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14 Things You Should Never Buy Used

14 Things You Should Never Buy Used

There is a common saying that not all that glitters is gold and this holds true for used items. Lots of great deals are available on sites like Craigslist.org and Freecycle.org let alone what you can find a garage sales and swap meets but be careful about what you purchase. In order to be successful when buying used items you need to know what to avoid first.

1. Flat Screen TVs

Flat screen TVs are much more sophisticated than their old cathode ray tube forbearers. Even testing a used TV prior to buying may not guarantee proper working order months later. Repairing flat screen TVs can be expensive so it is better to purchase new and under warranty.

2. Tires

Buying used tires is less about expense and more about safety. The rubber used to make tires becomes less elastic with age and is prone to cracking and separation. Even tires which look like they're in good condition may have the tread separate from the tire when it's least expected resulting in a crash.

3. Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals experience all types of harrowing adventures when around children. You don't know where they've been or what they've gone through and bringing used stuffed animals home for your children to play with is risky at best.

4. Video Cameras

Video cameras contain highly sophisticated electronics in an incredibly small package which is meant to be portable. What you won't know when buying one used is if it has been dropped or if any of it sensitive internals have been damaged.

5. Laptops

Laptops include two primary features which are prone to failure and degradation. Lithium-ion batteries have a shelf life of two years at which point they hold a fraction of their initial charge. Hard drives, especially small ones found in laptops, fail frequently and can be expensive to replace.

6. Makeup

Buying used makeup is not recommended because the contents of lipsticks and powders come in direct contact with people skin via transfer. Bacteria and dead skin cells are the last thing you should be putting on your face.

7. Helmets

Motorcycle and bicycle helmets are structurally engineered to shatter internally when absorbing blunt force impacts. A used helmet may have previously sustained damage which may not be readily apparent and could reduce its effectiveness in protecting your head.

8. Cribs

Recently, a particular type of crib was nationally recalled due to safety concerns. These "drop-side" style cribs were prone to malfunction which could lead to strangulation or suffocation. If you're concerned about a used crib being involved in a product safety recall, you can visit The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website for more information.

9. Software

Software comes with end-user license agreements and product codes which tie a purchase directly to one consumer. Once software has been registered it is nontransferable so essentially there is no such thing as used software on the open market.

10. Halogen Lamps

Halogen lamps were incredibly popular for a short period of time due to their sleek profiles in bright light sources, unfortunately they are also incredibly dangerous. This type of lamp has been linked to over 300 fires and millions of dollars in property damage resulting in injury and death.

11. Pet Food & Treats

While not common, there was a nationwide pet food recall due to contamination which resulted in illness and death of household pets. Avoid used pet food and treats since there is no way to guarantee that it is safe.

12. Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry has also been part of nationwide recalls for containing poisonous substances like nickel, cadmium, and lead. A nationwide recall of 150 million pieces of children's jewelry was conducted in 2004.

13. Mattresses

The recent East Coast epidemic of bed bug infestation should dissuade any consumers from purchasing used mattresses. Not including bedbugs, mattresses accumulate dead skin, hair and other unmentionables that cannot be readily cleaned or wiped away.

14. Hats

Hats, at least those other than the baseball variety, can be difficult to clean thoroughly and are similar in issues with mattresses. They're not like a used shirt or pair of pants that can be thrown in a clothes washer in most situations.

Image by: Aaron Stidwell