12 Things You Should Never Buy Used – Regardless of How Much You Save 

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Buying used things gives them a chance at a new life at lower prices. However, despite the cash savings, certain items are not meant to be shared, not even with household members, let alone strangers. There are valid reasons for this, so let’s check out some of the most common and discuss why these should be brand new. 

Intimates and swimwear 


Let’s get the most obvious items out of the way—intimates and swimwear should always be new, with protection, so you know you’re the first (and only) owner. Buying anything that comes in contact with other people’s privates could cause infection, spread bacteria, and turn money-saving into a nightmare. 



Second-hand mattresses can have numerous issues since they absorb someone’s saliva, bodily fluids, dead skin, and more. Mattresses are expensive, but used ones can have up to 10 million dust mites and their droppings, bed bugs, and other pests. The question of support and degraded structure is another reason to buy a new one with a warranty. 

Various helme­ts


Helmets for bikers, boarders, or skiers should always be bought new. First, there is a question of quality since sun exposure and other elements can damage it on the outside. These helmets were made to save your head, and small, undetected cracks can make them useless. Additionally, they transfer germs and dust. 

Cosmetics and makeup 


Once opened, beauty products can last for a certain number of months, regardless of what the date says. The date means it is safe to open it until it is, but the little square near the bottom notifies you how long you can use the product after opening it. Secondly, most products are great breeding grounds for germs, and most should not be shared among the same household members. 

Rugs or carpets 


Avoid buying used rugs or carpets because you risk bringing pests into your home. These items are pricey to have professionally cleaned, and though the previous owner could mask the smell with a refresher, it could come out, so you would be forced to take it for a deep cleaning. Just think of what your dog did on your carpet or how many times you walked with your shoes on it. 

BBQ grills


Though new ones are not cheap, old grills can be harmful to your health. Grills tend to rust with time, which can damage your digestive system. Additionally, old, left-out oil and burnt food can cause fires. These items are not meant to last a lifetime, but replacing an old one with a healthier one seems too risky. 

Car seats  

Image by everyonensk/Depositphotos

Car seats should protect a child, but even the slightest damage can make them useless, just like helmets. When it comes to protecting children, no price is too high, so opt for a new one despite knowing you will only be using it for a short while.  

Vintage cribs and anything for a newborn


Though they can be gorgeous, vintage cribs are likely not the best choice for your newborn due to safety standards, among other issues. Secondly, newborns are sensitive, and since you don’t know who used what or for how long, it is always better to be cautious. 

Some footwear


Used footwear could come with bacteria and even fungus. Taking them to a professional could remove any traces of the previous owner. However, if arch support or cushioning is damaged, your new, used running shoes will be useless. You have to inspect the product before buying it, which can be impossible if you’re ordering online. 

Stuffed animals


Regardless of their adorable appearance, stuffed animals can be breeding grounds for bedbugs, lice, allergens, and bacteria. They can also contain drool, snot, odors, and mold. Pre-loved stuffed animals can also be a choking hazard if the buttons or eyes are loose. 

Some electronics 

typing, computer
Illustration. Image credit: Shutterstock

The tech world is fast-moving, so many old laptops or smart TVs can have outdated software. Even the smallest hardware issues can be costly to repair, so the standard rule is to avoid buying pre-owned things with built-in batteries, flash memory, CRTs, and mechanical parts made of plastic. 

Pillows and upholstered furniture


Bed bugs, lice, and germs can be found on pillows, bedding, and even upholstered furniture, including headboards. There are also issues of durability and comfort, various fluids, and more. Second-hand purchasing can be a lot of fun, and more importantly, it is a great way to save money. However, in the long run, buying certain things brand new is cheaper. 

Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.