Things Never To Buy Used

Deals are great on items like tables, art, and gym equipment. Here are some items, however, you should just never buy used.

1. Worn cookware

Any pots or pans with scratched surfaces are not a good idea to buy used. When scraped or chipped, the harmful chemicals that comprise non-stick coatings (like Teflon) can release into your food. So spare yourself the carcinogens and just splurge on a new skillet.

2. Car seats

Car seats can be expensive, but the risks associated with used ones aren’t worth the dollars saved. Car seats have an expiration date and it’s difficult to determine whether or not a secondhand version is damaged or not—making it a dangerous chance to take over a few dollars.

3. Mattresses

A cheap mattress is hard to find, so it makes sense that a used one might seem like a deal. However, once you take into account the possibility of bed bugs, dust mites, dead skin and bodily fluids— you’ll realize you’re much better off with a new one.

4. Makeup

Using hand-me-down cosmetics—even when coming from your sister or best friend—is never a good idea. Unless unopened don’t subject your skin to other people’s oil, bacteria, and bodily fluids.

5. Broken-in shoes

Although scoring a pre-worn pair of pricey shoes can be nice, steer clear of used footwear. Along with potentially inheriting old foot fungus, sweat, and bacteria, shoes mold to their owner’s feet over time—meaning a broken-in pair can trigger foot and back pain in the long run.

6. Helmets

Bike helmets are designed to only withstand one major impact. It’s almost impossible to tell if a used helmet is damaged internally, so don’t risk safety over saving a few bucks.

7. Swimsuits

It probably goes without saying, but any kind of swimsuit (or undergarment) should be off limits when secondhand shopping.

8. Vacuum cleaners

Although a hand-me-down vacuum cleaner can seem like a steal, the potential dust mites and secondhand bacterium that come along with it are not such a great deal. Instead try shopping for a factory-refurbished model online.