Entertainment, Health and Lifestyle

7 Things You Should Never Buy Used

The secondary market in this country offers tremendous opportunities to save money on the things we want and need. Who doesn’t love a great garage sale or super find on eBay or Craigslist? But there are times when wisdom must prevail because the allure of a bargain comes at such an intolerable cost. Whether it’s for safety reasons, hygiene concerns or the risk of hidden issues, some purchases are best made brand-new. Here are seven things you should never buy used:


Considering the amount of time spent on a mattress and its impact on your health and well-being, investing in a new one is essential. Used mattresses may harbor allergens, bed bugs or other hygiene issues that can affect your sleep quality and overall health. A new mattress promises you are not inheriting someone else’s problems and allows you to choose a model that suits your comfort needs.

In some states, it is illegal to sell used mattresses, while others only allow this to happen under strict conditions. (You can find a state-by-state guide at MattressNut.com.). Even if it legal where you live, you would be well advised to steer clear of previously owned and used mattresses.


When it comes to providing for the safety of your child, compromising on a used car seat is a risk not worth taking. Car seats have expiration dates, and their safety features might be compromised in the event of an accident. Without a complete history, it’s challenging to determine if a used car seat has been involved in a crash, potentially affecting its ability to protect your child.


Just like car seats, helmets are a safety measure designed to provide protection in case of impact. A previously owned helmet may have undetectable damage that compromises its structural integrity. Helmets must always be replaced after a significant impact or every five to seven years, even if they appear undamaged. Buying a used helmet could mean unknowingly putting your safety at risk.


Personal hygiene is No. 1, and undergarments are items that should always be purchased new. The risk of bacteria, fungi and other hygiene-related concerns makes buying used underwear and swimwear unadvisable. You would be wise to prioritize your health and opt for new items that guarantee cleanliness and comfort.


Technology advances rapidly, and used electronics may quickly become outdated or have hidden issues. Buying a used laptop or electronic device poses the risk of inheriting someone else’s problems, such as a dwindling battery life, hardware malfunctions or outdated software. Unless that used device is certified to have been factory-renewed and comes with a reliable warranty, investing in new electronics will make certain you are getting the latest features and a reliable product.


Shoes mold to the shape of their owner’s feet over time, and the wear and tear on the soles may not be visible. Buying used shoes can lead to discomfort and foot problems. Even more problematic, used shoes may carry bacteria and fungi from the previous owner, putting your foot health at risk. Opting for new shoes to assure proper support and hygiene is highly recommended.


Tires are critical to vehicle and human safety. The condition of your tires can affect and impact your driving experience. Used tires may have hidden defects, such as weakened sidewalls or tread wear, which can compromise safety. Investing in new tires offers reliability and also meets safety standards.

Exception: Some tire shops sell what is known at “takeoffs.” A new takeoff is a factory OEM (original equipment manufacturer) wheel and tire that was removed from a brand-new vehicle in exchange for new custom wheels and tires. Many tire shops offer takeoffs, which they took in trade for new, fancy equipment, and then resell at a tremendously discounted price. And the shop will warranty the takeoffs. So while takeoffs are technically used, provided they come with a complete warranty for the second owner, takeoffs do offer a tremendous bargain.

While buying used items can be a great way to save money and reduce waste, certain products should always be purchased new to prioritize safety, hygiene and overall well-being.

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Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/ . This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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