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5 items I won’t buy used

by respaced on October 21, 2009

You know I’m a huge fan of resale. I get something I need at a good price, somebody gets to rid themself of clutter, and that item stays out of a landfill. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Almost. There are a few items that I refuse to buy used because of the ick factor. These are items that may be germy or buggy. Here’s what’s on my do-not-buy-used list:

1. Mattresses. Can you ever get pee completely out of a mattress, especially if it’s had time to sink in? It’s hard to imagine that a cleaning product could penetrate and destroy the germs in something as deep and absorbent as a mattress.

2. Comforters and pillows. Kind of for the same reasons as the mattress, but with the added bonus that they can harbor head lice and bed bugs.

3. Lingerie and swimsuits. It’s not a household item, but it is something I see at resale that I think is a little icky to reuse.

4. Flip flops, aka thongs. Was it Dateline that ran a segment on how germy flip flops are? The longer they have been worn, the more likely they are to have traces of feces on the inside where you put your bare feet! Some flip flops have even turned up traces of E.Coli. Nasty.

5. Carpet remnants and rugs. It’s not an absolute “no” on those items, but I wouldn’t buy them unless I could unroll them completely and give them the sniff test. It’s so tough to get bad odors, like cigarette smoke, out of carpets and rugs. Also, I’ve lived with pets, and I can tell you that even after saturating the carpet with every urine-eliminating product on the market, the smell never completely goes away. And if you look at the carpet/rug under a black light, every accident your pet has ever had still shows up. Some element of their pee never goes away!

Reading over this list, I realize I sound a little prissy. But these items represent just a tiny portion of the wide range of items I whole-heartedly encourage you to buy used. What are the items that you refuse to buy used?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz Jenkins October 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I'm with you on these items although I will expand it to any shoes unless they are washable like a tennis shoe. Anything that can't be washed generally is a no for me unless it is a book. I think my other big NO is stuffed animals (kind of goes with the pillow thought).
I do so love resale but have to admit that sometimes I have to wonder why people would even put some things out there – guess they figure someone may want it.

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MaryJo October 26, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Oh, old stuffed animals — yes, that should have been on the list! Gross!

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