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When to spring for something new

When to spring for something new
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Buying products used can be a huge money-saver, not to mention it does feel good to be giving an item a “second life.” But it’s not the best option for everything. Here are 12 things that, for quality, cleanliness and other reasons, you should probably avoid buying second-hand.

TVs

TVs
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It’s hard to determine how well TVs and other electronic devices have been cared for by their previous owners. If your plasma screen dies, it can cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace – sometimes almost as much as it would cost to buy a new TV.

Learn which 13 things rich people never waste their money on.

Shoes

Shoes
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Used shoes have been moulded to their previous owner’s feet. Poorly fitting shoes can cause pain and health problems over time. Running shoes, in particular, have probably lost most of their absorbent cushioning by the time their first owner is finished with them.

Vacuum cleaners

Vacuum cleaners
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Vacuums can be pricey, sure, but do you really want to buy a used one that might not be in working order? Vacuum cleaners get banged around, dragged up and down staircases, and the fact that someone chose to get rid of the vacuum should be a red flag – most likely, there was something wrong with it. Plus, vacuums have seen their share of dust and grime from someone else’s home. Chances are you don’t want to bring that into yours.

You should stop buying these things altogether to save a ton of cash.

Pet supplies

Pet supplies
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While buying gently used pet toys or food bowls is probably safe, you’ll definitely want to stay away from buying pet food or treats second-hand. They could be expired, recalled or even infested with insects or their eggs. Used food is most likely gross, no matter what type of creature it’s for. You should also be wary about pet beds. Yes, you can give them a good wash before you let your four-legged friend use it. Do you really want your pet sleeping on something that’s been home to another animal’s fur, dirt and slobber for who knows how long?

Here are 14 cleaning hacks every dog or cat owner should know. 

Jewellery

Jewellery
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You may think you’re getting an awesome deal by purchasing jewellery at a tag sale or second-hand store. But, unless you’re well-versed in identifying jewellery value, you could actually be getting ripped off. Chances are, someone is trying to sell jewellery for far more money than they bought it for. As if that weren’t enough of a reason, some types of costume jewellery can even contain trace amounts of toxic substances or allergens like nickel and lead.

These nine mindful shopping tips can not just save you money, but also make you happier.

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Perfume and beauty products

Perfume and beauty products
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It may surprise you, but perfume actually has an expiration date. To avoid encountering nasty (and possibly even dangerous) past-peak perfume, it’s best to buy your scents new. The same goes for products like lotion and makeup. Anything like that, that goes directly on your face, is best bought without having been on someone else’s first.

School supplies

School supplies
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Most school supplies – pencils, rulers, folders and the like – aren’t particularly expensive as it is, and you’re probably not getting much of a deal if you buy them at a second-hand shop. In some cases, buying them new might actually be cheaper – many thrift stores sell items for a minimum of $3, and you can get school supplies for less than that on sale or at a dollar store. (Textbooks, however, are a totally different story – go ahead and save yourself lots of cash by buying those used.)

On the other hand, you’re wasting your money if you buy these things in a brand-new condition. 

Speakers

Speakers
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If you buy a speaker second-hand, chances are it won’t be at its full sound capacity, especially if the previous owner loved to blast music at full volume. Wear and tear on audio equipment like speakers can be hard to detect at first glance, but you’ll probably notice it once you start trying to play your tunes.

Surge protectors

Surge protectors
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Surge protectors aren’t that expensive to begin with, and if you buy one used, you run the risk of buying one that malfunctions or just doesn’t work at all.

Here are 25 things in your house right now that could be worth money. 

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