I saw an article on Yahoo! Finance which listed 20 things you should never buy used. Here’s the list:
- Cribs and Children’s furniture
- Car Seats
- Bicycle Helmets
- Plasma and HDTVs
- DVD Players
- Digital and video cameras
- Speakers and microphones
- Camera lenses
- Photo light bulbs
- Mattresses and bedding
- Swimsuits and undergarments
- Wet suits
- Pet Supplies
- Vaccum cleaners
After reading this list, I have to say that some of these I very strongly agree with, some I agree with less strongly (but still do agree), and a few I’m not so sure about.
Starting with the latter, I’m not so sure about #1. I have bought some lightly used baby “furniture” via Craigslist, and have been happy with the results. Granted, these are pack and plays, excersaucers, etc – and are loosely defined as “furniture” – but the point is that I do think some baby things can be purchased gently used and be a great deal. I used a crib for my second child that was the same one for my first child six years older, and it worked great. I wouldn’t compromise safety for a baby.
Also, with respect to #7 through #12, if you get these things incredibly cheap, I don’t see how it could be all that bad. Not saying it would be ideal, but if you could get an HDTV for $50 that retails for $400, and it works fine, why not?
The personal items are where I draw the line, regardless of cost. I don’t want used hats, shoes, wetsuits, and the like, for health reasons. Mattresses are also things that cause more health problems than a lot of people realize; I don’t want a used one, particularly from someone I don’t at all know.
I can’t imagine wearing a used swimsuit! Can you? That one they listed reminded me of a job I had way, way back in the summer between high school and college. I worked in customer service for a major department store, and saw my fair share of returns (not to mention angry customers). I only saw one thing be refused for return, and that was jewelery – which ironically, enough, was probably incredibly low quality anyway. But one thing that has stayed in my mind about that job was a time when a lady brought in a used bathing suit, which she had clearly worn more than once. She got her money back! I always hoped that the bathing suit she returned never found its way back on the shelf anywhere. What a gross thought, someone buying a used bathing suit!
What are your thoughts? Agree/disagree with any of these? Do you have any others to add, or your own stories?
This article was included in Carnival of Money Stories at Ultimate Money Blog