Saving money couldn’t be easier at a thrift store. It's like a discount big-box store with treasures galore. While you can find just about anything at a thrift store, some things are not great bargains and others should never be bought used. Here is a list of 10 things you should never buy at a thrift store.
10 Things You Should Not Buy At Thrift Stores
1. Car seats. This is a safety issue. Did you know that car seats expire? Even if you find one that is not expired, it may have been involved in an accident and is no longer safe.
2. Electronics that are missing pieces or parts. Not only are they not useful without all the pieces, but they might be a fire hazard. If you do decide to buy an electronic device without all the parts, make sure for a fact that you can buy replacement parts for it through the original manufacturer. Beware, though, replacement parts might cost as much as the item new.
3. Children’s furniture or baby cribs. There are recalls all the time on these items and while it may look in good repair, it may have been recalled and that is why it is at the thrift store to begin with. Check with the manufacturers to see if the item has not been recalled if you must purchase.
4. Sports safety gear. These could have been worn out but not look like it. This is especially true with bike helmets.
5. Tablets or laptops. While these are hard to find at thrift stores, occasionally one pops up. Don’t be tricked into getting it by the amazing low price. You won’t get technical support if you don’t have the warranty and there are so many issues they could have that aren’t immediately noticed.
6. Children’s and costume jewelry. Older jewelry contains lead in many cases. There is really no way to tell if it does, so play it safe and just say no.
7. Mattresses. This is mostly an issue with bedbugs and other creepy crawlers. Bedbugs often cannot be seen with the naked eye and imbed themselves deep in mattresses. Bringing home a mattress with a bedbug problem could infest your whole home almost overnight.
8. Lingerie and underwear. This should go without saying, but it is for sanitary purposes.
9. Footwear. This is a “use your best judgment” situation. Inspect used shoes well. Do they smell bad? Is the sole worn out? Do they seem like they are already molded to someone else’s feet? Ill fitting shoes can be a real problem as they might create back pain and foot issues for you.
10. Hats of all types. Head lice, sweat, dandruff, oh my! It is best to stay away from hats as they are a very personal thing, just like underwear.