Buying second-hand furniture and decorative items for your home responds to a need for sustainability. They are also generally less expensive than brand new and are a great way to fill your home with distinctive items that no one else has.
However, there are some things that really should be bought new.
The problem with buying an upholstered piece of furniture like a sofa or an armchair is that the structure is covered in fabric or leather. This means it’s difficult to clean properly, so it can be full of bacteria as well as dust mites, fleas, dead skin cells and even bed bugs.
Unless you buy from family or close friends, you can’t know what might be inside the foam padding and padding material.
Good quality pillows and cushions can be expensive, especially if you prefer feather and down or memory foam. Although some types are washable, others, such as foam or latex pillows, are not. As a result, they could harbor sweat, tears, lice, and a host of bad bacteria. Even relatively new feather or synthetic pillows can harbor several different types of fungi.
It is much more hygienic to buy a new, cheaper pillow fresh from the manufacturer.
Vintage rugs may look attractive, but there’s always a risk of introducing insect infestations into your home. Bugs like fleas, ants, and bed bugs love carpets, and a few stray eggs may still survive even after a thorough steam cleaning.
A used carpet may also have absorbed unpleasant odors as well as dirt and grime that appear as soon as you walk on it several times.
Deep cleaning a used rug or removing an infestation is expensive, so it’s best to buy a new rug that matches your decor perfectly.
Buying a used gas or charcoal braai can save you a lot of money, but before you bring it home, you should carefully inspect the used appliance.
- Check for rust. Tiny pieces may stick to food, which would be harmful to your health.
- Check that the drip tray is spotlessly clean.
- Check that the burner ports are not clogged.
- Check that the gas hose connections are secure.
If it doesn’t pass inspection, or the seller won’t let you see it, buy a new braai instead.
Unless you know the previous owner, it’s usually better to buy new electrical appliances rather than second-hand.
If they are in working order, there is no way of knowing if they are about to die or not. They usually don’t come with a warranty, and repairs tend to be expensive as you’ll be charged for parts and labor.
It is often cheaper to buy a new one than to have an old device repaired.
Screenwriter: Sarah-Jane Meyer