In this day and age, it's difficult to find someone who hasn't used Craigslist to buy something second-hand. The website is available for use in every major city, plus most of the rest of the country too. You can find used furniture, cars for sale, and even job listings. (Side note: Definitely check out the "Missed Connections" section if you haven't yet – it's a place where people try to connect with someone they don't have a way to contact.)
To the typical college student, Craigslist sounds amazing. It is. You can furnish your entire apartment without breaking the bank – and you don't have to drive all the way to Burbank to hit up IKEA. In Los Angeles especially, there are tons of people looking to sell items they don't need anymore.
Still, there are some things you should not buy used on Craigslist. Generally speaking, stick to hard goods, like a dresser or a bike, and make sure to take a disinfecting wipe to whatever it is. Read on to know which 5 items you should never get off Craigslist, no matter how many Clorox wipes you have.
1. Anything Consumable
This can mean a variety of things, but you'd be surprised at how many consumable items you can find on Craigslist. It ranges from baby formula, to food products, to wine, and more. Just don't go there. It's not worth it. You don't know what that person did to that baby formula, even if they claim it was never opened or touched. Play it safe by purchasing all of your consumables new.
Whether it's for a motorbike or a bicycle, helmet safety is not to be taken lightly. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, it only takes one crash for a helmet to become too damaged to protect you fully. Don't take the risk of purchasing one second-hand. There's no way to know for sure what that helmet has been through.
Now, this one might be a tough sell. I know mattresses are a bigger expense, so it's tempting to buy one off Craigslist. Still, it's really not worth it. The used mattress could have bedbugs, could have been treated terribly by its owners, and could have God-knows-what on it. Luckily, there are options for budget mattresses, according to Mattress Advisor, so you don't have to clear your bank account for a bug-free night's sleep.
For similar reasons, you shouldn't buy bedding off Craigslist either. It's just not worth the risk of buying something gross or infested. Plus, you aren't saving a ton of money anyway. Instead, go to Target or IKEA to grab a cheap sheet set, then sleep soundly.
Remember in middle school when your classmates got lice? And then it spread throughout the school? And kids had to treat and/or cut their hair? Yeah, that condition doesn't only affect kids. By buying hats second-hand, you risk something gross like lice. Instead, just buy the new hat. That's probably cheaper than a used hat plus lice treatment anyway.