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There are some things you shouldn’t buy from a thrift store. While we all love a good deal, I recommend you skip the following:


I have seen mattresses in a number of thrift stores. While they may look clean I wouldn’t encourage buying them second hand. I will note that there are some state laws that require mattresses to undergo a certain cleaning process if they are being sold used.

Baby Furniture
I would never suggest buying cribs, car seats or any essential baby related furniture from a thrift store. Safety laws change often and while you might save money, the risk isn’t worth it.


Makeup is also a no-no. These products are going on your skin and if you don’t know the origin of a product I wouldn’t trust it. Be beautiful, but be safe.

Also on my list? Shoes and underwear. What things would you NEVER buy from a thrift store?


Design Inspiration

107 Responses

  1. [...] What Not to Buy at Thrift Stores HGTV Design Happens Fri, February 10, 2012 1:00 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate Share (function(){var [...]

  2. Amy Renea says:

    yeah underwear and mattresses are on the no-no list for me :) I buy shoes though if they look very close to new (especially kids shoes because they wear them for about 2 weeks!). If they are worn though, it is not worth it considering someone else's foot has shaped the sole.

  3. Great tips! I won't buy socks either.
    Catherine Denton

  4. [...] Design Happens Posted in HGTV · Tagged: Stores, Thrift [...]

  5. cap says:

    Hats could also be a problem…stop and think

  6. Chris says:

    This mostly seems just like common sense!

  7. Jeannie D. says:

    Definitely no swimsuits!!

    • Jodee says:

      Swim suits can be soaked in vinager, washed, and hung out in the sun, as the sun disinfects clothing. I have bought several suits, most like new, and never had any problems.

  8. Denise Mc says:

    Good lord, I wouldn't buy those animal heads hung over that crib, either, unless you wanted your baby to scream in terror every night or you plan on raising a serial killer. Those things are frightening! What designer thought that was in good taste?

  9. Bridget says:

    Crib mattresses make wonderful dog beds i recover with vynal sleeve and have also used old cribs cut off legs to make a cool queen size sleeping area for my Great Dane . Re purpose sometimes better use than original and much cheaper? just saying use imagination.B)

    • Robin says:

      That's a great idea for a dog bed! Thanks for the suggestion…off to make a dog bed! COOL!

    • cyndy says:

      That is a great Idea for dog beds. I go out every fall and buy the foam and vinyl to make my dog a new bed. Even making it myself is rather expensive.The foam is the most expensive part . I am excited to hear there is an alternative. Thanks for the great idea.

    • nina says:

      Super good idea

  10. Leisa says:

    I wouldn't buy pillows, stuffed animals or bed linens

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