Last week, I shared a list of 12 smart second-hand finds for your home. From mason jars to picture frames, there is an abundance of hidden treasures just waiting to be yours from garage sales, estate sales, and flea markets. Although deeply discounted prices are tempting, there are some things you should NEVER buy second-hand. Here are five second-hand items you should definitely not bring into your home.
Sofas and Chairs Even if it looks clean, NEVER bring a second-hand sofa or any piece of upholstery into your home. Yes, even if it’s free. Here’s why:
1. You don’t know the history of it. It might not even be “second-hand.” It could be “third” or “forth-hand.” Who knows what happened to that sofa. Remember the Seinfield episode with the pee sofa? Who wants to sit on that. 2. Looks are deceiving. It may look total clean, but the wood frame inside the furniture may harbor termites or black mold, which is a health hazard. 3. New sofas and all new furniture come with some type of manufacturer or store warranty. Second-hand furniture does not.
Mattresses The same above reasons apply to mattresses. But there is one more obvious reason why a used mattress is a very bad idea. BED BUGS! This is seriously something you do not want in your home. It will leave you in misery with horrible bites. They will spread to your clothing and other beds. And bed bugs are extremely hard and expensive to eradicate. Even if a relative offers you a free mattress (and this is common in Hawaii), politely say no thank you. It is really not worth it.
Pillows The same reasons mentioned earlier apply to this category. Even if the cover is removable and washable, the cotton filling is usually not washable. Pillows may have dust mites, ticks, fleas, or other unwanted pests.
Linen and towels Although you can launder them, used linen and towels are never as good as new ones. Always choose new. It’s money well spent.
Cribs and children furniture It is common practice for families to pass their cribs around to other members who are expecting. Here is where you need to be wary. There are numerous product recalls on cribs and other children’s furniture and it’s hard to keep track of all of them. It is illegal for anyone to sell recalled products from the manufacturer. But most second-hand sellers are unaware of the recalls. Never take that risk with your family and always buy from a reputable retailer. For more information: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/guid/be0d98ee-961a-11e1-b9a8-07212803fad6?page=2 http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2009/Old-Navy-Recalls-Stuffed-Toys-Button-Eyes-Can-Detach-and-Pose-a-Choking-Hazard-to-Young-Children/ http://workathomemums.hubpages.com/hub/10-Items-never-to-buy-from-a-garage-sale
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