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10 items to always buy used

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Theo Thimou

Buying second hand has become a first choice for saving money, either out of necessity for people or because they’re thrifty. But second hand doesn’t have to necessarily mean rummaging around a musty old thrift store.

Here are 10 items you can shop for used—either in stores/at consignment shops or online from the comfort of your own home!

10 items to always buy used!

1. Gently used clothing

Men’s dress clothes are a great buy at thrift shops. They’re usually in fantastic shape because few men dress up for work anymore. Instead, today’s standard office outfit usually includes khaki pants and a golf shirt.

The flip side of that is you probably won’t find good men’s casual clothing at a thrift shop because guys tend to wear their casual clothes until they’re threadbare.

Women, however, usually cycle through clothes more quickly and you can find some good outfits used.

If you’re looking for children’s clothing, try ThredUp.com. You can buy everything from 12 months to size 20 at discounts up to 80% off retail—all without leaving your home to go to a thrift store!

You may also want to check out ShopGoodwill.com, which is like an eBay of sorts for Goodwills from across the country.

If you want the best deals, find a thrift store that sells by the pound. Typical prices might include clothes, shoes, and purses for $1.49 a pound and tools and toys for a $1.29 pound.

2. Designer clothing/designer jeans

There are so many ways now to buy designer clothing at discount prices. Shopping at consignment shops can save you up to 90%, and that’s a lot of money back in your pocket. If you like trying the clothes on first, and you’re up for a little digging, check out places like Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack and DSW for designer clothing at up to 60% savings. Here are some online shopping sites that offer 100% free shipping — no minimum required!

3. Pre-owned gift cards

I know it sounds weird to think of buying a “used” gift card; “pre-owned” is probably a better term. There’s a whole resale market for cards that other people have gotten as gifts that they either can’t or don’t want to use.

Websites like CardPool.com and GiftCardGranny.com offer a way to unload those unloved gift cards for a small profit.

Each of these websites sells gift cards at up to 30% off their face value. The cards are typically guaranteed to work for up 180 days after purchase, though you should check the individual website’s policy to confirm.

Still not convinced you should buy pre-owned gift cards? Maybe this will sway you: Crooks are hitting those multi-vendor display racks at retail stores and emptying brand new cards of their value before you purchase them!

4. Old CDs

If you’re into cheap music buying, you can’t beat old CDs. Stores like 2nd & Charles, CD Warehouse are just a couple of places with both regional and national footprints where music lovers can get used CDs. Some finds are a $1 or less!

5. Cars

Finding the right price when you’re buying a new car is pretty easy. But finding the right price for a used car? Not so much…until now.

CarGurus.com lets you put in your zip code and the make/model of the pre-owned vehicle you’re interested in at their website. Then they’ll comb through some 2 million listings available on published databases and rate the vehicles available for sale with notations of “great price,” “good price,” “fair price,” and on down.

This gives you the ability to find a price that is a diamond in the rough and to weed out what would be lousy deals. Another way to find a deal is to use Carvana.com, which has a 7-day no questions asked return policy. It’s kind of like the Carmax of the online used car buying world.

Just remember price is only a part of the whole equation. Clark has a list of 4 key things you need to do when you’re buying a used car.

6. Furniture

Estate sales, consignment stores, antique stores, CraigslisteBay and even yard sales are great places to find gently-used furniture.

And now there are even more options. AptDeco, for example, handles pick up and delivery of buying and selling used furniture, and Krrb helps locals find gently used items near them, while Chairish offers pieces that design-lovers will go crazy for. (Note that the hard-to-find goods at Chairish are a bit more expensive than what you’d find on some of the other places mentioned, but they’re definitely cheaper than you’d find in an actual antique store.)

Plus, the great thing about used furniture is that while it can save you a lot of money, it’s easy to add your own touch to it with a new paint job or other easy DIY tricks.

Here are 9 ways to buy discounted furniture and appliances.

One note: When it comes to mattresses, you should buy new, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great deal. Here are the best mattresses for your money.

7. Electronics

If you aren’t set on having the latest and greatest gadgets, buying used technology can save you a lot of money. In addition to old standbys like Craigslist and eBay, here are some sites where you can buy and sell used electronics.

8. Books

If you do a little research, you can find books at much cheaper prices, rather than buying them new. Price comparison websites will even do the searching for you and find you the best price on a specific book you’re looking for. Here are some sites that will help find you the cheapest prices on books and textbooks.

9. Tools

Don’t be that person who buys a brand new set of tools for one project and then never picks them up again. But luckily for you, those people exist, and they often sell those gently used tools for a fraction of the original price. Check out Craigslist for things like hammers, wrenches, saws, shovels and other manual tools.

10. Baby gear

Baby clothes, strollers, toddler playsets—if there’s something that infants and kids need, there’s somebody selling it used! Check Craiglist, eBay or any of a number of baby gear resale chains across the country.

If you’re going to buy a used crib, just make sure it hasn’t been involved in any recalls. You’ll also want to be sure the crib is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association for safety reasons.

One thing not to buy used: Car seats. If they’re been involved in any kind of accident, they won’t give your precious newborn the protection they need.

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