9 Things To Avoid Buying at Thrift Stores

Stuffed Animals

Once-loved stuffed toys are popular at thrift stores but may harbor fleas, bed bugs, drool, snot, odors, mold, and allergens. Washing them can cause disfiguration or destruction.

Bike Helmets and Hats

Used hats and helmets can carry lice, infections, and allergens. Helmets might not meet safety standards. Only buy if they appear like new.

Skincare Products and Makeup

Makeup and skincare products can be breeding grounds for germs. Without labels, unknown ingredients could cause rashes and infections.

Mattresses and Pillows

Bedbugs can hide in seams and survive for a year without food. Inspect secondhand mattresses and pillows closely for bugs, eggs, and black dots.

Pet Furniture

Secondhand pet furniture can harbor bacteria, parasites, fleas, and allergens. To avoid stinky smells and health risks, buy new items for your pets.


Used vacuums often lose suction and are rarely cleaned properly. If you can't test them, it's best to buy a new vacuum to ensure effectiveness.


Secondhand puzzles may have missing pieces and harbor bacteria and germs. It's risky to buy used puzzles as they might not be complete.

Infant Car Seats, Strollers, and Baby Cribs

While babies outgrow items quickly, ensure secondhand baby gear meets current safety standards and is in excellent condition to protect your child.