Sunday, June 13, 2010

Caveat Emptor


“We all love scoring great deals on Craigslist and EBay, but many second-hand purchases are actually terrible deals. Stay clear of these 20 used items that will end up costing you money -- or even endanger your health.”
[Included on the list: swimsuits, undergarments, make-up.]
“… a good thing to remember about used makeup is that it's a breeding ground for bacteria and a number of contagious diseases.”


-- US News.com


The more you know, right? And I was just about to put a down payment on a sack of old gym socks and eye shadow (sold as a set). Whew. How did we survive before respected journals saw fit to share lifestyle tips on the internet?

Though generally a compendium of vital, daily information, U.S. News failed to mention a few used items I consider suspect. You may think I'm overly suspicious, but I once lived with a used-car salesman, and can parse some lingo and read between the lines. I’m not saying don’t buy the following items, just don't rush out all fresh-faced, thinking it's Christmas:

Dental floss: Sure, it may look fine; there may appear to be a lot of play left on that string. But if the floss is still good, why isn’t the owner taking it for a second trip around the choppers? A new coat of wax makes anything shiny and bright. Be especially wary if sold in conjunction with q-tips.

Kleenex: Here’s the quandary: The ad on Craig’s List claims “double plie,” but you’re just taking their word for that, aren’t you. At least ask how many prior blows, and get it in writing. Don’t settle for something vague like, “lightly used.”

Contraceptive devices. Remember, “Previously owned” probably means previously tested. I’d ask for a head count on that household.

Band-Aids: A little white-out and superglue. Oldest trick in the book.

I have at least twenty more, but I’ll stop here because the rest might be considered in questionable taste

26 comments:

  1. Vilma VertmuellerJune 13, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Vatta viseacre viesenheimer ¡

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  2. I was in the doc's office a while back and found a wad of
    ABC gum stuck to the bottom of my chair. Even though my mouth watered, I thought better of it because of where I was. Your post however, gave me a great idea. Previously owned gum on Craig's list. There must be tons of it.

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  3. Well thanks for not going for the big 'gross out' Karin:-)

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  4. Also brushes and combs. Don't ask how I know.

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  5. Lilly von SchtuppJune 13, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    Who eez deez Vilma?

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  6. LOL, Karin!!

    Reminded me of a radio team in San Francisco back in the sixties called Coyle and Sharpe. Jim Coyle and Mal Sharpe, whom you may have heard of because of his later work. They did these Candid-Camera type radio gags. One time they were talking to mom & pop grocers about the idea of selling used food to people who didn't want to eat a whole apple or a whole sandwich. You buy a sandwich, you take a couple bites and are full, you sell it back to the store, and they wrap it up and resell it at a discount.

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  7. wow...I was thinking of having a little snak and toddling off to bed...no need to open the freezer at this point, not hungry anymore...especially thinking about what's worse than what you listed. feh!

    thanks for saving my waistline & kidneys this evening, I think! ;-)

    wv: reheat...seriously? gotta reheat the gum to chew it properly, right Pierre? ugh!

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  8. Boy, I sure am glad that I stopped in here before heading over to place those bids...thanks for the heads-up, KB!

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  9. The dental floss entry made me laugh the most, esp. with the add-on of Q-tips, maybe just because they came first and I was only partially prepared.

    Sometimes I think I can follow a writer’s train of thought, how item X in the real world led to Z in writing and so forth. But I think I’m stumped here. Care to share what in the world led you to this topic? Now that you got to it, could you go on with it for weeks? Or do I not want to know? Well, it’s a blast. That is, LOL. Thanks.

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  10. Can we add 1973 mustard colored Chevrolet Vega to the list? how about anything made by Chevrolet? a french name meaning goats milk

    never could trust the french

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  11. This is toooo funny - but now I want the rest of your list!

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  12. Nah, you guys don't want further elaboration. (Trish, best diet, evah.)

    Pierre, PA, and M, wish I'd thought of those.

    Banjo, obviously yahoo isn't your landing/sign in page. Every day you'll find a wealth of tips. Such as: To lose weight, pass on the Big Mac and eat a nourishing carrot stick instead. If only I'd known that years ago...

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  13. You make a bad buy sound soooo gooood!

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  14. the floss rocks.

    JJ

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  15. There's four more mistakes that have been prevented. Miss J thanks you though she's pissed she's now going to have to stop by Rite Aid on the way home and get some dental floss.

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  16. I'm sure you know the salesman's three greatest lies: "It's on the truck. It's in the mail. I'll respect you in the morning."

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  17. AH---64lbs SO far this year, BEFORE your list came out...really, I don't need much more help!

    PA--add the Chevy Blazer to the list, any color, am surprised Ralph Nader hasn't attacked them yet! haven't seen one yet that ran right.


    wv: under...seriously, under, as in, I under estimated how gross the concept of USED dental floss for sale might seem...nope, actually, I didn't...blech!

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  18. Trish

    I will gladly add Blazer to the list; (I owned one) and I swear it tried to kill me.

    Chevrolet spelled backwards is Satan

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  19. PA---no, a 1983 Honda Accord takes the cake for trying to kill a friend---it rolled backwards, pinned her to a wall, broke her pelvis, "the car tried to kill me!" was her statement, so true. But a Blazer is a close second! Ours tried to slip out of gear on the fwy...65mph and no tranny...exciting. Agreed, Chevy FORWARDS is Satan...they DID make the Saturn...REAL close wording!

    Only to be outdone by my mothers old MBZ...at one point, in order to hear the radio OR turn the heat on, you had to have the driver's side door open...made it tough at fwy speeds to listen to the radio OR retain heat. We called it the electrical poltergeist. Had to finally shoot the thing, it wouldn't die! If Craiglist had only been around when we tried to get rid of the MBZ, I mean, unload it, er I mean, find it a new home...life would have been golden!

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  20. I'm a pretty visual person and I hafta tell ya, some of these visuals have me shuddering, but smiling and laughing too. Contraceptive devises? Really?

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  21. I'm rolling on the floor. "Head Count". I'm trying to get in quickly before Earl jumps on it. Oh dear..............nevermind

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  22. Eeeww....:o)

    I hate Craig's List. Everyone wants something for free and "Oh, can you deliver it too?"

    BTW, thank you for your kind words of support over at my place!

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  23. I know, my bad. The next one will be about poetry.

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  24. It's amazing how many half-used toiletries I see at yard sales. Ick! I did buy some broken glass on eBay once though. (Ok so it was stained-glass glass that I used in a mosaic project.)

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  25. Laughing all the way to the medicine cabinet!!!

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