• Tell Your Friends

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?


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107 Responses

  1. dan beasley says:

    Thankyou for the list

  2. Syndes2 says:

    Only if it's small enough that you can boil it and sanitize it, (brushes & combs, barrettes, hair accessories, pot holders even socks, I say go for it.

  3. barbara says:

    When my son was a little boy (he is now 47 years old) I bought some used mattresses from the Salvation Army store to put on his twin beds. I would sing to him each night in his bed and we both broke out in a terrible rash. Didn't know what caused it until we realized it was the mattresses. We got rid of them fast. I was told that they were completely reconditioned before they were put out to be sold, but that was not the case. I never did that again. The motto in buying from a thrift store is: If it is hard (wood, etc.) it is okay, if it is soft (materials,etc) a no-no.

  4. cathy says:

    underwear, socks and i wellnot also buy shoes. cos u don't kow what the other person had before time. blankets is anythere thing cos i have seen same reqal bad once in the store. i jsut go in and look and walk back out'

  5. Teresa says:

    I have seen hemmorhoid cream at a rummage sale! Yes, it had been opened and used (but it was only a quarter!) Haha! Who does that ?!?! Needless to say as soon as I saw the hemmorhoid cream I walked away from that rummage sale.

  6. linda brown says:

    don't buy shoes, they are already conformed to someone else's feet! all this is common sense, but I supose some people who don't regularly buy second hand, haven't a clue.

  7. Sarah says:

    Most items can be cleaned / sanitized / boiled / bleached / frozen.
    When you purchase items, especially cloth, place them in a SEALED plastic bag until you can sanitize them. This is for germs, allergens, as well as pests (including moths). If you have room in the freezer, place books, etc (still in the sealed bag) into the freezer.
    What I would not buy that was not in the list above are electronics. There is no way to verify they work nor how long they will work.
    Having said all that, I have purchase many nice outfits at thrift-stores, some still with new tags.
    Happy and Safe Thrifting!!

    • Steven says:

      Most thrift stores in LA let you plug in electronics before you buy. Goodwill will give you a seven day return on electronics. I bought my turntable, receiver, and speakers at various thrift stores for under thirty bucks.

    • Maxcee says:

      The Goodwill, tests and allows returns in 7 days. I have gotten stereo equipment and Lamps there and only occasionally there is a dud… However they only give credit.
      With other Thrift stores you take your chances, however there are outlets to test things.

  8. Kitty Wilberforce says:

    Sometimes when I buy things at a thrift store that aren't washable, such as shoes, I double or triple bag them in plastic ziploc bags and put them in the freezer for several days.

  9. Carloyn says:

    I have a baby bed i bought for when my granddaughter visited, she has out grown it, it is practically new but should i just throw away the matress instead of donating it?

    • Melissa says:

      Maybe you could see if a local volunteer animal shelter would want it?

    • Emma says:

      Local shelters might also take it.

    • Alicia says:

      As long as the people know where it came from, they might want it ~ local church might need it, daycare, etc. Post it on a free site or in the paper for free if you want to donate it. The baby bed will sell if it is in good condition with all of the parts. Anyone concerned about recalls can always visit the manufacturer's site before buying.

  10. MeMom says:

    Geez, what's the big phobia about underwear? Bring it home, wash it with some Clorox & it's good as new. Don't buy it if it's obviously and disgustingly stained, for Pete's sake. Little boys & girls grow out of all clothing so quickly that it hardly gets worn, let alone worn out. There's no reason not to donate used clothing of any kind, including underwear. Someone can always use the bargain who isn't able to always buy new.

    • another mom says:

      Well, some phobias are cool! Apparently. I agree with you on the undies. They are expensive new and easily sanitized used. So why not. Most of the time kids outgrow them before they even look used. I am always glad to find a few pair in good shape for my little folk.

    • debra g says:

      I have bought underwaer from the thrift store .And like you IO do wash them first .Even when I buy new ones I wash them first. I make sure there not stained .And about stuffed animals I throw them in the dryer to make them smell good and kill any grems if theres any on them

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