Would You Buy a Used Pair of Shoes?

I saw an article on Yahoo! Finance which listed 20 things you should never buy used. Here’s the list:

  1. Cribs and Children’s furniture
  2. Car Seats
  3. Bicycle Helmets
  4. Tires
  5. Laptops
  6. Software
  7. Plasma and HDTVs
  8. DVD Players
  9. Digital and video cameras
  10. Speakers and microphones
  11. Camera lenses
  12. Photo light bulbs
  13. Mattresses and bedding
  14. Swimsuits and undergarments
  15. Wet suits
  16. Shoes
  17. Hats
  18. Makeup
  19. Pet Supplies
  20. 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


  1. says

    Things I Would Buy Used:
    Cribs and Children’s furniture, Car Seats, Bicycle Helmets, Software, HDTV at a steal, Speakers and microphones, and some Pet Supplies (kennel and anything else that can be cleaned thoroughly).

    Things I Wouldn’t Buy Used:
    Tires, Laptops (just easier to get new one), DVD Players (pretty cheap anyway), Digital and video cameras, Camera lenses, Photo light bulbs, Mattresses and bedding (ew), Swimsuits and undergarments (double ew), Wet suits (would never need one), Shoes, Hats, Makeup (yuck), Vaccum cleaners (cheap enough to just buy new).

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