Secondhand Shopping: What To Buy and What To Avoid

Saving money is my middle name. It’s fun to go on a hunt and find something that you immediately fall in love with, and it’s even better when it’s at a fraction of the price. Be careful about what items you are penny pinching. There are some things that need to be bought first hand. For all else, dive in to the second hand thrift stores to see what treasures are waiting to be found. Here’s what to look for (and what to avoid) while second-hand shopping:

Things To Avoid

  1. Safety Products/Baby Car Seats: Anything that your child or you are using for safety should always be bought brand new. You don’t want to risk something falling apart or being worn out when it’s supposed to be protecting you. Things like baby cribs, car seats, and smoke detectors, should all be avoided when shopping at a thrift store. For these items, make sure you do your research, and buy it brand new from a trusted retailer.
  2. Hats/Helmets: Buying things that go on your head isn’t a great idea at thrift stores. You run the risk of diseases and head lice when you buy second-hand hats and helmets. Even though those big vintage hats can be fun, it’s best to avoid putting them on your head. The same principle applies to helmets as well. You don’t want to risk a major head injury because you tried to save a few dollars.
  3. Undergarments/Swimsuits: This one is a no-brainer. Obviously, you’ll want to avoid buying things like socks, lingerie, swimwear, and underwear from thrift stores. Anything that comes in close and personal contact with the body should be purchased elsewhere.
  4. Stuffed Animals: Not all toys are on the avoid list. Things that are made of hard plastics that can be sanitized are fine to buy. Soft toys, like stuffed animals, are almost impossible to completely clean, so leave those on the shelf. Kids drag their toys everywhere, so there’s no telling where that cute discount bunny has been. Keep you and your child healthy by bypassing the soft toys and buying those brand new.
  5. Mattresses/Pillows: Same idea here. It’s nearly impossible to sanitize soft things like mattress, pillows, and sofas. There’s dead skin cells, sweat, bed bugs, and who knows what else hidden deep within household items like these. Sleep peacefully knowing that you haven’t invited a family of bugs into your house by buying mattress and bed items new.

Things To Buy

  1. Vintage Clothes: Everyone loves a stylish throwback. Glam up your style with a 1970’s ascot, or a flashy 80s belt. These things are perfect additions to any closet. It’ll make your wardrobe more unique and add a personal touch to every outfit.
  2. Furniture/Coffee Tables: Furniture that has hard surfaces are an excellent secondhand buy. You can deep clean the grime off of it, and be sure that there aren’t any leftover germs from the former owner. Sometimes you can find designer pieces at a cutthroat price as well.
  3. Home Decor: Give your house the funky touch of the 1940’s with mirrors and interesting wall art. Find a countertop centerpiece that speaks to you, and create a cool vibe the centers around it. You can find tons of unique things that are now out of circulation that can make your home unlike anyone else’s.
  4. Jewelry: Everyone loves a beautiful 1920’s art deco piece of jewelry. The intricate styles of the past are making their way back around, and are now popular again. You can find gold, silver, and precious stones for a decent price if you know what you are looking at. It can also be a fun way to add more costume jewelry to your collection as well.

No matter what you buy, always, always, always wash it first before wearing or using it. You should wash brand new clothes as well as vintage clothes. Wipe down all surfaces with a strong cleaner, and soak any jewelry in a hot, soapy bath before putting it near your body. Thrift shopping can be fun when you know what to look for and what to avoid!

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