Author Topic: What things will you only buy new?  (Read 21223 times)

m8547

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #50 on: December 17, 2014, 12:03:15 AM »
I don't understand the aversion to used safety gear.

Gear - Likelihood of using to protect someone - Likelihood of failure if used - Risk
Car seat - Low - Low - Low
Bike helmet - Low - Low if not excessively old or damaged - Low
Motorcycle helmet - Moderate - Low if not excessively old or damaged - Somewhat low
Climbing gear - High - Low if it can be inspected (like metal gear or simple webbing. Ropes are harder to inspect since you can't see the inner strands) - Moderate at most

People won't use used car seats, but they will buy cars with used seatbelts, and lots of other safety equipment that's "used" but probably hasn't actually been in an accident? There's no difference. As long as the car seat is a safe design, and it has no damage, it's probably fine.

For bike helmets, people rent these sometimes. They can be cleaned (I've normally seen Lysol spray* used with no adverse effects) and inspected. It's surprisingly hard to break a bike helmet, even after five years. A 1lb hammer won't do it, in my experience, and I've retired a few old and new helmets. A crash might be grounds for retiring it, but even then there's still a lot of protection left unless it has major damage. Motorcycle helmets might be a bit different since they have to withstand greater impacts.

For climbing gear, metal gear generally doesn't get hidden damage that will cause it to suddenly fail. As far as I know, carabiners dropped on the ground are fine to use, as are ones used to take normal falls (one used for towing a truck would not be OK, but it probably wouldn't work right since it would probably be deformed). There's a huge margin of safety on all this stuff.


For used shoes, Tinactin makes an antifungal spray, but I think that might just inhibit growth, not kill the fungus. I would try something like hydrogen peroxide (though that might bleach or damage fabrics, and I'm not sure if it's an EPA registered disinfectant), a quaternary ammonium disinfectant like benzalkonium choride, or hot water that's not hot enough to melt the shoes. Alcohol like Lysol spray is good for taking care of bacteria, and it might have some effect on fungus. See here for a procedure to kill fungus that causes disease in bats:
https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/sites/default/files/resource/national_wns_revise_final_6.25.12.pdf
Basically, hot water is the best way to disinfect anything. Any shoes that can get wet can surely withstand 50C water, and you could increase it to 60C in case foot fungus is more resilient. Almost nothing survives over 60C.

The same principles work for underwear (though I haven't seen a lot of used underwear for sale). Wash it with bleach and/or dry it on high heat, and it will be completely sanitized.

I have a sonicare toothbrush, and it grows mold inside the brush head where it screws onto the handle. I clean it with bleach added to boiling water. The handle is dishwasher safe, and the heated dry cycle on the dishwasher sanitizes things. You can even use it to cook fish. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dishwasher-salmon-with-a-piquant-dill-sauce-recipe.html

Bleach eventually breaks down into salt water, and at low concentrations it's similar to the chlorine that's already in municipal water. It's highly corrosive at normal concentrations, but after you rinse it off a little residue isn't harmful. You can use a small amount of bleach to disinfect contaminated water (look up the correct amount before you do).

*note that Lysol makes many products, but as far as I know, the aerosol spray is mainly alcohol and perfume.

Ricky

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2014, 05:42:36 AM »
Quote from: m8547
I don't understand the aversion to used safety gear.

Gear - Likelihood of using to protect someone - Likelihood of failure if used - Risk
Car seat - Low - Low - Low
Bike helmet - Low - Low if not excessively old or damaged - Low
Motorcycle helmet - Moderate - Low if not excessively old or damaged - Somewhat low
Climbing gear - High - Low if it can be inspected (like metal gear or simple webbing. Ropes are harder to inspect since you can't see the inner strands) - Moderate at most

You don't buy safety gear based on the likelihood of having to use it. Odds and statistics aren't really a factor there. You buy and use to prevent harm, period.

Buying a used motorcycle helmet or bike helmet is just stupid to me. Once a helmet has one good impact, it should be replaced. And that isn't manufacturer-level brain washing, that comes from the inspection entities that stamp the helmets for approval. Just because it looks protective, doesn't mean  it is. It can be the difference between life and death. No thanks. Unless it's from someone you know and trust, or its listed as "open-box", I wouldn't take my chances. If the chances are really as low as you put them, then it's likely a one time purchase anyway and the difference saved is irrelevant.

