Home > Personal Finance > 10 Items You Should Never Buy Used

Comments 0 Comments

Buying used items is one of the top ways to consistently save money on everything you purchase. However, not every used item is a good value. Here are 10 things we think are better when bought new.

1. Cribs

Back in 2011, the government changed safety standards for baby cribs in response to infant deaths related to old designs. Whereas drop-side cribs used to be common, they are now banned. Plus, the new rules require stronger supports and hardware.

The problem with buying a used crib is the chance you might end up with one of the millions that have been recalled. It may be easy to avoid drop-side cribs, but unless the seller can provide the original sales information, you may not know whether your purchase meets the new safety requirements.

Better safe than sorry, so we say skip the used crib and invest in a new, safer one.

2. Car Seats

Car seats are another no-no when it comes to buying used. Again, safety is the reason.

A used car seat could have been in an accident or exposed to extreme elements, either of which could compromise the seat’s durability. In addition, older seats may not be made to the latest safety standards.

You could save a few bucks and get a used seat or spend a little more and give your child the best protection possible. If you can’t afford a new seat, contact your local social services agency or community wellness organization. They may have leads on programs offering free or low-cost car seats.

3. Helmets

A final safety item you want to buy new is a helmet. This could be a helmet for a bike or a helmet for a motorcycle. Here, the main concern with buying used is that the helmet could be compromised from a previous accident. Play it safe and purchase yours new.

4. Computers

A used computer is a giant question mark. You don’t necessarily know how it’s been used, and unless you’re tech-savvy, you might not be able to see what programs are lurking on the hard drive.

Laptops, in particular, are prone to all sorts of abuse, from being banged around in a bag to being dropped on the ground.

There is one exception when it comes to buying used computers and laptops: We’re talking about buying refurbished computers. These are either used or open-box items that have been inspected and cleared for resale.

Buying refurbished items can be a safe way to get a bargain on used electronics. You can learn more in this article.

5. Digital Cameras

Like laptops, a second-hand digital camera may not only be used, it could also have been abused. It’s hard to look at one and determine how well its previous owner cared for it.

If you just need a basic point-and-click camera or video recorder, new models aren’t all that expensive. Or you could just use your smartphone and skip the expense completely.

6. Shoes

If you’re interested in having comfy feet and minimizing back pain, you might want to skip past the used shoe section at the thrift store. Shoes often conform to their first owner’s feet, which can make them uncomfortable for you.

7. Makeup

I know, some of you are probably shocked to think that anyone would wear used makeup. And yet you can find used mascara, lipstick and eye shadow at thrift stores, garage sales and on eBay. There’s even a Reddit makeup exchange board for people to swap their barely used cosmetics.

Used makeup can be a completely harmless bargain — or it might contain scary bacteria or spread disease. We say it’s not worth the risk, and you’re better off buying your beauty products new.

8. Mattresses

Like shoes, mattresses tend to conform to the bodies of their users. Buying used might mean you end up with a lumpy bed that leaves you tossing and turning all night long.

Even worse, a used mattress can harbor all sorts of nasty things like allergens, dust mites and bed bugs. In some cases, retailers may try to pass off used mattresses as new ones. The Federal Trade Commission has some tips to help you avoid inadvertently buying a used mattress that has been recovered.

9. Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals are another item that can contain dust mites and allergens. In addition, some animals may have safety issues, such as eyes that pop off and become a choking hazard.

Buying used means you can end up with a toy that has been recalled or one that harbors unpleasantness that you may not want to bring into your house.

10. Underwear

The final item on our list makes the cut solely for the “eww factor.” Some people might be concerned that used underwear may carry bacteria or germs, but I’m not convinced it’s anything that can’t be killed with a hot water wash and bleach.

The bigger question is why would you want to wear someone else’s stretched out, used undies when so many stores will sell you a new pack for $10? All except the most destitute among us can certainly scrounge up that much money.

Trust me, you’re worth the luxury of spending $10 once a year on new underwear.

Remember,when it comes to lifetime savings, your credit score is a huge deal. High levels of debt as well as missed payments related to them can seriously damage your credit. You can see what areas of your credit profile need work by getting a free credit report summary on Credit.com, which includes two free credit scores every month.

More from Money Talks News:

Image: william87

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team