Thrift-shopping is a great method to buy high-end clothing and accessories at low prices. However, when buying used items it’s important to be very careful. Typically, an item that you are able to clean easily is a safe bet. But some items that are tedious to clean and potentially carry harmful germs probably shouldn’t be bought from a secondhand store.
When you’re shopping at a thrift shop, avoid these 12 items:
Children’s safety equipment
When it comes to children’s safety, you need to be too careful.
If you’re considering buying a crib, stroller, or car seat secondhand, you’ll want to thoroughly check these items for any damage because, unlike with clothes, the faults on these items aren’t always noticeable. Because safety standards alter often, it’s essential that you do your research to see if the item you want to buy has been recalled.
Duct Tape and Denim also noted that car seats are only built to last one-car crash. Because it’s close to impossible to know an item’s past history while you’re thrift-shopping, buying a used car seat might not be worth taking the risk.
Like car seats, protective bike and motorcycle helmets are only built to withstand one accidental impact, according to Duct Tape and Denim.
Because it can be difficult to know a used item’s history, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It is obvious that helmets, like hats, can also be carriers for lice and other infections.
When considering purchasing used electronics items, you should definitely test them out in the store to make sure they work properly, according to Bargain Babe. Vintage appliances can be faulty and outdated, so it’s best to make sure to test them before you spend money on them.
Kids often keep their stuffed toys close to themselves, so you’ll want to be very careful when purchasing them used. Kids’ teddy bears can be a carrier of germs, odors, bedbugs, mold, and allergens, among other infections.
Though you can sanitize a stuffed toy by washing it in hot water and dry heating it, this could result in disfiguring it. This method isn’t foolproof, either, and germs could still remain and linger after sanitation.
Anything that looks damaged or stained
While most thrift stores are very strict about which donations actually hit shelves, there’s no uniform standard for deciding which items will end up on the shelves and racks and which won’t. Because of this, it’s important to be very careful of items you’re considering purchasing.
It is recommended to thoroughly checking anything you’re thinking of buying to make sure it smells OK, doesn’t have stains, fits, and is in otherwise good condition.
Some things are better for second-hand purchase, but undergarments are not one of them, according to Duct Tape and Denim. Unless it’s clear that those panties have never been used and still have the tags on them, avoid buying undergarments from a thrift store.
The same applies to bathing suits.