Sunday, April 10, 2016

10 Things You Should Never Buy At A Thrift Store!

10 things you should never buy at a thrift store

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that I love thrifting! I've written more than a few blog posts about thrift store shopping, and have shared some of my best tips and finds with you. Now I am going to share with you the ten (if not more) things you should NEVER buy at a thrift shop! 

Thrift shops are great places to find all types of things. Unique and unusual collectibles, antiques, accents for your home decor, craft materials, not to mention clothing. But did you know that there are some things found at thrift stores that can actually be harmful to your health and home? Here is my list of 10 things you should never buy at a thrift store.

1. Bicycle, motorcycle, and skateboard helmets
Steer away from any sports safety equipment helmet, since you never know what could have been in an accident or used and abused by the previous owner. Once helmets have taken a hard hit or fall, they no longer meet safety regulations. 

2. Child car seats, cribs, and strollers
When it comes to child car seats, cribs and strollers, recalls abound. Many people discard their old car seats and the like at thrift shops, many which have been recalled due to hazards to safety. Buy your car seats, cribs, and strollers new. 

3. Bedding; pillows and comforters
One of the easiest ways to introduce invasive insects such as bedbugs is in bedding and pillows. Especially if the bedding is thick, heavy, or not washable. 

4. Mattreses & box springs
As in #3 above, mattresses and box springs can harbor bedbugs and other insects, which can wreck havoc on your home and health. This rule not only applies to thrift stores, but mattresses & box springs from moving sales, Craig's List and the like. Buy these new.

5. Wigs & hats
Wigs and hats can harbor head lice. Enough said. Unless it's a hat that can be thoroughly and carefully washed, steer clear of wigs and hats.  

6. Upholstered and stuffed furniture
As with mattresses and box springs, stuffed furniture makes a great home for bedbugs and roaches. Unless you are buying the item for the frame and plan on completely stripping the furniture of all of its material and stuffing and replacing it with brand new materials, leave the upholstered and stuffed furniture at the thrift store. If you do buy a piece to re-do, keep it outside of your home until the old material and stuffing has been removed and it has been thoroughly cleaned. 

7. Toys for small children
Many toys for small children made years ago have small parts that pose choking hazards and lead paint that can be poisonous. Again, over the years many toys are recalled due to these safety hazards. Use discretion when shopping this section, or better yet, skip it altogether. 

8. Stuffed animals
This is the same as pillows and stuffed furniture. Stuffed toys and stuffed animals can harbor insects such as bedbugs and roaches. You certainly do not want your kids playing with those! 

9. Cosmetics
Be advised that as cosmetics age they become stale and rancid. I'm talking about "new and still in the original package" cosmetics. Opened and partially used cosmetics are a definite no. They are filled with bacteria. Yuck! Always buy your cosmetics new.

10. Old electronics & appliances
There's two things you have to watch out for when it comes to buying old appliances at a thrift store. First, you want to make sure that there is nothing structurally wrong with the item that could pose a shock or fire hazard, such as a frayed electrical cord. Second, I'm going to tell you a story from a friend who used to work at an apartment complex. The apartment complex was insect-free until one day a tenant complained that he had cockroaches. The manager of the apartments told the man that he must have brought the bugs with him since the apartment was roach-free before he moved in. He swore up and down that he did not, and that the place he had moved from was clean and bug-free. Until one day he was in his kitchen, and noticed bugs coming from the electric clock that he purchased at a thrift store for his new apartment around the time he moved in. Upon further inspection, the inside of the clock was full of bugs. It turned out that he brought the buggy clock home from the thrift shop, and that the insects had made their home inside of it because it was warm. Yuck! Keep that in mind when you're shopping for secondhand electric appliances. 

My motto is that it's always better to be safe than to be sorry. I'm sure I may have overlooked something on my lists, so if you have any things that we should not buy at a thrift shop, leave a comment below. Thrift shop shopping is a fun hobby that can yield great treasures. Above all it should be fun. Remember to shop smart and shop safe!

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Article copyright Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link updates or corrections leave correct info in comment area.