7 Things That are Better to Buy Used
There was a time when buying items secondhand was strictly the domain of struggling college students or quirky, starving artists. But the Great Recession was also the great equalizer, and many people who had never considered shopping at consignment, thrift stores and yard sales discovered the joy of finding an awesome secondhand score.
Online sites such as eBay and Craigslist can also yield great deals. There are even swap groups popping up on Facebook that allow you to search items available right in your neighborhood.
Whether you’re a thrift-shopping pro or are new to the game, take a look at these seven things to consider buying used instead of new.
Clothing for Babies & Kids – Babies and kids outgrow clothing almost as soon as it’s purchased, so it doesn’t make sense to spend big bucks. Most thrift stores have a huge selection of baby and children’s clothing, for a fraction of the retail cost. And it’s not unusual to find it in tags-on-new condition.
Children’s Toys – Toys are another thing you can always find in abundance at thrift stores and yard sales. Just be sure they’re still in safe, working condition and haven’t been placed on a recall list. The Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps a constantly updated list of current recalls here.
Plates, Glassware & Flatware – While you might not find a perfect matching set of Wedgwood china at your local Goodwill; you will find a huge selection of eclectic plates, mugs, glassware and silverware for next-to-nothing. It’s also a good place to look for replacement or accessory pieces in discontinued patterns or colors.
Bicycles – Unless you’re an avid cyclist with your heart set on certain tech specs, there’s no reason to shell out the cash for a brand new bike. There are plenty of good quality, lightly used bikes to be had at huge savings. Check local bike shops, eBay and Craigslist to find the best ones.
Furniture – Whether you’re furnishing a single room or a whole house, you’ll save big if you buy at least some of the furniture used. Concentrate on the overall style and construction quality of pieces, rather than colors or fabrics. You can always strip and re-stain wooden furniture, change out hardware and make over upholstered furniture with throws and slipcovers. Be sure to inspect pieces for bedbugs or strong odors and pass on the item if you notice either one.
Major Appliances – Before you head to the nearest big box store for a new refrigerator, washer, dryer or other major appliance, check out the used options first. As with all secondhand purchases, ensure the item is in good working order and has not been recalled. Also look for the Energy Star certification, to ensure you don’t eat up your savings by spiking your electric bill using an outdated appliance.
Bridal Wear – You can keep your wedding budget in check by purchasing gently used bridal wear – including the wedding dress. Check out a site like tradesy.com, which makes shopping secondhand feel like shopping retail. In addition to bridal gowns, you can find bridesmaid’s dresses, décor, and menswear, too.