I know you will discover lots of advice around about what what to avoid while you shop in a thrift store – one article I read listed sixteen various things! (I wondered what could be left at that time?)

But I’ve been a thrift store shopper for more than 30 years – my success in shopping at these venues may be the single biggest aspect in being able to make the cozy cottage style I enjoy around my home! Now maybe I’ve been lucky but I’ve never encountered many of the hazards classified by these articles. For example –

I've never brought home these bugs, mold, or another pests.
I've never gotten lead poisoning from eating off vintage dinnerware, loitering architectural salvage, or using old hardware.
I've never found my figure suddenly outside of alignment from wearing used shoes.

My secret weapon? Common sense. I don’t just grab – I inspect items very closely. If the shoes are obviously mis-shapen from somebody else’s feet, I won’t get them. If the non-stick coating is flaking off of the skillet, I won’t buy it. If a piece of furniture incorporates a funky odor or damage that is actually caused by pests, I don’t buy it.

So because I’ve never had problems buying used items, my report on “what don’t ever buy from a thrift store” is actually comparatively short. Here it is:

Underwear/swimwear – Because of the limbs that touch it, I always purchase a copy items new. Including bras.

Mattresses – Even if there are no these bugs, there’s still “other peoples’ gunk” (OPG) like body dirt, dead skin cells, hair oil, etc. I prefer to start out fresh with mattresses and add my own, personal gunk.

Bed pillows – See OPG above. I’m specifically dealing with the pillow you lay your mind on here. If I found an incredible bolster or any other decorative bed pillow in the thrift store, I wouldn’t have the identical hesitation. I purchase throw pillows for my sofa from thrift stores on a regular basis.

“Expired”, damaged, or old safety equipment – Bicycle and motorcycle helmets and children’s carseats contain energy-absorbing foam that is certainly considered “spent” when it becomes too aged or absorbs an effect. So without having way to determine the protective foam is high quality in these items, I would always buy new. And I couldn’t know this until recently, but apparently carseats actually have expiration dates because of potential deterioration of inner materials.

Vintage baby cribs – Drop-sided cribs and the ones with slats spaced greater than 2-3/8 inches apart present suffocation, entrapment, along with injury hazards for Baby.

These will be the items I don’t buy in thrift stores. As for those items I do buy, the method of closely inspecting them before purchase has helped me avoid the majority of the potential hazards of getting from thrift stores. It also contains the added advantage of ensuring I don’t spend obviously any good small amount of funds on something which is soiled, broken, or damaged – it isn’t really a bargain whether it’s unusable!