10 Items Worth Buying Used

There’s no question that buying new things is exciting, but is it really necessary?  In some cases, the answer Save money by purchasing used strollersis a resounding yes.  Used laptops, for example, are never worthwhile, because you can’t really know what type of damage has been done to the item until it’s too late.  Ditto for used vacuums and cameras.  There are, times, however, where it’s not only sensible to buy used items, it’s actually beneficial.  Here are 10 items that I highly recommend buying used – not only to save money, but also to save sanity.

  1. Books. I’ll let you in on a little secret – the information in used books is identical to the information found in new books, but it costs a fraction of the price.  In my experience, there are several distinct benefits of buying used books.  First off, used books often have binding that is already worn-in, so you won’t need to exert yourself to hold the book open.  Secondly, if you purchase used academic text books you can often find the previous owner’s highlighting and notes in the margins which may offer insights and ideas that can help you (or your child) succeed.
  2. Toddler clothing. While many parents have an instinct to spoil their children, there is no rule that it needs to be with brand new clothing.  Toddlers have a tendency to ruin clothing quicker than others, and buying gently used toddler clothing is a great way to assuage the guilt associated with ruined clothing.  Not only will it be less painful to throw away used clothing that is ruined, but it’ll be less painful to replace it as well.  Sounds like another win-win situation to me!
  3. Special occasion outfits. Whether you’re the bridesmaid, the mother-of-the-bride or the honoree at a community event, chances are good that you’ll need a fancy outfit that you may not have a need (or desire) to wear again.  Why spend hundreds of dollars on a one-hit-wonder when you can buy a used outfit for a fraction of the price?
  4. Home accessories. You can find great deals on used home accents like mirrors and wall art, and even more functional items like cutlery and glassware.  These items don’t go bad and they can give an instant facelift to your home without costing you a fortune.  Be aware of home décor items that are out of style – but stay on the lookout for those that are back in style and can be scored at shockingly low prices.
  5. Sports equipment. There are so many types of sports equipment that can be purchased used, from baseball mitts to hockey sticks.  You can even purchase home gym items used such as weight machines, treadmills and stationary bikes.  If you (or your child) is new to exercise or sports, buying used sports equipment is a great way to test the waters and see if you really enjoy your new hobby.  If your child is a sports enthusiast, buying used equipment will make it possible for you to upgrade your child’s equipment as he grows – without breaking the bank.
  6. Video games and DVDs.  Most video games and DVDs are sold used because the owner is bored of them.  Your children can benefit from your neighbor’s boredom when you purchase used Save money by buying used video gamesvideo games and DVDs.  And, when your children (inevitably) get bored of these purchases, you’ll be able to sell them to defray the cost of purchasing new-used video games and DVDs.
  7. Music.  Much like people sell video games because of boredom, many people sell CDs because they’re tired of listening to the same music repeatedly.  Why shouldn’t you take advantage of the natural life cycle of a CD?  A word of warning – make sure that used CDs are not scratched before you purchase them.
  8. Cars.  My mother used to say that when you buy a used car you buy someone else’s problems.  But (sorry mom!) this theory doesn’t hold much water these days.  Cars depreciate the moment you drive them off the lot, with most of them depreciating at least 12% in the first year.  If you’re in the market for a ‘new’ car and want something up-to-date, you can save money by purchasing a used car within the first year or two of its life.  Make sure you have it checked out by a trustworthy mechanic before finalizing the deal.
  9. Cell phones.  If you need to replace your cell phone when you’re not entitled to a free upgrade you can score big savings by purchasing a used cell phone.  Not only can you find popular models like iPhones and Blackberries for significantly cheaper than their as-new prices, but you can also find cheaper models for next-to-nothing.  Purchasing the same phones new at your local Verizon or T-mobile phone store can cost you almost double.  If you’re buying a used cell phone online make sure to purchase from a certified seller, and double-check that the phone comes with the necessary charger and earpiece (when relevant).
  10. Strollers.  Today’s popular strollers can cost hundreds of dollars (think Bugaboo, Quinny, Phil & Ted’s and others).  Why spend full price when you can get a used stroller for hundreds less?  When buying a used stroller make sure that it opens and closes properly and that the fabric is in good condition.  Many moms change their strollers based on what’s new or upgrade to a smaller model when their child grows – or a double stroller if the need arises.  Used strollers can be a great bargain and can provide years of reliable service.

Response to “10 Items Worth Buying Used”

  1. R4i says:

    I’m not so sure about sports equipment – would you really trust something that somebody else didn’t want to use anymore? There could well be a hidden fault.

  2. Dennis says:

    BE SURE that the stroller isn’t on a safety recall.

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