10 Things You Shouldn’t Buy Used

15 Flares 15 Flares ×


One of my rules of thumb when it comes to shopping is to never buy anything at suggested retail price. If I can, I almost always wait for a sale or promotion. Of course that doesn’t always work out. So sometimes, I look at used or refurbished items. However, while I love eBay and Craigslist, I’m not always totally comfortable buying things used. I kind of get weirded out not knowing who used it and if it’s actually in good condition. You just never know. While there are some things I would be comfortable buying used, there other things where I just wouldn’t take the risk. Here are 10 things you shouldn’t used (IMHO!):


Never ever buy a used mattress. No exceptions. First of all, there’s the risk of bed bugs. Even if you can’t see any, they aren’t always visible to the naked eye. If your house gets infected with those nasty little buggers, it’ll cost you ALOT more to get rid of them. Second, I don’t want to use a mattress someone else has slept in (and done other stuff in….). A hotel bed is one thing but not in my own home.


Similar to mattresses, you should also think twice before buying a couch used..or any upholstered furniture for that matter. Aside for bed bugs, soft furniture is impossible to clean. If you do buy used, consider getting it reupholstered (but at that point, it might be cheaper to buy new).


Tires are tricky because even though they might look new, they can be damaged. Unless you trust the person you’re buying from, you never know if theses tires have been in an accident before. Spend more on brand new tires – they’ll last longer and you’ll be less worried about safety.

Baby Gear

You can’t put a price tag on the safety of your children. That’s why it might not a good idea to buy used baby gear or furniture. Regulations for these items change constantly and many products have been recalled. Baby products purchased even a year ago might not be the safest on the market. Don’t buy used unless you’ve done all your research and know what you’re buying.


While I haven’t bought much used clothing in the past, I don’t really have a problem with it. It can easily be washed and cleaned. However, I draw a line when it comes to undergarments or swimwear. Yes, you can clean it but it just feels weird to me wearing used undergarments. Plus, it’s relatively expensive when bought new.


I would totally buy refurbished computers or electronics from reputbale companies that offer warranties. But I wouldn’t buy it from some stranger on Craigslist. If something is actually wrong with the system, you can’t do anything about it. It’s their word against yours. Also, desktop computers are relatively inexpensive and you can usually find a good deal on it if you can wait.


Sneakers mold to a person’s feet so if you wear one’s that used, it probably won’t fit you properly. You need good support when you’re exercising or running so invest a in good (and new) pair of sneakers to give you maximum comfort.

Computer Software

Some computer software limit the use, such as anti-virus software or Windows. It comes with a unique code to activiate the program that can only be used once. If you’re buying used software, make sure this isn’t the case. Otherwise, you’re just paying for a useless CD.


I know a lot of women buy used makeup. In fact, I’ve sold my own before. But I just don’t feel comfortable buying used makeup for myself. It’s not always sanitary, especially liquid makeup like foundation or lip gloss where bacteria can easily grow. If you do buy used, go for powders like eye shadows that can be easily sanitized with a spray of alcohol.


Once a helmet has been involved in a crash, you can’t use it again. It just doesn’t provide the same support. However, not all helmets crack after it’s been damaged. It can be really hard to tell. That’s why you should buy new just to be safe.

What is one thing you would never buy used?


  1. says

    With baby gear it can be tricky because some items are sooo expensive not to mention over priced, but with all the recalls going on, it’s important to just do your research and educate yourself. I bought my son’s walker from someone off Craigslist for $10 and I also got a crib and a bouncer for him for free and I even grabbed high chair off the side of the road in front of our neighbors house because they were throwing it out. All of the items worked great except the high chair unfortunately. But I definitely agree with you on getting new tires. Most times you can get a warranty and they last longer. For me since I commute a lot, new tires are a safety must.

  2. says

    Tires aren’t too bad to buy second hand, but I was a “tire technician” in high school – so I know what to look for.

    One thing I never understood had a secondary market was breast pumps. I will never use one, but it seems odd to me.

    • Connie says

      Haha! I never thought about breast pumps. But I used to work in the baby products industry and can tell you that certain pumps have filters and are totally OK to be re-used. They are also really expensive. Other pumps don’t and I would not buy those used!

  3. says

    While I would never buy a used mattress, couch, or computer equipment from someone I didn’t know, I have gotten those things from people I DID know, and didn’t have any kind of problem. But since I was in my early 20’s for the mattress thing, I would probably reconsider even doing that now from someone I know. Having a good solid mattress is key for a good night’s sleep, plus no matter who it is who used it, it’s still kind of gross. But I was young and broke so… lol!

    • Connie says

      Haha, I would feel much better buying those things from someone I knew and trusted….but definitely not a stranger.

  4. says

    When I was broke, I received a used couch once and bought one another time. Luckily, no bed bugs came with either.

    Now that I can afford it, I shy away from used upholstery/mattresses. I’ve also never considered getting used underwear/swimsuits. Yeah, it’s been washed but… ew.

    I’ve never heard of buying used makeup. Weird. But I’m glad you made money off the trend.

  5. says

    Believe it or not, my wife told me she once went to a flea market and a vendor was trying to sell a half empty bottle of Pepto Bismol. Put me down for ‘medicines’ as something you shouldn’t buy used.

  6. says

    I think buying used computer parts is fair game on Craigslist. If you know what you’re looking for then this is actually a good way to save money. There are ways to verify the equipment before handing over your cash.

  7. says

    Thanks so much for this post! I’d say that while you may be able to confidently exclude couches from “things you buy used,” there are other options of furniture that are solid options. What’s more, a lot of used furniture retailers and antique stores do a good job of cleaning their wares and checking them for bedbugs. For me, I don’t have a problem shopping used–if the vendor seems like they know what they’re doing.


Speak Your Mind