics. You can find good quality and branded items for a great deal, but this is only sometimes true.
However, before you purchase any second-hand electronics, make sure to do your research. Only some items will work as expected or can be repaired cost-effectively.
When it comes to electronics, it's a good idea to constantly buy new ones because, in the long run, it will save you a lot of trouble.
10. Non-stick Cookware
Let's be honest; non-stick cookware can be pretty expensive. This is why you might be tempted to buy used items from a thrift store.
However, non-stick coatings usually wear out after some time, affecting the look and the performance of the pans and pots. Therefore, investing in buying new items is advisable instead of relying on second-hand ones.
11. Baby Bottles
To save just a couple of bucks, there are better ideas than to invest in second-hand baby bottles. When it comes to the safety of your babies, you should always choose to buy new ones.
Used baby bottles may have cracks, materials may not have the proper chemical composition, and they can even come with mold. And you never know where the bottle has been and what kind of germs it has picked up along the way.
To keep your baby safe, buy only new bottles with a name you can trust.
12. Vaccum Cleaners
And lastly, we have vacuum cleaners containing delicate parts like hoses, filters, and tubes that need to be in good condition to keep dust particles out of the air.
You only know if these parts are working properly if you test them, and even then, it may not be enough. So, buying a new one is better than risking your health.
Plus, as we mentioned earlier, electronic products are always best when you buy them as new. Second-hand products might break down and cost more than you bargained for.
So, it's best to invest in a new vacuum cleaner that will ensure your safety and comes with warranties and customer service – that way, you can be sure that your money is well spent!
That concludes our list of items that are better bought as new than used. There are tons of other things that it's not recommended to buy used, so do your research before making any purchase. Don't just look for a handsome deal – consider the product's quality and evaluate your health and safety!
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I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.