5 Things You Should Always Buy Used

It’s always exciting to find a good used item for far less than you’d pay new. Some pieces are so costly new and easy to find used that it doesn’t even make sense to buy them in retail stores. Here’s a list of six things you should almost always buy used:

1: Books

If you’re counting down the days until a book’s release, buy it new. If you’re going to a favorite author’s book signing, buy it new — unless you already have a copy.

But, what if you’re browsing randomly for something to read or collecting volumes for a home library? Save a tree and some bucks by buying used books.

Inexpensive used books are especially easy to find at thrift stores, indoor flea markets with permanent booths, and yard sales.

2: Movies and Music

Now that the world has gone digital, it’s easier and cheaper than ever to buy used DVDs and CDs. You’ll see lots of movies and music at garage sales and thrift stores. Except for curated or high-end markets, most flea markets have at least one seller who specializes in nothing but.

When the cost of buying used is less than the cost of downloading a single song, it doesn’t make much sense to buy new.

3: Baby and Children’s Clothing

Babies, toddlers, and young children outgrow their clothes fast — and they stain them with sorts of substances. It makes little sense to buy them new.

Instead, hit the racks at garage sales and thrift stores for used children’s clothing selling for a song. Many are or look brand new; the children of the original owners grew fast too.

You’ll still receive lots of new clothes as shower and holiday gifts if having all used troubles you. And, if you insist on the high-end stuff, head to your local children’s consignment shop.

4: Silverware

When I was a child, brides who intended to entertain registered their silver patterns at the local jewelry store.

Today’s stainless flatware is more practical, certainly, but it’s not as enchanting. If you’re willing to whip out a polishing cloth on occasion, consider investing in a set of real silverware.

But, don’t buy it at a high-end department store. You’ll find lovelier sets for less money at estate sales and antique malls. The brides of my childhood years are now downsizing and liquidating estates of the generations before them.

5: Sports and Exercise Equipment

t’s a rare weekend when I don’t see at least one stationary bicycle or treadmill at a yard sale. I used to have one of the former. I primarily used it as a drying rack for clothes I didn’t want to shrink in the dryer.

Before you invest hundreds (or even thousands) on a pricey piece of sports or exercise equipment, try to find a used version first. Thrift stores, yard sales, and Craigslist are your best options. With the latter two, the current owner may nearly give it away if you’re willing to take it off of his hands.