15 Things I (Almost) Always Buy Used

When it comes to finding a good deal on something my family needs, I am Supermom! I have been known to pull useful items out of dumpsters, clean them up, and resell them for a tidy profit. In the past, I have acquired many of our home’s furnishings for free, from the side of the road during our town’s clean-up days. Yep, I love a good deal. I also love to shop the second-hand market for things I need. Here are 15 things I (almost) always buy used.

15 Things I (Almost) Always Buy Used

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15 Things I (Almost) Always Buy Used

  • Clothes

When shopping for clothes for myself, my husband, and (especially) our kids, I always scout thrift stores, yard sales, Facebook pages, and consignment stores before I shell out the cash to buy new. Many times, by using these resources, I have been able to purchase clothing for pennies on the dollar. I’m not talking about low-quality clothing, either. I have been able to regularly find good quality, name brand clothes for myself and my family.

If I can’t find an article of clothing used, I will buy it off of the clearance rack…with a coupon.

  • Appliances

Buying used appliances has been hit-or-miss for me. However, when you find yourself (suddenly) in need of a refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, etc. you will usually save money if you buy it used.

Many times, people will sell perfectly good appliances that are only a couple of years old simply because they want to “upgrade”. Often, this occurs right before Black Friday or during tax return season.

  • Camping Gear

Our family likes to go camping at least a couple of times per year. Before we hit the road to our wilderness destination, we must first load our van with some camping essentials. We usually bring a couple of tents (because my teens don’t want to share a tent with mom and dad), camping cots, backpacks, a cast iron skillet, cooler, flashlights, and some toilet paper.

Guess what? Most of this stuff was purchased used (except the toilet paper). Which is a good thing, because I don’t think our family would be able to afford to go camping otherwise.

15 Things I Buy Used

  • Vehicles

I’ve only purchased one brand-new vehicle in my lifetime. A 1998, bright red/pink Ford Escort, which we ended up selling for quite a discount once our son was born and we “needed” a larger vehicle.

What a waste of money! We spent over $10,000 in payments, insurance, taxes, and interest for a car that we ended up selling a few years later for a couple of thousand.

Thankfully, we quickly realized the error of our ways, and have since purchased all of our vehicles used.

  • Toys

Let’s face it. Kid’s toys can be expensive! Why spend top-dollar for something your child will quickly outgrow (or grow tired of)?

  • Furniture

Even though I never buy upholstered furniture used, I have found many washable pieces used (or free). Including, dining room tables and chairs, bedside tables, bookcases, and desks.

  • Sporting Goods

With the exception of athletic shoes, mouth guards, bike helmets, and jock straps (eww), I try to buy sporting equipment used whenever possible. Now that I think of it, I purchased my lucky fishing pole from a yard sale.

15 Things I Buy Used-Uncluttered Simplicity

  • Pets

I’m a big fan of “used” pets. In fact, every one of our family’s furry friends came to us pre-loved. Pets are expensive enough. I’d rather spend my money on chew toys, bedding, and those cute little doggie sweaters (just kidding).

Besides, I get a warm (fuzzy) feeling from rescuing my pets off the street or from the shelter.

  • Textbooks

Our family homeschools, and as some of you may know, homeschool curriculum can be pricey. As such, before I purchase school books for the year, I see if what I need is available used either on Amazon or Home School Classifieds.

  • Houses

I have never purchased a brand-new house, and I don’t think I ever will. I get it, though. The thought of customizing a home to perfectly suit my family appeals to me. Just not enough for me to want to fork over money for an architect, engineer, general contractor, permits, inspections, new electric, septic system and more. So. Much. More.

Be Smart, Always Buy Used

  • Gardening Equipment

I’ve never been to a yard sale where at least one gardening tool wasn’t being sold for (super) cheap. From flower pots, shovels, hoes, rakes, tillers, edging, pavers, etc. there is a huge market for used (sometimes even free) gardening supplies.

  • Board Games

A lot of families buy board games and never find the time to play them. As a result, they end up donating them to thrift stores or selling them for a couple of dollars at a yard sale. I am super grateful to these families for the many hours of entertainment which their discarded board games have provided my family with over the years.

  • Gifts

Yep, I’m that girl. I am not ashamed to say that I have purchased used/refurbished items and have given them as gifts to my family and friends. But, only if the recipient is okay with it.

  • Tools

Used tools, if you can find them in good condition are a huge money saver! Unfortunately, they tend to go fast at yard sales, so you will need to arrive early if you want to score a good deal. Also, many people tend to hold on to their tools, so used tools can be hard to come by.

I have had good luck finding quality used tools at estate sales as well as farm auctions.

  • Video Games & Software

I (almost) always buy used video games for my kids for Christmas unless the game they are asking for is a new release. You can even find new release games used if you are patient. Often, a person will purchase a video game new, beat it within a month, and resell it.

I will only buy computer software if I can verify whether it has a valid license. Most (new)software programs are distributed with a limited number of times they can be installed and registered on a new device. Therefore, installing the software on a new device could be illegal.

When buying used, there’s no need to limit yourself to yard sales and classified ads (does anyone even check those anymore?). You can find many used items via:

  • Craigslist
  • Facebook
  • Community websites
  • Auctions
  • Estate Sales
  • Word-of-Mouth
  • Ebay
  • Etsy (vintage items)
  • ThreadUp
  • Consignment Stores
  • Thrift Stores
  • Pawn Shops
  • GameStop
  • bookoo
  • Amazon

What are some items you prefer to buy used? Let me know in the comments!

The secondhand market is a goldmine if you know what to look for. Keep these 15 things in mind when buying used.


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About Cheryl Lemily

A wife, mom of 3 boys & 2 dogs. A minimalist raising a minimalist(ish) family. Living a small, slow, simple life. Helping others declutter & simplify.

2 comments on “15 Things I (Almost) Always Buy Used

  1. I almost always buy these additional items used: Holiday Decor, Books of all kinds, Trays & Tins for cookie & goodie giving (be very judicial about their condition), Baskets, Jewelry, Decorative Linens, Decorative candles. This is the short list!!

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