10 Things to Never Buy at a Thrift Store

Thrift shopping can be a rewarding experience, offering the thrill of hunting for unique, vintage, or designer items at a fraction of the original price. However, not everything you find in a thrift store is a treasure. Some things should never make it to your shopping basket. Here’s our list of the items you should avoid buying at a thrift store.


Thrift mattresses
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Used mattresses are a breeding ground for dust mites, mold spores, and bacteria. It is difficult to assess the condition of an old mattress and determine if it has any structural defects or broken springs that could compromise your sleep quality. Avoid buying second-hand mattresses, regardless of their low cost, to prevent an uncomfortable bed.


underwear on display
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You should avoid used underwear at thrift stores, irrespective of how good the deal might seem. Even after thorough washing, bacteria and other microorganisms can persist. Also, the fabric can become worn over time, leading to a decrease in support and comfort.


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Makeup is a personal item and should not be bought from thrift stores. It applies to new and used makeup as the packaging of already-opened items might contain bacteria or other contaminants. Many makeup products have an expiration date, which can be difficult to determine when buying second-hand.


old helmets
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Avoid buying a second-hand helmet from a thrift store. Helmets are crucial safety gear that should be in top-notch condition to ensure optimal protection. Assessing a used helmet’s quality or potential damage from its previous use can be challenging.

Stuffed Animals

thrift stuffed animals
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Stuffed animals are not guaranteed to be clean and free from dust mites, bacteria, or other allergens, which may cause health issues when inhaled. It might be tempting to buy for your child due to their low cost, but the possible health risks outweigh any savings.


baby crib
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Since cribs are designed to keep your baby safe, it is best not to buy used models from thrift stores. It can be hard to determine if the item has been recalled or meets current safety standards, so investing in a new one you can trust is better. Besides, used cribs often come without the manufacturer’s instructions or warranty.

Car Seats

baby car seats in store
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As much as you want to save money, buying car seats from thrift stores is never a good idea. These items are designed for travel safety and should be in proper working condition to provide optimal protection. When shopping at thrift stores, it’s best to skip items that are difficult to assess for quality due to age.

Personal Care Items

personal hygiene items for men
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Shoppers should avoid buying second-hand items like electric razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers, and other personal care products. These products come in contact with body fluids containing bacteria or germs, so buying new is the best option to prevent health risks.

Antique Crystal Glasses

antique crystal glasses for sale
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Antique Crystal Glasses may contain lead, which poses health risks. The lead can seep into beverages, especially endangering children. If you’re interested in crystal glasses, purchasing new ones from reputable manufacturers is advisable to guarantee quality and safety.


swimwear on display
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Swimsuits can contain bacteria and other organic compounds that can cause skin irritation. Since swimsuits are typically worn tight against the skin and can be difficult to clean, it is better not to buy them from thrift stores. Also, the fabric may not have been adequately cared for if used, causing it to lose its original shape and elasticity.

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Yvonne Alieme

Yvonne Alieme is a passionate writer dedicated to reviving society's reading culture. She strives to inspire and educate others through her work, and her commitment to promoting literacy and knowledge-sharing makes her a valuable contributor to the community.

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