Experts Explain The One Flea Market Home Buy You Should Probably Skip

Shopping at your local flea market can be the best way to find unique vintage or antique items to help you decorate your home. Not only can you save big-time bucks on purchasing previously loved finds, but you may even discover that the quality of goods you get come with the experience of craft work done before the rise of fast fashion and build-it-yourself furnishings. However, among the many glorious options available at most flea markets, there's one particular item that thrifting experts say you should avoid. According to JF Gardemal Designs founder, Jerad Gardemal, via The Spruce, suggests that avid thrifters should stay clear of bedding and throw pillows. "Those are items that I want to know the full history of — I just don't like the idea of well-loved linens," Gardemal said.

Surely, a market would ideally not be in the habit of selling unlaundered (or even soiled) sheets or pillowcases. But because of the unsure background of these particular items it could be in your best interest to stay clear of used bed linens. However, this doesn't mean that you need to say no to linens altogether. There are some particulars that get the green light when it comes to market finds. "I love a beautiful white linen tablecloth and napkins in pristine condition," Gardemal mentioned. Depending on the era it was made, these items can come with beautifully detailed stitching and embellishments that would look amazing in a smartly decorated dining room.

Here is the potential big issue with buying second-hand bedding

When perusing a flea market you may be enticed to purchase that lovely set of vintage floral patterned bed linens that would absolutely look fabulous in your bedroom. However, you should know some of the dangers that come with previously used bed linens. You might be thinking that buying used bedding is no different than purchasing clothing second-hand, but you might be shocked at what you could find lurking in those lovely sheets.

Bed bugs are without a doubt the number one concern when you're thinking about buying bed linens from a flea market. These nasty little blood-sucking critters can hide in the nooks and crannies of your mattress, migrating quickly to your pillows and sheets. Because you can't be entirely sure where that delightful handcrafted bedspread came from — not to mention, how it was laundered or the conditions of the mattress that it spent time on — that means that you can't be 100% certain it does not have bed bugs in it. Although these little pests can be killed and removed from your bedding if cleaned under very hot temperatures, it can be a long skin-crawling process. You'd have to be extremely careful so that the problem doesn't spread around your house. That's why you should err on the side of caution when pondering buying thrift market sheets. It wouldn't be worth the risk to invite these creatures into your home with open arms.

Other items you should avoid picking up at a flea market

Although experts are pretty outspoken on not purchasing bed linens from flea markets, there are also a few other items you should be cautious about or avoid altogether. Electronics are always a dicey purchase. Radios, computers, televisions, record players, and other devices may look incredibly cool — but you can never be sure about what condition the components are in beneath the surface. You can always ask to plug it in before committing to a final price. However, unless you really know your stuff when it comes to wiring and electronics, it could be safer to just pass on this purchase. The last thing you would want is to spend money on an electronic and find out the wiring is faulty. This could pose a potential fire hazard when you try it at home. This can go for kitchen appliances as well as plug-in cleaners as well.

Stuffed animals can also be considered a huge flea market no-no. These plushy characters may have a big smile on their face, but they could be carriers of bed bugs (or even fleas) if you are not careful. Buying antique furniture that is made with outdated fabrics could be a potential health risk, according to Green Science Policy Institute. Certain fabrics on these furniture pieces could have been made with flame-retardant fabrics. However, the materials used could harm pets and people when they are introduced to the dust and air around the home.