Stuff you definitely should NOT buy from thrift stores

Thrifting is a great pastime and leads to incredible deals on all kinds of things from clothes to furniture and everything in between! It’s also great knowing that you’re helping the economy and environment by recycling the gems people don’t need anymore, giving them new life and purpose in your home. Not everything, however, is made equal. Here’s a list of items you may want to think twice about when you’re thrift store shopping.


This is the big kahuna of thrift store no-nos. Think about everything you do on a mattress. Now think if you want to sleep every night of your life on a mattress where other people have been doing that, possibly for years. This should be more than enough of a reason not to get a used one.  Sure, mattresses are expensive, but so is exterminating bed bugs from your apartment or needing to buy ANOTHER mattress afterwards because you find some disgusting stain or a weird smell. Invest in a hella good mattress, it’s seriously worth it.

Safety gear

Motorcycle helmets, bicycle helmets, sporting gear, pads, gloves and padding of all kinds usually has a shelf life and a “usage life.” When you’re thinking about something that can potentially save you from a lot of harm (or even save your life), is paying more for a new version really that big of an issue? Most safety gear is meant for use against one big accident, and you have no idea if the gear you’re buying has been in that accident or not. It’s really just not worth it in the long run.


The idea of upcycling is so trendy. But let’s face it – most of us think we’re going to put in the time and elbow grease it takes to transform that half-busted chest of drawers into a magazine-worthy masterpiece, but we don’t. The trick is being honest with yourself: are you really going to work hard on that item to make it look great, or is it just going to end up sitting in the middle of your apartment for months?

Something “because it’s cheap”

We’re all guilty of this one. Picking something up just because it’s cheap is never a good reason to buy it. Think about what you need first and then look for deals, otherwise you’ll quickly find yourself with a home full of clutter that you just can’t get shake off. It’s like the Costco principle – you buy a cart full of cheap groceries, but at the till you realize you’ve racked up a $500 bill. Don’t do it.

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Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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