Warnings for Secondhand Shoppers: Safety and Quality Control TipsAug 31, 2022 09:30AM ● By Sheila Julson
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• When purchasing toys or children’s furniture, parents should check for safety recalls and be sure the product contains no lead paint, recommends WebMD. Check for broken or missing parts and make sure the item is stable. Products manufactured many years ago may not have the same safety features as newer items.
• Avoid car seats and booster seats which may have been involved in an accident. The same is true for bicycle and motorcycle helmets. Federal safety standards for cribs frequently change, so avoid used pieces if they are more than a few years old.
• The condition of items donated to thrift stores or posted by resellers can vary greatly, from brand-new items to well-worn pieces, notes LifeSavvy. Carefully check the item, especially under the sleeves and the inseams, for stains, tears, third-hand smoke odors or other defects.
• Whether shopping for secondhand clothing in person or online, Glamour UK recommends ignoring the size on the label of vintage items, because they can vary greatly. When unable to try a garment on, check the measurements. Many vintage sellers on Etsy post them along with the label size.
• Consumer Reports recommends buying local for large items like furniture to avoid shipping costs and allow for close personal inspection.
• For those unable to afford or justify the cost of a new $1,000 smartphone, Apple, Best Buy and Walmart sell refurbished phones, computers and TVs on their websites at a reduced cost. If using an E-commerce seller of refurbished electronics, make sure it uses programs such as CheckMEND to be sure the item wasn’t stolen.
Local shared enterprises and secondhand shops are saving people money and reducing the impact of excess consumerism on the environment. Read More »