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5 Times You Shouldn't Use Hand-Me-Downs

When it comes to saving money, often times buying used or second-hand items can be a cost-effective strategy. Not only are you giving the item a second life, but you can usually pay a fraction of what you would pay for it brand new.

However, the trick to getting your money's worth with buying used is to know what items are a rip-off and which are a reward. Some items just aren't meant to be used and resold. Below are five items you should skip buying used and consider buying new.

1. Baby Car Seats


Think safety when purchasing a car seat. Even if a car seat looks OK from the outside, there's no way of telling if it's been damaged or previously in an accident. Plus, oftentimes safety requirements as well as safety technology change from year to year. When in doubt, buy new.

2. Mattresses


There's a perception that mattresses can be expensive, so buying a used one may seem like a good idea. However, while it may save you some money up front, the risk is not worth the purchase. A used or dirty mattress that has not been professionally sanitized may contain unsettling things like dust mites or bodily fluids from previous owners and may not be in the cleanest condition. What a ripoff! Plus, you won't get the opportunity to test out and select the best mattress for your sleeping position and preferences. Take our advice here and buy new when looking for a mattress. Your sleep will thank you. (Psst, we recommend starting  HERE first.)

3. Underwear and Bathing Suits


We don't think we have to go into too much detail here… but there's a whole hygiene issue that comes with getting second-hand undergarments and bathing suits. Better safe than sorry; try finding these items on sale to save money versus purchasing used.

4. Vacuum Cleaners


Vacuums do not last forever and are often one of the most used items among household appliances. Mattress Firm recommends avoiding a ripoff deal and not wasting your money on a used vacuum. You want a vacuum to still have the suction power to clean around your home PLUS a used vacuum may carry old dust mites, dirt and grime from someone else's home. Yuck.

5. Tires


Replacing all the tires on your car can set you back a pretty penny. However, purchasing used tires is a gamble with safety. You don't know if those used tires were exposed to the elements for a period of time, were damaged in storage or were installed improperly which could eventually lead to tire failure. Buy new and drive safe.

Have any staple items you always look to buy used? What products would you always buy new? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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