Bargains are great, but cross these gross, broken, and unsafe items off your list when you head out to yard sales (from Reader’s Digest)
Helmets are designed to protect you from one accident, and one accident only. Sometimes damage isn’t visible, so buy a new helmet to make sure you’re getting full protection.
Child car seats
Like helmets, car seats are really only meant to protect in one accident. But damaged car seats are common; a survey found that one in ten have been in an accident. Plus, car seat technology improves each year.
If they’ve been in an accident, tires are likely to be unstable and unreliable. Make sure you can get an accurate history
With bed bugs infesting homes in record numbers, chances are the critters could lurk in any used mattress. You might also end up sleeping with other people’s mold, mites, bacteria, and bodily fluids (yuck!).
Scores of crib recalls, as well as changing safety standards, make it hard to verify the safety of a used crib.
Laptops or other devices
Laptops, e-readers, tablets, or mp3 players are more likely to be dropped, knocked around, and spilled on, simply because they’re out in the world. A desktop computer sits (mostly) safe at home, but even that would likely cost more to upgrade than buy new. PLUS people use them in the bathroom, while they aren’t wearing pants.
Used shoes have been molded to their previous owner’s feet—and poorly fitting shoes will make you miserable, or you’ll just never want to wear them.
Sheets and Pillowcases
Sure, you can wash them in hot water, but that might not protect against bed bugs.
While sanitation and cracks can be an issue, the real culprit is the chemical BPA that’s present in most older bottles—and as of June 2012, the FDA no longer accepts that as safe.