Expert reveals the 7 things you should NEVER buy second-hand and rugs make the list

BUYING second-hand and saving a tonne of money on products that look brand new is something we all love.

But used products may have damage that you can’t actually see and could run the risk of being unsanitary, or in worst cases, dangerous.


Parents need to be aware as key baby items are no-gos when buying secondhandCredit: Getty

Vintage shops, car boot sales, charity shops and second-hand apps are great palces to acquire great used items, without breaking the bank, but it’s important to know what items you should avoid purchasing second-hand.

Cleaning expert Heather Barrigan from has outlined the seven things you should never buy second-hand.

So listen up as below are the things to avoid buying pre-owned.

Upholstered furniture

Upholstered furniture is the materials – foam, padding, webbing, and spring – that make up the soft coverings on sofas, chairs, stools etc.

It is always enclosed in fabric or leather, meaning that it’s nearly impossible to launder.

Unless you are very familiar with the condition of the previous owner’s home, you should steer clear from purchasing upholstered furniture.

They could be full of nasty bacteria, dust mites, dead skin cells and in the worst case, bed bugs!

Although furniture can be expensive, it’s best to avoid buying it second-hand and stick to the shops.


Did you know that helmets are designed to protect you from only one accident?

So, even if a helmet looks brand new, all it takes is one accident for the helmet to be deemed useless.

Avoid buying helmets second-hand as they could be a safety risk


Avoid buying helmets second-hand as they could be a safety riskCredit: Getty

Damage doesn’t always show up on the surface of the helmet, so you’ll never really know if the helmet has already done its duty.

As well as this, the fabric inside a helmet can harbour bacteria from another person’s sweat… which is gross and definitely not hygienic.

Don’t take the risk with your safety, and instead purchase a brand-new, clean helmet.

Car seats

The list of things to purchase when you’re expecting a newborn is endless and although you might want to save some money here and there, car seats are not something to purchase second-hand.

Like helmets, the damage to a car seat may not be visible, and a second-hand car seat could actually endanger your child.

Buying a second-hand car seat could put your child in danger


Buying a second-hand car seat could put your child in dangerCredit: Getty


Even if the car seat had not been in an accident, safety regulations change from time to time, and it could fail current safety standards.

Most car seats ‘expire’ just five years from the date of manufacture, so if purchasing a new car seat is not feasible for you, ensure that you check expiry, safety regulations and damage before buying second-hand.

Synthetic or Feather Pillows

Whilst you can wash the pillowcases, synthetic and feather pillows don’t allow for effective laundering of the entire pillow.

As a result, drool, sweat, tears, lice and many other bacteria could be lingering on a used pillow.

Pillows can harbour fungus so it's best to buy them new


Pillows can harbour fungus so it’s best to buy them newCredit: Getty

According to studies, feather or synthetic pillows that are just one year old can harbour up to 17 different types of fungus.

Yep, you read that correctly…

Buying brand new pillows can be incredibly cheap too, so there is really no need to buy pillows second-hand.

Mark this one totally off your thrift store shopping list.

Personal care items

Who doesn’t love buying a nice beauty product but without the hefty price tag?!

Well, whether it be cosmetics, lotions, bath products or skincare, second-hand personal care items can transfer unwelcome germs into your body and be potentially dangerous.

It's safer to buy beauty products brand new


It’s safer to buy beauty products brand newCredit: Getty

This is a huge health risk, and can lead to allergies, skin infection, conjunctivitis and potentially diseases such as herpes from sharing lip products.

There is also the risk of products being counterfeits and failing to meet cosmetic standards.

As the beauty industry has evolved, there are many reputable drugstore brands offering personal care items from as cheap as £1.

Instead of risking your safety with toxic ingredients or harmful bacteria, it’s recommended to purchase new unused products.


When you buy a used carpet, you always run the risk of bringing insect infestations into the home.

Common critters that love carpets include ants, bed buys, fleas and even if the seller has steamed the rug beforehand, a few eggs can still survive.

Rugs are not worth the hassle buying second-hand


Rugs are not worth the hassle buying second-handCredit: Getty

It is also easy for dealers to mask any foul odours with a little carpet freshener, and these unpleasant smells can surface a few days after purchase.

Rugs are very difficult to clean, and it is unlikely that the seller would have removed all dirt, debris, and possible infestation.

The cost of getting a used rug deep cleaned or removing infestation can be expensive, so you’re better off saving the hassle and purchasing a brand-new rug.

BBQ Grills

BBQ grills aren’t the cheapest things to buy new, but over time, BBQ grills will rust and become less durable.

The rust can stick to food, and whilst this may not be problematic after one meal, continuous ingestion can be harmful for your digestive system.

BBQ grills are safer to buy brand new


BBQ grills are safer to buy brand newCredit: Getty

Aside from the dangers to your digestive health, old burnt food or excessive oil layered on the BBQ is a fire hazard.

If you are set on buying a used BBQ, check the drip tray is clean, the burner holes are unclogged, and gas hose connections are secure before purchase.

Although second hand purchasing can be fun it’s best to be safe and thoroughly check any products before you buy them.

Happy shopping and good luck!

Enjoy second hand shopping!


Enjoy second hand shopping!Credit: Getty

Meanwhile, people are horrified after seeing the lengths car dealers go to so second-hand ones look good as new.

Also, a woman reveals her entire wardrobe is second hand from charity shops and her favourite boots cost 20p.

Fashion Writer Abby McHale shows off second hand bargains from charity shops, carboots and Depop


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