I understand buying used is more of a tree-hugger thing than an actual money saving device for a lot of people, because someone pretty frugal isn't going to buy a lot in general, making savings gains irrelevant. I often get nearly as good of a deal buying new over used. Or at least, the difference never justified going the used route for me.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 05:45:37 AM by Ricky »

m8547

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #52 on: December 17, 2014, 07:45:12 AM »
But you will probably be able to tell if it was in an impact, right? The plastic on the outside will be scratched, scuffed, or damaged, and there might be cracks in the foam if it's the same type used in bike helmets.  If there's really no way to tell if it's been in an impact, then don't buy it. If you are really highly concerned about your safety, then maybe don't ride a motorcycle.

Manufacturers could build in Shockwatch type sensors that indicate an impact over a certain amount, but they have no incentive to because they'd rather have everyone buy a new helmet when in doubt. This would be really helpful to see when to replace your own helmet (so they could possibly sell more helmets), and it would be helpful to measure how bad a crash is if you are ever involved in one. Maybe no one has thought of it yet?  Or how about building it into the foam. It could release a colored dye when damaged, or a smelly substance.

For used mattresses, heat works to kill bedbugs. According to wikipedia, an hour at a temperature of 45 C (113 F) or over will kill them. A hot car in the summer sun will get that hot, depending on where you live.

TerriM

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #53 on: December 17, 2014, 08:10:45 AM »
Sorry for the rant, I just get rather worked up about the lack of common sense in general when it comes to child safety products.
Continue rant: What pisses me off is that I can never find any honest information on safety. Everything has been filtered through a lawyer and several layers of CYA. At the end of it all, all there is is a vague and generalized admonition to avoid anything vaguely risky. This came up with recently guidelines for storing expressed breast milk. Apparently you're supposed to toss it if the baby has even started feeding on the bottle, because bacteria. Yeah, we never did that. Baby was fine. It would have just been nice to have some reference that gave real risk values instead of a panicked "AVOID EVERYTHING!" I guess I'm saying I agree with you.

Strange.  Part of the benefit of breast milk is that it is antibacterial.  Baby feeding on the bottle doesn't make sense.  Breastmilk sat out for 24 hours.... sure then I'd toss it just in case....

87tweetybirds

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2014, 08:31:10 AM »
To me there is a big difference between buying something used and accepting something used. I won't buy a used mattress from say a thrift store, but I did accept one used that came with my bedroom set. Clean people, and it's our guest bed. My SIL has given me bras, and swim wear, and offered me one of her spare beds just barely after we had bought our bed. And a good friend had 2 car seats and happily gave me one so she wouldn't have to throw it away. Would I have purchased that seat from a thriftstore if that had ever been an option, no. But I'm happy to accept the seat, gently used, and allow it to postpone it's journey to the landfill.

ZiziPB

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2014, 10:18:53 AM »
Tires, shocks, brakes, clutches, batteries, headlights, etc. - with very few exceptions.

So no used cars for you? 

kiblebuka

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #56 on: December 17, 2014, 10:35:58 AM »
Mattresses, but the spare at my mom's house was a refurb when I bought it for college...but considering I just got a new one I won't be thinking about this for another 15 years hopefully.

Underwear and swimsuits, again, germ paranoia. Didn't know about the shoe thing so maybe they fall into here. Of course I have the other problem of being weird sized so previously enjoyed stuff that fits is hard to find.

TerriM

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #57 on: December 17, 2014, 12:36:37 PM »
Carseats:  Don't bother me as long as the straps aren't fraying.  I actually just use boosters that have been left on the street, but the straps are generally the car's straps.

Climbing gear:  My understanding is that you never ever should step on the ropes.  I can see why people who climb would not want used climbing gear.  I mean, if the bad stuff is death and dismemberment, either buy new or don't do it. 

For bike helmets, the concern is that someone had an accident in one that would weaken it without you being able to tell.  I get my kid's ones used because I figure no one probably had a major accident in one, but I certainly see buying mine new.  That said, some of mine are so old, you might as well argue that they're worse than used. 

I agree with you regarding the shoes.....  I wonder if you could get it wet and put it in the microwave (yeah, that sounds either brilliant, or brilliantly stupid).  But otherwise, putting tinactin in them seems like it should do the trick.

