If you’re looking to cut back on your expenses, one of the easiest ways to do it is to buy more second-hand items. And for certain items, it just doesn’t make sense to pay full price because the markups are so high.
When many people imagine going to consignment stores, they imagine dusty bins and ragged clothes. But if you’re willing to look, you can find excellent, lightly used items for incredibly low prices. Let’s look at 17 things you should always buy used instead of new.
New cars lose a good portion of their value the minute you drive them off the dealership lot. You’ll also have to pay more money for insurance for a new car since it will be more costly to fix.
You can find plenty of reliable used cars that have low maintenance costs. If you check Edmunds, you can search by make, model, and price to find deals near you. Sometimes, finding a private seller can be cheaper than buying a used car at a dealership. Facebook Marketplace is a great place to browse used cars, just keep in mind that since you aren't buying through a dealer you will need to ensure safety measures are in place.
If you’re looking for a new book, I know how easy it is to hop on Amazon and have something shipped to you in two days or less. But anyone who loves to read should definitely get in the habit of browsing through second-hand bookstores.
You’ll likely find new authors and titles you would never have picked otherwise for cents! If you prefer to shop online, you can still find bargains on sites like BookScouter.
3. Designer clothes
If you love fashion and buying name brand clothing, you don’t have to give this up in the name of saving money. But you should give your wallet a break and start buying these items second hand.
In general, the markup on clothing is incredibly high, making sense to buy it used. You can find designer threads for up to 90% off at stores like Goodwill or consignment stores. You can also find these items online using sites like TheRealReal, ThreadUp, Poshmark, and my favorite, Mercari.
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Jewelry is another item that comes with an incredibly high markup. But you can find pre-owned jewelry at incredibly affordable prices. You can also find great deals at estate sales or at sites like Worthy.
Going to a pawnshop for used jewelry is also a great idea. More often than not, they also have the paperwork that came with the original sale proving value.
New models of bicycles come out every season, so you can save some money by buying a gently used or older model. You can look for discounts at your local bike store or check Craigslist for discounts.
6. Exercise equipment
If you’ve ever shopped for dumbbells at Target, then you know how expensive they can be. Exercise equipment is not cheap, but you can buy it at a discount. However, you’ll probably hang onto this equipment for a long time, so you want to buy strategically.
Check out Facebook Marketplace to see if anyone in your area sells high-quality gym equipment at a discount. You may also want to check out Craigslist.
7. A wedding dress
If you’re getting married, I know it’s tempting only to want the best for your big day. But why pay full price for a dress you’ll only wear once? And sites like StillWhite allow you to find a beautiful wedding gown at a price you can afford.
If you need a new cell phone or laptop, you should check out Gazelle for certified, pre-owned electronics. And as an added bonus, if you have old electronics you’re looking to get rid of, you can sell them on Gazelle and earn some extra cash.
Facebook Marketplace is also a great place to search for electronics. Just be sure that whenever you buy electronics used, that you verify it works before purchasing.
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9. Gift cards
One easy way to save a little bit of money is to get in the habit of buying discount gift cards. You can buy physical and digital gift cards at legitimate sites like GiftCards.com, Cardpool, and Raise. On the off chance that you get an illegitimate card, all of these sites allow you to return it within a certain time period.
10. Sporting equipment
If you or someone in your family is thinking about trying a new sport, don’t buy the equipment brand-new. You’ll likely end up overpaying and will have the added guilt that comes with it, especially if the new fad is short-lived.
Instead, looking for used equipment at any used sporting goods store. You can also snag some good deals on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
11. Baby gear
When you have a baby, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the things you need to buy. You need clothes, playpens, blankets, and more, and these items can quickly add up.
And babies will quickly outgrow many of these items, so it makes sense to buy at least some of your baby gear used. However, it is best always to purchase a new crib and car seat. If those items are damaged, it could put your baby’s safety at risk.
12. Children’s clothing
If you have kids, then you know how quickly they grow out of clothes. It often seems like the minute you buy them a new pair of shoes, they’ve outgrown them and need something new.
That’s why it makes sense always to buy used clothing for your kids. You can find great deals by searching Craiglist or eBay, but sites like Kidizen are also a good option.
You can find some great deals on gently used furniture at consignment stores, estate sales, and even eBay. Many of these items will already be in good condition, but it’s easy to spruce them up on your own.
14. Kitchen appliances
You could easily spend hundreds of dollars by purchasing all-new kitchen appliances from a department store. If you need smaller appliances like a blender or mixer, you can probably find these items second hand by checking eBay or Craigslist.
15. Musical instruments
If you’re looking to purchase an instrument for yourself or one of your kids, don’t buy it brand-new. You can find high-quality instruments for a fraction of what you’d pay at the average music store. Check out listings on Craigslist for good deals.
You may want to buy new gas-powered tools, but for smaller tools like hammers and wrenches, it’s better to buy them used. You can find these items for a fraction of the cost at garage sales or pawn shops.
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And finally, if you’re looking to get a new pet, why not skip the pet store and check out a local animal shelter? According to ASPCA, 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year. So by skipping the pet store, not only could you save a good amount of money, but you’ll give a home to an animal in need.
When considering adding a new pet to the family, it’s important to know that pets are expensive. Be sure that you are prepared to not only purchase your pet but also be prepared for vet visits, food, grooming, etc.
Whether you’re looking to save money or not, certain items just don’t make sense to buy new. And if you do some digging, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for price.