20 things you shouldn't buy used
Buying used can save a ton of money. But sometimes you end up paying more for repairs and replacements.
This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.
I'm an avid garage sale shopper. Most of my furniture was bought used, and I've saved more than 50% on some pieces. But there are some things I would never buy used, especially if they put my health or safety at risk.
Stacy Johnson agrees. In the video below, he mentions seven things you should never buy used. Check it out and read on for 13 more.Here's more information on why you shouldn't buy those seven things used, plus more than a dozen others:
Cribs -- especially the drop-side kind -- are frequently on recall lists, and the reasons are pretty terrifying. For example, in April, Nan Far Woodworking recalled their drop-side cribs for repair. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said:
The cribs' drop sides can malfunction, detach or otherwise fail, causing part of the drop side to fall out of position, creating a space into which an infant or toddler can roll and become wedged or entrapped, which can lead to strangulation or suffocation. A child can also fall out of the crib. Drop-side incidents can also occur due to incorrect assembly and with age-related wear and tear.
How do you know if a crib you're eyeing on Craigslist hasn't been recalled? You could check the Consumer Product Safety Commission's list of crib recalls, but you won't know if the crib was sent back for repairs or not. You'd have to take the seller's word for it. It's better to play it safe and buy a new crib.
Child car seats
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says child car seats can be safely reused after minor crashes -- if the air bags didn't deploy, no one was injured, and the car drove away. But it recommends that car seats be replaced after moderate crashes.
How do you tell the difference between a car seat in a minor crash, one in a moderate crash, or one that wasn't in a crash at all? You probably can't. The damage could be internal and not visible. Don't risk it. Buy a new one.
In a crash, the thick foam inside a helmet absorbs shock and protects your head. After a crash, the helmet may look fine, but it often has breaks or tears in the foam. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends replacing a helmet after any crash, even a minor one. Otherwise, the helmet might not protect you in the next crash.
If you take great care of a laptop, it can last through years of heavy use. But you can't know how someone else treats their stuff. Maybe they dropped it, spilled coffee on it or otherwise damaged it. The laptop could work great at first but break down after you take it home.
The same goes for video cameras. There may not be any visible damage, but it could have been dropped, exposed to water or otherwise mistreated. Video cameras are costly to repair, so it isn't worth buying one used.
A used mattress can come with a lot of extras you don't want -- dead skin cells, bacteria, hair and every other gross thing you could imagine. It might also have bedbugs. The bugs are such a growing problem that Terminix has released a Top 15 Cities for Bedbug Infestation list.
Bring a bedbug-infested mattress into your house, and you'll pay a hefty fee to an exterminator.
Used shoes may have been great for the original owner because they've conformed to his or her feet. They might not be great for you. Used shoes that don't fit just right can lead to feet or leg pain and back problems.
I see makeup at almost every garage sale I go to, but I'd never buy any. Cosmetic brushes and wands come into contact with skin and can't be cleaned very well. A barely used tube of lipstick might be hosting illness-causing bacteria. Considering that drugstores and beauty shops regularly run makeup sales, risking your health isn't worth the savings.
Plasma TVs and HDTVs
Old tube-style TVs held up a lot better than modern flat screens. While MSNBC says TVs cost an average of $500 to repair, the repair costs run much higher for plasma screens and for more complicated issues. Even at the lower end, it may be more cost-effective to buy a new TV under warranty than a used one.
The inside of that hat could be brimming with someone else's dead skin, hair, or worse -- lice. Head lice feed on blood and cause itchy and painful reactions in the scalp. The nearly invisible bugs also travel quickly to other people and your stuff.
Swimsuits hug the body and can transmit bacteria. They're also fragile. If the washing instructions aren't followed, the straps might rip or the swimsuit might lose its shape. So you could be buying something that falls apart after only a few uses.
Vacuums can be subjected to a lot of wear and tear, which can lead to costly repairs. Considering you can buy a new vacuum for under $100, it isn't worth the risk to buy a used one.
Edmunds.com warns that old and used tires can pose a safety risk. As tires age, they lose elasticity. As a result, the tread could separate from the tire, causing an accident. Even if the tire isn't that old, it could have been treated poorly. You can't tell a tire's condition from the tread alone, so don't buy a used one just because it looks good.
Software comes with a product code, and most software manufacturers put a limit on the number of times you can reload it. When you buy software used, you have no way of knowing how many times the product code has been used. For example, if the code has a three-time limit and the original owner used it twice, you'll only be able to load the software onto one more computer before it's no longer good.
DVD players often cost more to repair than replace. For example, a friend of mine took her DVD player to a repair shop because the DVDs wouldn't load. The repair shop told her she'd need a new DVD drive tray. It would've cost $55 for the repair. She bought a new one for less.
Since stuffed animals have a fabric surface, bacteria and dirt are absorbed in the fibers. Do you really want your child playing with a teddy bear -- and possibly chewing on it -- if you don't know where it's been?
Those old halogen lamps may look cool, but they're a fire hazard. Anne Ducey, marketing coordinator for Seattle Light, told the The Seattle Times that halogen lamps have been linked to at least 350 fires, $2 million in property damage, 114 injuries, and 29 deaths across the U.S.
Blenders are subject to loads of abuse. (I've broken two myself trying to force-feed frozen strawberries and ice through the blades.) Old blenders can also have nearly invisible bits of food stuck to the underside of the blades and in the blending bowl. Since you can buy a new blender pretty cheap -- I just paid $25 for one at Target -- that's the better choice.
Costume jewelry can contain substances like nickel, cadmium and lead. The problem was so prevalent that testing and subsequent legal action by the Center for Environmental Health in 2004 led to the recall of more than 150 million pieces of jewelry for kids. While lead testing is stricter now for new products, the used costume pieces you're buying may have lead or other hazardous substances.
Pet food and treats
Recent pet food recalls had me worried, so why would I buy old food? Even if the food hasn't been recalled, open bags of dog food and treats can contain bugs and bug eggs. Where I live, it's not uncommon for pet food to become infested with roaches.
Those are the 20 things I would never buy used. Can you think of any more to add to the list?
More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
You may consider adding the following items to the list:
-Combs and brushes
-sheets, towels, wash clothes, and pillows
I have seen all of these items for sale at various thrift stores as well as yard sales. The above items should not be offered for sale, purchased, or donated due to contamination with another person's body cells and/or body fluids.
Try making a sentence with all the above...
video camera same deal. new may be thousands , and used you get a great deal. of course some things are necessary new, but not most of the things they mention. Its just a stupid article they wrote and they want some attention. Trust common sense, not someone selling you a story.
This would particularly hold true for condoms. LOL!!!
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