12 Things I Never Buy Used


I care about the environment, I really do. In fact, there are many things I (almost) always buy used. I’ve been known to pick things up off the side of the road (including a toilet). And I am not ashamed to say I’ve done my fair share of dumpster diving. But, only if the item can be properly sanitized before it enters my home. However, I don’t want to put my family’s health or safety at risk just to save a few dollars. Here are 12 things I never buy used.

12 Things I Never Buy Used

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12 Things I Never Buy Used

  • Mattresses 

Y’all, bedbugs are real! I’d include a photo, but they are just too gross. (Google them if you dare.) In addition to bedbugs, used mattresses contain the dead skin of the previous owner. The average person sheds 1.6 pounds of dead skin per year. Considering the fact that most of us spend a third of each day in bed, imagine how many skin cells are contained in a single used mattress. Guess what feeds on that dead skin? Dust mites!

Dust mites are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye, so you won’t even know they are there. They are a major contributor to allergies and asthma. (In fact, I am allergic to them). A dust mite’s favorite food is (our) discarded skin. A used mattress can contain up to 10 million dust mites!

Are you sufficiently grossed out yet?

  • Car Seats & Cribs

Unless you get your child’s car seat or crib from a friend or relative, there’s no way to know where it’s been and whether it’s been taken care of. If a car seat has been in a vehicle which has been in an accident (even a fender-bender), it is unsafe.

Many car seats and cribs have been recalled for safety reasons. Did you know that once a car seat has been in use for six or more years, it’s considered expired?

In 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned drop-side cribs due to injuries and deaths. Since then, cribs are manufactured with improved mattress support, stronger slats, and safer overall design. A used crib may not meet the new safety standards.

Used crib mattresses are also a bad idea (see above).

  • Undergarments and swimsuits 

Do I even need to explain this one?

12 Things I Do Not Buy Used

For Safety’s Sake, Don’t Buy Used…

  • Tires

Again, safety is an issue when buying used tires. Therefore, I always buy my tires new. You just don’t know where that used tire has been. Even if a used tire has plenty of tread left on it, you’ll never know if it was sitting around dry rotting before it was sold to you. Considering the fact that tires are the most important part of a vehicle, do you really want to take the chance and drive on unsafe tires?

I know, I know. It’s heartbreaking to see so many tires in the landfill. Look for other eco-friendly ways to use old tires instead of putting them on your vehicle.

  •  Makeup

There are many reasons I don’t buy used makeup. Even though tons of people buy and sell used makeup, I am not one of them. I don’t care how much you paid for your makeup, if you’ve used it, I won’t touch it.

Using other people’s makeup can give you pink eye, cold sores, and E Coli.

I’d rather go without.

  • Shoes

I’ll buy used baby shoes all day long. Why? Because a shoe is perfectly fine until someone wears it to actually walk in. After a few uses, a pair of shoes will mold to a person’s foot which makes them an uncomfortable fit for anyone else. Also, over time, a worn shoe loses its shock absorption and tread, which could lead to unnecessary slips and falls.

Unless a pair of shoes has only been worn at most a couple of times (and I can verify it), I won’t buy it.

For Peace of Mind, I Don’t Buy Used…

  • Jewelry

This may or may not be unique to me, but I don’t buy used jewelry. In fact, I don’t buy any jewelry, but if I did, I would not buy it used. Why? Here are three reasons:

  1. I’m not a jeweler. I can’t tell the difference between a real diamond and cubic zirconia. In fact, I can’t even spell “zirconia” (I had to look it up).
  2. What if the jewelry was stolen? I’d never forgive myself.
  3. A clasp or clip may be worn and break soon after purchasing it.
  • Guns

When you buy a used gun from someone you don’t know, it can be almost impossible to know whether it is stolen merchandise or has been used in a crime. That’s just too much for my conscience to bear. Conversely, when buying a gun from a pawn shop, you are (usually) reassured that the gun has a clean record. However, you cannot necessarily take the weapon apart before you buy it to make sure it is clean/undamaged.

  • Upholstered Furniture

Much like used mattresses, upholstered furniture can harbor multitudes of critters. Also, it’s impossible to truly “deep clean” the cushions of used upholstered furniture. There could be blood, urine, and semen lurking deep withing the stuffing of used furniture. A slip cover would only hide the problems. Eventually, the smells will rise to the surface. Ewww.

12 Things I Never Buy Used

I Won’t Buy Used…

  • Electronics

Unless you are a “techie” (and I am not), there are just too many things that can go wrong with electronics to justify buying them used. Computers can have hidden viruses. Cameras can have scratched lenses. You won’t get a warranty when buying a used TV, and you won’t know how much life it has left in it.

I choose to err on the side of caution when it comes to purchasing electronics, so I will not buy them used. What I will do, whenever possible, is buy refurbished electronics from reputable retailers. I not only save money by buying a factory refurbished product, I also get the peace of mind that comes with having a warranty.

  • Hats

Remember the creepy crawlies I told you about? Now, add head lice to the list and you have the reason I won’t buy used hats. Ever.

Also, if you want them to maintain their form, hats cannot be cleaned properly. I suppose you could get a used hat cleaned at a dry cleaner, but that would negate the cost-saving factor of buying it used. Wouldn’t it?

  • Caskets

What? You think I am joking? There really is a market for used caskets!

Even though I’ll be dead, so I really won’t care, I have decided to be cremated. This way my family will save money and I won’t take up unnecessary real estate when I’m gone.

What are some things you do/do not buy used?


I'm not willing to sacrifice my family's health or safety. That's why I will never buy these things used.


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About Cheryl Lemily

A wife, mom of 3 boys & 2 dogs. A minimalist raising a minimalist(ish) family. Living a small, slow, simple life. Helping others declutter & simplify.

2 comments on “12 Things I Never Buy Used

  1. Interesting article, you have a lot of good info and somethings made me really think eww and hmmm, although I buy used kid’s swim suits and wash them thoroughly. I know someone lol who got ring worm from a super cute pair of white Wedge Heals, so we’ll try to never do that again!!

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