Do you have an aversion to buying second-hand items? Don't like
the idea that someone else used them first? Well, get over it
because you can save a lot by buying used rather than new.
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Many pre-owned items can cost up to 50% to 75% less than the
price you'd pay if you purchased them new. Often you can find
"used" goods that have hardly even been used. And with some items,
retailers or manufacturers refurbish and repackage them so that
they're practically new again.
Here are 12 things that you should consider buying used because
you often can find them in good or almost-new condition at a
fraction of the price you would pay by buying them new.
If you want to avoid the straight-out-of-the-furniture-showroom
look or just don't have a lot of money to spend outfitting your
abode, hit up estate sales, consignment stores, antique stores or
even yard sales to find unique and affordable pieces.
is another good source of used furniture. For example, we found a
china cabinet, dining table and six chairs for sale on the site for
$475. A similar table and chairs was $1,199 at Macys.com and
similar china cabinet was $1,499. Word of caution: Don't buy used
mattresses (unless you want to risk getting bed bugs) and consider
getting upholstered items professionally cleaned before bringing
them into your home.
A pair of designer jeans (brands such as True Religion, 7 For All
Mankind, Paige, Joe's Jeans) typically cost $150 to $200. But you
can find a gently worn pair at an upscale consignment store for a
third of that price. Don't like the idea that someone else wore
them? Well, there's a good chance at least one � maybe
several � people tried on the "new" jeans you bought at
the store. (And you probably didn't think to wash them before
wearing them because you assumed they hadn't been worn.)
The way to get a deal on pricey tablets is to buy refurbished
models, which are tested to meet manufacturer specifications. For
example, a new iPad2 with Wi-Fi, 3G and 16GB costs $529 new but
only $399 refurbished. When buying refurbished, look for tablets
with a warranty � one year is ideal, according to
High-end, deluxe wooden swing sets can cost as much as several
thousand dollars. But even simple models are at least $300, which
can be a lot to pay for something your kids will quickly outgrow.
That's why it's smart to buy used swing sets, which you can find
for half the original price. Check your local paper's classifieds
Books and college textbooks.
You can pick up paperbacks at yard sales for $1 (or less) or find
them at used bookstores or online at sites such as Amazon.com for a
lot less than you'd pay if you bought them new. You also can cut
the cost of college textbooks in half by buying used. Use sites
to scan multiple online retailers to find the lowest-price. See
How to Cut Your Textbook Costs in Half -- or
for more information.
No need to spend a lot of money on a bike that your child will
quickly outgrow. You likely can find a used one with little wear
and tear (because the previous owner outgrew it quickly) at a
fraction of the cost of a new bike.
If your kids (or you) aren't intent on buying the latest, greatest
video games at the time of their release, you can spend half as
much buying games used rather than new. Among the retailers that
sell pre-owned video games are Amazon.com, Best Buy, GameStop and
Mowers, trimmers, pressure washers and other outdoor equipment are
good things to buy used because you can easily see what sort of
condition they're in. If the equipment is clean and the parts are
barely worn, you know it's been gently used.
Sometimes people buy tools to complete a project, then never use
them again � and unload them at great prices. So no need
to pay full price for a tool that you can buy gently used for a lot
less. You can find reconditioned tools at
, or search Craigslist.org or the classifieds for like-new
The cost of all the gear parents often buy when having a baby --
such as a crib, bassinet, stroller and high-chair -- can add up
quickly. But there's no need to spend a lot buying these items new
when you can find them in mint condition at consignment sales or
online auctions for a lot less. Don't buy used car seats, though,
because they might have been involved in an accident, their safety
features might have been compromised or they might have been
Baby, toddler and kid clothing.
Because kids -- especially babies -- grow out of clothing so
quickly, it doesn't make sense to spend a lot on their apparel. You
can find name-brand children's clothing in good condition for just
a few bucks per item at upscale consignment stores, which are
selective about the items they accept.
Plenty of people have every intention of starting an exercise
regimen when they purchase treadmills or elliptical machines, but
many times this pricey equipment just gathers dust. That's why it's
often easy to find used exercise equipment in great condition at
great prices -- and you don't have to feel so guilty if you don't
end up using it as much as you anticipated. For example, we found
many name-brand treadmills and elliptical trainers listed for $300
or less on the Washington, D.C., Craigslist.
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