It's officially garage sale season. I am seeing neighborhood garage sales pop up everywhere. I love heading out and grabbing a good deal at yard sales all summer long. I have saved thousands over the years by purchasing things used. When my son was younger almost 100% of his clothes and toys came from a yard sale. The only new stuff he really got was presents from people. Shopping at yard sales and thrift shops really helps us stretch our budget. However, not everything you see is a good deal. There are a few things I wouldn't recommend buying used.
Baby Car Seat
That baby car seat may look like a good deal, but you don't know what it has been through. Baby car seats can look fine from the outside, but be damaged from an accident. Plus, with technology changing constantly, a year newer or two can go a long way in safety. Skip the used and get an inexpensive new one.
Shoes can quickly conform to the shape of people's feet. Buying used shoes can cause feet and back problems. Poor fitting shoes could be worse than a cheap pair of shoes. I wouldn't recommend buying a used pair of shoes unless they are new or barely worn.
I am always amazed at the number of crib recalls out there. It isn't just the size of the slats that get them recalled. My son's crib needed an extra piece added on after we bought it due to a recall. If the crib is used, you won't know whether it gets recalled or not. I would much rather have an inexpensive new crib then a used fancy crib with a potential recall.
Technology changes so quickly that you can probably get electronics much better new. Also, you never really know what kind of shape the electronics are actually in. I recommend skipping the used electronics and look for a great sale.
I know you can wash underwear and bras in hot water, but there is always a gross factor for me about them. Somehow the fact that someone has worn them so close to their body really bothers me. I would much rather buy new and find a different way to save money.
Bed bugs seem to be making a big comeback in the U.S. lately. Unless you know where the mattress is coming from and trust that person, I say skip it. I don't think the headache of bed bugs is worth the savings of a used mattress.
Helmets are like car seats where they are a one time and done product. It is important that the helmet fit correctly in order to help in an accident. Once they have been in an accident, it needs to be replaced. Because you don't always know what the helmets have been through, skip it and buy new. I can usually find helmets for around $10.
On some items it just doesn't pay to buy used. Skip the garage sale deal and try to find a store deal. What do you pass on buying used?