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To Thrift or Not To Thrift?

BY RELEVANT ISSUE 59 / LIFE August 15, 2012

As every cash-strapped twentysomething knows, thrift stores are a treasury of cheap goods and unexpected finds. But while you might take home a rare record, a funky chair or the perfect outfit for your next ’80s party, a few common thrift store items ought to be avoided for sure. How do you know which items to thrift and which are worth buying brand new? Here’s a thrift list of items you absolutely, completely want to avoid.

Mattresses.

The price tag can run high on new mattresses, so it’s tempting to go the secondhand route. But trust us: go new. Over time, mattresses get heavier and heavier. Ever wonder why? The mysteries of used beddings are better left unsolved.

Blenders.

The question of whether or not to thrift your kitchen appliances can usually be answered on a case-by-case basis, but there’s a hard, fast “no” when it comes to blenders. Unless, of course, you like today’s smoothie seasoned with yesterday’s mold.

Undergarments.

No exceptions, no excuses and no further explanation required.

CDs.

Used CDs are really only for those who like their ’90s alt-rock peppered with infuriating skips.

Bicycle helmets.

If you stop to think about it, your life is worth way more than the paltry $12 you’d spend on a used helmet.

Make-up.

That $2 Sephora eyeshadow might look like a steal. But whether it comes in midnight blue, dusky gray or cocoa brown, you can be certain it also comes in the most radiant shade of pink eye.

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