I think I'm not going to give up my used shoes.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 12:39:00 PM by TerriM »

TerriM

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #58 on: December 17, 2014, 12:38:39 PM »
But you will probably be able to tell if it was in an impact, right? The plastic on the outside will be scratched, scuffed, or damaged, and there might be cracks in the foam if it's the same type used in bike helmets.  If there's really no way to tell if it's been in an impact, then don't buy it. If you are really highly concerned about your safety, then maybe don't ride a motorcycle.

I think there are cases where you might not be able to.  The question is whether it's worth the risk.  If you're biking everyday to save gas in cars, just buy a new helmet.

The real question is how many people replace their helmet after an accident..... Probably not many if the accident was mild.

StartingEarly

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #59 on: December 17, 2014, 07:15:52 PM »
You would be surprised how many people don't hit their head until they're in the grass.

scrubbyfish

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #60 on: December 17, 2014, 09:24:18 PM »
I journalled here about a bike accident I witnessed and provided first aid at some months ago. I was right behind the guy, saw it all. His head (helmet) hit the ground several times. He was pretty severely injured, hospitalized a good stretch, multiple surgeries... And his helmet looked PERFECT. I won't accept from unknown sources used helmets or kid carseats. I did, however, accept a used booster seat from a person I trusted to be very intentional around the care of kids.

Otherwise, I'm delighted that I've been having such a hard time answering this question. A couple of years ago, it would have been a long list. Now, I can't think of anything (besides toothbrush, etc) off hand. Progress! For me now, pretty much everything would depend on several variables per item. New or used, though, I'm still a stickler for things being in excellent shape in terms of function as well as esthetic. I like pretty and shiny, and I keep things that way for the person who'll have a given thing after me. This would still factor in to my decision.

On another thread, I just learned that some people even sell/buy used menstrual cups. That surprised even Me Of The Second Hand Underwear.

m8547

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #61 on: December 17, 2014, 11:22:09 PM »
I agree with you regarding the shoes.....  I wonder if you could get it wet and put it in the microwave (yeah, that sounds either brilliant, or brilliantly stupid).  But otherwise, putting tinactin in them seems like it should do the trick.

I think I'm not going to give up my used shoes.

Just soak them in hot water. The microwave won't heat them evenly, it could interact with any metal like eyelets, and it could damage the shoes if the water dries out. They might catch on fire.

I would probably use alcohol like Lysol spray rather than Tinactin. But hot water is even better. I've found it difficult to get the smell (bacteria=smell) out of Goretex boots, so applying something on the surface might not work for those.

Hot air might be good enough, but don't put them in the oven because the radiant heat will melt the adhesive even if the air temperature is low. A convection oven might work if you can set it low enough.



For helmets, I think it comes down to risk tolerance. Some people won't accept anything other than a brand new helmet, which is fine. The problem is, it's hard to determine the risk of a used helmet, so it's hard to make a good decision. There is uncertainty in the level of risk, but I still believe that the risk is low (whatever that means). Helmets are stronger than you think. If there isn't visible damage, how likely is it that there's invisible damage? We don't really know since we don't have test data. Chances are a used helmet has never been in an accident, anyway. 
See MMM's article about how safety is an expensive illusion.

When it's time to retire my helmet in a few years, maybe I'll do some drop tests. I do plan on retiring it around the 5 year mark because it has some minor damage like dents and scratches, mainly from hanging on my backpack. It has saved my head from sliding on the ground in a few crashes, but it hasn't taken any impacts except impacts with doors and the floor. I use a different helmet for mountain biking for three reasons:
-I don't want to commute in a sweaty gross helmet, therefore I own two helmets
-My mountain biking helmet has more coverage -> better protection for my head
-There is a higher risk of being in a crash where I hit my head when I'm mountain biking, so I want a good helmet. For general riding on the road I don't think it's likely that I will hit my head on anything, so I don't care about the condition of that helmet much.

Some people ride with no helmet at all, so surely my lightly damaged one is better, and it's probably 90% as good as a new one. If the design exceeded the safety requirements when new, it might still be as good as one that just barely meets them, like an ultra light highly ventilated hemet. No one except the manufacturer really knows how much safer one helmet is versus another, and I think they won't say because of liability. They can't claim one helmet is safer than another because someone will get hurt wearing the safer one and sue them.

