Last Updated May 26, 2023.
What’s not to love about new stuff? Everyone loves new things. New cars, clothes, appliances, etc. But paying top dollar for some new things might not be worth it. Sometimes purchasing used – also known as pre-owned or secondhand – items might be a smarter way to go. It’s easy to find items in excellent condition for significantly less money than if you bought them new. If you are trying to cut corners, here are seven things you should consider buying used.
- Children’s clothes
Dress your kids in super stylish outfits without paying super outrageous prices by purchasing pre-owned clothes. Children grow so fast, so it is easy to find good quality clothes that have been hardly worn. Visit consignment shops and tag sales, and look for local Facebook “garage sale” groups where people in your area might post kids’ clothes for sale at a fraction of the cost of new.
There are many reasons why people sell perfectly good furniture. Perhaps they are downsizing or moving to a different climate. Maybe they have an adult child who has left the nest, or they have inherited furniture that doesn’t fit their home’s size or décor.
You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by purchasing used furniture. Craigslist, garage sales, consignment stores, and flea markets are great sources for finding secondhand tables, chairs, desks, armoires, and other beautiful pieces for your home.
- Sports Equipment
Score big savings by buying used sports equipment. Purchasing pre-owned equipment and gear makes sense if you are trying a new sport – why invest in expensive golf clubs or skis if you are a beginner and not sure if you will continue with the sport? Buying used is also wise if you have kids who play sports. Children quickly outgrow gloves, helmets, shoulder pads and other gear and equipment. By purchasing gently used items you can keep up with your kids’ athletic interests without breaking the bank.
- Musical Instruments
Like sports equipment, musical instruments are other items you don’t need to spend a significant amount of money on if you are just starting out. A pre-owned instrument in good condition is perfect for beginners. Prior to completing a purchase, make sure an experienced musician examines the instrument to ensure its quality. Slight cosmetic issues can be overlooked, but mechanical problems cannot. If it’s a good fit for your needs, the money you save will be music to your ears.
- Books and College Textbooks
Whether you want to add to your home library or get through your college assignments, you can save a lot of money by buying books used. Today there many online resources that sell previously owned books and textbooks including Amazon, AbeBooks, ThriftBooks, Alibris, BookFinder, Chegg.com, Half.com, and many others.
- Hand Tools
Get a high quality hand tool without the high price tag by buying them secondhand. Hand tools like hammers, wrenches, shovels, pliers are meant to stand the test of time so there are usually many gently used tools for sale and it probably won’t be very difficult to find just what you need. Buying used is also a smart option if you need a specific tool for a one-time project. Two popular resources for finding used tools are Craigslist and garage sales. Look for well-known brand names like Craftsman, Black + Decker, Kobalt, DeWalt, and Bosch. For more tips on how to buy used tools, read this Popular Mechanics article.
- Video Games
New video games can cost more than $60 each, but buying them new isn’t the only game in town. If you are ok with waiting until after the hottest new releases cool off a bit, consider buying pre-owned video games. Reduce the cost of your gaming hobby by shopping at Amazon, GameStop, Half.com, Walmart, and other retailers that sell pre-owned games.
Buying new might be convenient, but in some cases you might be spending more than you have to. Being frugal doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. Be a savvy shopper and look for ways you can save money by purchasing pre-owned products when it makes sense.
The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice. You should consult with a financial professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs.
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