Buying Used Is Not Always Better

At EDSA, we are all about saving. Many consumers follow the same motto by buying used or secondhand products from online sites like eBay and thrift stores like Goodwill or even independent local shops. While we celebrate this trend for the savings it brings, buying used does not always make sense. For certain items, the initial savings does not measure up to the eventual trade-off in repairs or even health and safety risks.

MSN Money shares this list of 20 things you shouldn’t buy used. While some items are surprising – or the risks may be remote, there are general guidelines on when to think twice about buying something used – for example:

  • When it’s electronic: Electronics are costly to repair, sometimes even more so than buying an entirely new product. Buying used devices also gets tricky as problems often are not visible and require technical diagnosis. Examples include: laptops, plasma and hi-def TVs, video cameras and DVD players.
  • When it’s for your small child: The biggest concern is safety – many baby products have been recalled, but could still be on the market as secondhand products.  Here’s a comprehensive list of recalled items to check before you buy. MSN lists cribs, child car seats and – surprise – stuffed animals! It should be noted that the article generally refers to buying from unknown sellers; it’s still a good saving tip to borrow used baby equipment from friends and family.
Don’t compromise a little saving with your baby’s health and safety!
  • When it’s in close contact with your skin: For hygiene reasons, buying these products used can put your health at risk, which is not worth the money saved. Underwear and swimsuits are understandably the top don’t-buy-used. But the list also includes shoes, makeup, hats, mattresses and – another surprise – costume jewelry.

Check out the list for more! What do you think about the list? Would you add any other items?

One thought on “Buying Used Is Not Always Better

  1. It’s funny, because I am a celebrated used buyer, but this article brings up many great points. Obviously, the first step is to be informed because if I have no idea where something came from I am highly unlikely to buy it. I think hygiene is the most important, and the article brings up a good point about buying for small children and things in close contact with your skin. I am not that weirded out by this, but I would never buy undergarments or shoes used. I wouldn’t really have a problem with shirts and whatnot, and I’d still clean them first. Plus a lot of places like Goodwill will donate profits to charity. As far as electronics go, I would not be so skeptical. Many places that sell used or refurbished electronics will guarantee the quality and put them through many tests first. However you should still be wary of the Craigslist or eBay seller. Make sure you check for things like warranties and return policies because in the end this could be a great way to save money.

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