baby car seats in a store

15 Things You Should Never Buy Used

At Durability Matters, we always recommend paying for quality. The usually means spending a little more on a new and durable product, but it does not always apply. There are instances when you can buy used or secondhand items and still get quality while spending a little less.

We recommend always purchasing high-quality items. Sometimes that means paying more, and sometimes it means hunting for a bargain. There are, however, times when you should avoid used items completely.

Here is a list of items which you should never buy secondhand.

1. Car Seats

There is a reason why it is illegal in many places to resell your baby car seat. While baby car seats may look fine, it is impossible to know the history of a car seat, and internal damage can often go unseen.

Some reports indicate that 1 in every 10 car seats being used had been in a car accident once before.

Car seats can also become weakened over time, and you never want to risk it when it comes to your child. Paying for a new seat is well worth the cost.

2. Cribs

There is nothing more precious in your life than your child, and a crib is another instance of a time when buying new is better. How do you know if it is put together properly? How do you know if there are any parts missing? There is also the fact that many times when older models are recalled due to a safety issue (you can always check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for products that were recalled). Pay the extra and protect your child.

3. Helmets

Man holding a red open face helmet

Much like car seats, you cannot tell if a helmet has been in an accident or if there is any internal damage. If a helmet has been in an accident, then you should throw it away and buy a new one. Again, there is no point in taking a risk just to get a cheap used helmet. Protect yourself, and your loved ones and buy a helmet new.

4. Mattresses

Mattresses are expensive so it can be tempting to purchase a used one and save yourself some money, but this is another time where new is better. A used mattress will have bodily fluids, dust mites, dead skin, and more embedded in the fabric. Have you ever tried to wash a mattress? It is nearly impossible.

There is also a chance that you will get a mattress infested with bed bugs. If you do, then it can cost you a lot of money for an exterminator. Avoid all of your potential problems by buying new, and sleep soundly.

5. Makeup

If you find someone who is reselling their sealed makeup, then feel free to grab a bargain but, if it has already been used, then stay away. Used Makeup is full of lots of different bacteria. Just think about where the makeup has been and where it is going to go. Buy new, and never have to worry about the makeup damaging your health.

6. Car Tires

a close up of a car tire

This is another instance of you not knowing if something has been in an accident, and putting your life at risk if it has. I understand that car tires are expensive, but there is no price that you can put on the safety of your friends and family.

Related: How Long Should Your Tires Last And How To Make Them Last Longer?

If car tires have been in an accident, then the structure can become weakened without you even knowing. Just because there are no visible signs of damage, that does not mean that there is not any. Buying new tires may just save a life.

7. Laptops & Computers

These pieces of equipment can cost a lot of money, and it can be tempting to purchase used to save yourself a buck or two. While you can find some great used laptops, I still recommend purchasing a new one. Unless you are super tech-savvy, you may not know what is lurking inside.

Related: 5 Best Rugged & Durable Laptops For All Your Needs

Along with viruses and malware, you cannot know if there is any damage inside without opening up the computer, and, even then, damage can be invisible. If you are thinking about buying a used or refurbished laptop, choose a trusted retailer and look for a warranty.

8. Digital Cameras

I recommend buying a digital camera new for a lot of the same reasons as buying a laptop new. If you are buying a used one, you are unlikely able to open the camera up before you purchase it. You do not know if there is any damage on the inside, and likely will not know until it is too late.

9. Shoes

You see a cool pair of retro shoes in the thrift store and are tempted to buy them. You even try them on, and they fit well. The problem, however, is that you do not know if they are going to be comfortable until you have worn them for a time. Shoes conform to the owner’s feet, and the previous owner was not you.


10. Expensive Jewelry

Expensive jewelry is expensive for a reason. It is usually high-quality and rare. The problem with buying pieces used is that there is no guarantee that it is what the owner says it is unless you are a jewelry expert or can have it appraised. If you buy it from a reputable re-seller, then you could be fine but, if you are buying from an individual, then what you think is a diamond could be a worthless piece of glass.

11. Vacuum Cleaners

Most people keep their vacuum cleaners until they no longer work as well and that sucks (well, it doesn’t, and that is the problem). When you are buying a used vacuum, it is probably one which does not work as well as it used to. Additionally, that vacuum is probably full of dust and mites. Take it from me, buy a vacuum new.

12. Blu-ray Players

There are sensitive components inside a Blu-ray player. If one component is slightly off, then your disc will not be not read. We all know how frustrating that can be. The lasers in player also wear out over time. When you buy used, you never know how much time you have left with the Blu-ray player. Buy new and forget the hassle.

13. Underwear

Do I really need to go here? This one should be self-explanatory. You know where it has been, and you know where it is going. It should be common sense to buy all of your underwear new. The same goes for swimsuits.

14. Baby Bottles

baby bottle

You should try to buy everything new for your baby (clothes would be one of the few exceptions), and that is mainly due to recalls. When you buy used baby bottles, you do not know if there has been a recall on those bottles so you cannot guarantee their safety.

Many older bottles also contain BPA, a harmful chemical that was banned in 2012. New baby bottles are not that expensive, so why take the risk. When it comes to your baby, you cannot put a price on safety.

15. Hats

This is another case of you knowing where they have been and knowing where they are going. Would you rub your head against someone else’s? Even if they had just washed their hair, you wouldn’t. And you would have a good reason not to.

Hats are almost impossible to wash fully, so there is a good chance that there is some hair and dead skin in there. Throw in some sweat and potential head lice, and you have a recipe for disaster.


We all love a bargain, but sometimes it is just not worth it. Always try to invest in quality but, when it comes to the items on our list, you should invest in quality new products. Buying them new is going to save you from a lot of problems.

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