TerriM

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #62 on: December 17, 2014, 11:46:04 PM »
Hot air might be good enough, but don't put them in the oven because the radiant heat will melt the adhesive even if the air temperature is low. A convection oven might work if you can set it low enough.

Perhaps a blow dryer?


Some people ride with no helmet at all, so surely my lightly damaged one is better, and it's probably 90% as good as a new one. If the design exceeded the safety requirements when new, it might still be as good as one that just barely meets them, like an ultra light highly ventilated hemet. No one except the manufacturer really knows how much safer one helmet is versus another, and I think they won't say because of liability. They can't claim one helmet is safer than another because someone will get hurt wearing the safer one and sue them.

And then some people ride with a helmet attached to their....bike.  Sigh.......

I guess if you're going to do that, it doesn't matter if it's new or used.

arebelspy

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #63 on: December 17, 2014, 11:56:53 PM »

Some people ride with no helmet at all, so surely my lightly damaged one is better, and it's probably 90% as good as a new one. If the design exceeded the safety requirements when new, it might still be as good as one that just barely meets them, like an ultra light highly ventilated hemet. No one except the manufacturer really knows how much safer one helmet is versus another, and I think they won't say because of liability. They can't claim one helmet is safer than another because someone will get hurt wearing the safer one and sue them.

Good point. Though on the last sentence I feel like they'd be more likely to be sued for the less safe one. "But why did you sell me this one that wasn't safe enough if you could make safer ones" type thing.

Maybe a lawyer could chime in on what they think is more likely?

Probably get both lawsuits, nowadays.
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CALL 911

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #64 on: December 18, 2014, 11:09:57 AM »
Infant/baby car seats
Absolutely, you should only buy them new.
We felt comfortable with a hand-me down from a trusted friend. As long as it's not expired and hasn't been in an accident, I'm OK.

A motorcycle helmet, I can understand. The protective foam liner gets more brittle with age and you can't test it without also damaging it. Manufacturers recommend replacing them every five years but I consider that a very conservative estimate considering the source. I will probably wear mine for around 10 years, give or take, before replacing it. The helmet may even still be perfectly good at that point, but I assume that improvements in helmet design over the course of a decade will be worth the upgrade alone.

I am perfectly okay with throwing away a child car seat that's been in an accident but car seat expiration dates are total and utter bullshit. The seats have a very simple job: hold a baby to the seat. This is not a difficult engineering task. They don't make them out of anything that deteriorates significantly with time and age. Can you imagine if they did? There would have been about a thousand and one class-action lawsuits along with several swift, overly-broad, and non-appealable actions from the CPSC by now.

Car seats are essentially a one or two-piece strong plastic shell, seat belt straps, and some padding for comfort. That's it. The seat belt webbing doesn't go bad, the padding doesn't matter for safety purposes, and the plastic shells will haunt our landfills for millions of years.

When our kids were babies, we had two car seats that were acquired used. (One we bought from craigslist, one was given to us for free.) They were similar designs and made the by same company. One was about five years old, the other about ten. Oddly enough, the ten year-old seat was better made and stronger than the newer one. I know this because I stripped both of them down, cleaned them, and inspected them for signs of damage and weakness. I found none and happily declared both of them fit for protecting the most important things in my life.

Now that we're done making babies, I have to throw the perfectly-working seats away because it's illegal to sell child seats that have been recalled. Now, before you say, "wait, that's a good thing", I have to point out that nothing about these seats is dangerous in any way. If that were the case, I would not have put my babies in them. The real story is: one of the seats had an optional rain cover or something that could pinch a baby's fingers if said baby had fingers in the mechanism while an unobservant adult retracted the cover. First, I don't see this being a recall issue to begin with and second, my seat doesn't have a rain cover. As for the other seat, there is nothing wrong it either, but it was originally sold with a stroller that had a defective wheel or something. We never had the stroller, but the seat is considered recalled as well because it was sold with it and has the same model number.

Sorry for the rant, I just get rather worked up about the lack of common sense in general when it comes to child safety products.

