The weather will be warming up before you know it, and garage sales will start popping up all over the neighborhood. Before you hit a yard sale, flea market, or other second-hand sales event, here are ten things you should never buy from Reader’s Digest:
1. Bike or Motorcycle Helmets. Damage isn’t always visible on helmets, so buy a new to make sure you’re getting all the protection you need – even if it’s just a helmet for leisurely rides!
2. Child Car Seats. Sure, these can get a little pricey, but it’s your child’s safety at hand. A car seat that’s been in an accident may not protect your child in another, and accidents are more common than you’d think; about 1 in 10 car seats have been in an accident.
3. Tires. Do you really want used tires? They won’t protect you on the roads nearly as well as new tires would, and if they’ve been in an accident they are even more likely to be unstable and unreliable.
4. Wet Suits and Swimsuits. Don’t buy products that hug the body, or other personal products. Yuck.
5. Mattresses. Stay away from used mattresses. You just don’t know what it’s been through or what’s lurking inside it – Bed bugs, mold, mites, bacteria, bodily fluids?
6. Cribs. Safety recalls, as well as constant changing of safety standards make buying used cribs a pretty unsafe idea.
7. Laptops. If you’re going to buy a used computer, make it a desktop. Laptops are portable and that makes them far more likely to be dropped, knocked around or spilled on. Desktops are a safer bet.
8. Plasma TVs. It’s tempting to buy otherwise expensive electronics secondhand, but it’s just too hard to determine how well they’ve been cared for by previous owners. And when it comes to plasma TVs, if the plasma screen dies, it can cost as much to replace the screen as buying a new one!
9. Shoes. Unless you can tell the shoes have never been worn, buying used shoes isn’t a good idea. Shoes mold to your feet over time, so if you wear someone else’s it can actually cause pain and health problems over time.
10. Hats. Sorry all you vintage hat collectors. Used hats may contain remnants of hair products, sweat, or even skin infections. Unless you plan on thoroughly cleaning it, put the hat down.