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7 Home Items You Shouldn’t Buy Used

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Ashley
02.25.13

We’re all about consuming less and reusing more, but second-hand stuff isn’t always a great idea. Some pre-owned items can come with pests and parasites, some can depreciate in quality and others simply aren’t safe the second time around.

We recommend you don’t take any chances with these seven items:

1. Mattresses

We know that buying a mattress can be expensive, but it’s well-worth the cost of a new mattress to avoid bed bugs! Keep this in mind: If a mattress on the street-corner seems too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Upholstered Furniture and Throw Pillows

The stuffing in furniture and pillows is an attractive home for bed bugs, mice, dust mites and other pests. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you don’t know what kind of environment it came from, don’t bring it into yours!

3. Lamps

That retro lamp you saw at a neighbor’s garage sale may look rad, but it could be a fire hazard, too! According to FEMA, light fixtures and old lamps are among the leading causes of electrical fires in homes each year. If you have your heart set on a lamp, have it rewired!

4. Linens and Blankets 

These items are sneaky because you would assume that one wash would take care of any pest problems. But if that first wash doesn’t quite do the job, you may wind up paying big bucks for an exterminator. Is a retro blanket really worth all that? Again, if you’re not sure where it came from, it’s best to just buy these items new.

5. Large Appliances 

When making a significant purchase like a washing machine or dishwasher, it’s best to go with something brand new. Why? You’ll get the warranty that’s typically offered with the sale of new appliances, just in case something goes wrong within the first year. Plus, newer appliances will likely be twice as efficient as older ones, which saves you energy and money!

6. Blenders

The average lifespan of a blender with moderate use is around five years, so if you don’t know how much a blender was used, or when it was made, you could be paying for an appliance that’s on its last leg.

7. Cookware

Just how old is that pan you brought home from the estate sale down the street? If it contains a non-stick agent like Teflon, and that Teflon has begun to peel or show signs of wear, it’s not safe anymore! That pan could be releasing toxic gases while you cook, which will endanger your family (and pets, if you have birds!) and contaminate your food. To be on the safe side, opt for new cookware!

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