Many pieces of equipment are perfectly safe to buy second hand but there's one item you should never buy used.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Buying used workout or sporting equipment can be a great way to save money but some of it can also be dangerous. We asked the experts at Play It Again Sports for advice.
Owner Mike Kemp says a no-brainer - equipment that gets better with use - like a baseball glove. He also suggests golf clubs. "The new companies change them so often that you can a lot of times get really modern technology at a big discount buying them used." Mike says look for golf clubs that don't have any visible rust, scratches, dents or dings.
Baseball bats are another popular used item. New bats can cost up to 300-hundred dollars each these days. But you want to check used bats for visible signs of wear too. Mike says, "A lot of wear on the center of the bat would indicate that maybe it's not going to have a whole lot more active life left in the bat."
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A used treadmill could be a great deal. But when checking it out, it's not the *look that matters - it's the sound. Mike says, "Does it sound like it's struggling to pull you when you walk? Does it hesitate? Does it skip? Is it reading the speed properly? Does it seem like a reasonable speed for when you walk on it? Try it on multiple speeds. If it has an incline, make sure you run the treadmill all the way up and down the incline settings."
One item you should never buy used - bike helmet. Mike says, "They are single impact-rated helmets. Due to the fact that you can never really know if that helmet's been involved in an accident, it's not a safe thing to do."
No matter what you're buying - sporting equipment - or anything else - you should always check to see if it's been recalled by checking with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
You can also research the best brands on sites like Consumer Reports.