Seat belt webbing acutally DOES expire. Have you ever raced cars? I know you haven't. Any legitimate race will not allow a car on the track with seatbelts more than 3 years old. Is that overkill? Almost certainly. But when the situation is really dangerous, overkill saves lives. I've seen decayed seatbelts that I could tear with my bare hands (and did). They were 40 years old, but they definitely decayed.

Are 10 year old nylon webbing straps dangerous in a child's car seat? Doubtful, unless you drive 180 mph without headlights.


I have enough money I won't buy used: shoes, underwear, swimsuits, socks, beds (10 years ago I would, but bedbugs aren't worth the savings), helmets, climbing rope, tires (did it once, was a disaster, cost more in time/aggravation than new tires).
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 11:34:45 AM by CALL 911 »

m8547

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #65 on: December 18, 2014, 09:22:23 PM »

Some people ride with no helmet at all, so surely my lightly damaged one is better, and it's probably 90% as good as a new one. If the design exceeded the safety requirements when new, it might still be as good as one that just barely meets them, like an ultra light highly ventilated hemet. No one except the manufacturer really knows how much safer one helmet is versus another, and I think they won't say because of liability. They can't claim one helmet is safer than another because someone will get hurt wearing the safer one and sue them.

Good point. Though on the last sentence I feel like they'd be more likely to be sued for the less safe one. "But why did you sell me this one that wasn't safe enough if you could make safer ones" type thing.

Maybe a lawyer could chime in on what they think is more likely?

Probably get both lawsuits, nowadays.

Probably both. Company A could come up with a safer helmet and claim that it's better than company B's but almost no one has done that. If a company has multiple products, they wouldn't want to claim one is safer than another.

The bike helmet safety institute has tons of interesting information about what helmets are on the market. They mention that consumer reports did some testing a while back, and there were a few helmets that were saferthan most, but their (very limited) testing shows that cheap and expensive helmets can be about the same. There are some interesting new technologies out there. http://www.bhsi.org/helmet14.htm

They, of course, recommend buying helmets new for maximum safety. But there doesn't seem to be a big market for used helmets anyway, so it's not really an issue. Almost every post has mentioned toothbrushes, but I don't even know where you would find a used toothbrush (except sonicare or other electric toothbrushes which can probably be found at the usual places- ebay, amazon, craigslist, kijijijiji, etc)

Actually, there are a surprising number of used helmets on Amazon. Most of them are Warehouse Deals items, so returns and open box items. Amazon lawyers must have decided it's OK, so they can't be that bad. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of these if it's the type I wanted and the price was good.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_p_n_condition-type_1?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ahelmet%2Cp_n_condition-type%3A6461718011&keywords=helmet&ie=UTF8&qid=1418961758&rnid=6461714011

If I found helmets like either of my two bike helmets listed for sale, I most likely wouldn't buy them. The commuter helmet has enough scuffs and scrapes that it doesn't look that good, and if I was buying it I would question the safety. Since it's my own helmet I know the crashes were not bad enough to warrant replacing, but otherwise it has obvious warning signs.

It's kind of the same with shoes. I could use a new pair of sneakers because mine have holes and stains and the sole is peeling off (I already glued it back on once) and worn smooth. I'll keep using them for a while. But I wound't buy used shoes in the same condition because I would still need a new pair of shoes shortly after buying the new used ones.

Basically, to me it makes no sense to buy something that's mostly used up just to have to replace it again soon. Good things to buy used are things that don't really get used up, like cast iron pans, or electronics that are only slightly obsolete (I bought a 1yr old used phone), or cars because of the high price and depreciation. Things I can fix are ideal to buy used because I can get a discount from someone who doesn't know how to fix it, then fix it myself. Bikes or broken electronics are good examples. For things that do get used up, I'll almost always buy an open box item or returned item or something like that if I can, since it's almost in new condition but cheaper.

Forcus

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #66 on: December 19, 2014, 09:33:44 AM »
Tires, shocks, brakes, clutches, batteries, headlights, etc. - with very few exceptions.

So no used cars for you?

Hah, I see what you did there. I mean replacing those parts with used parts. I haven't bought a new car since I was young and dumb.

GuitarStv

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Re: What things will you only buy new?
« Reply #67 on: January 07, 2015, 01:20:34 PM »
So . . . I can go into pretty much any place that sells 'em and pick up a brand new bike helmet for 20-30$.  Why would you even bother risking a second hand helmet to save so little money?