Like New for Less! 13 Items You’d Be Foolish Not to Buy Secondhand


When it comes to saving money without sacrificing quality, buying pre-owned items is always a great way to go.

From furniture and appliances to clothing and tech gadgets, you can get just about anything in nearly new condition from places like thrift stores, consignment shops, online marketplaces, and more!

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at 13 items that you should definitely consider purchasing the secondhand route for savings of anywhere between 50% – 90 % off of retail price.

1. Kid’s Stuff

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Whether it’s clothes, toys, or gear, it makes the most sense to buy kids things used.

The main reason is because of how fast they grow.

You could buy an outfit for them at the beginning of the season and it’s too small by the end.

Worse, you buy a winter jacket in summer and it’s too small by October.

2. Bikes

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The price of a new bicycle is high, and the quality is much worse than years ago. You can see this when you look at the welding where the frame comes together.

Newer bikes cannot compare to older bikes.

Because of this, you are better off buying a used bike. Whether it is a used newer model or an old, higher-quality model that has a lower price tag, used is a great way to save a few hundred dollars on your next bike.

3. Camera Lenses

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If you are an avid photographer, you know how expensive lenses cost.

For high powered ones by the name brand companies, you could spend hundreds, even thousands on a single lens.

A better option is to buy used. Buying online will be difficult because you cannot inspect the quality before you buy.

An alternative is to join local photographer groups or photo shops and see if anyone is selling used lenses.

4. Houses

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Many people prefer older houses over new ones, mainly because of build quality.

Nowadays, houses are built very fast with the goal of the home builder profiting as much as possible.

This opens the door to cutting corners and using lower quality products.

The downside of older homes is they won’t have some of the features newer homes have, like open concept or larger rooms.

5. Cars

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While the used car market has experienced some major inflation post-pandemic, the used car market still tends to offer the best prices, especially now that the average price of a new vehicle is $49,507. And this doesn’t consider any interest you will pay if you finance the purchase.

A better alternative is to buy a used car. While it can be financially wise to buy a cheap beater car and save tens of thousands of dollars if you do it right, most people are better off purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle. 

These come with a warranty and low miles, which help to offset any anxiety you might have when buying used ones. If you decide to go this route, ensure it is for your desired vehicle.

As one person said, “If you wouldn’t buy the brand in the first place new even if you had the money, then you probably wouldn’t buy second hand at a good price.”

Of course, whether you buy new or used, use clever negotiating tactics to get the lowest price possible.

6. Clothes

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If you have been clothes shopping lately, you know that clothing can be expensive, and the clothes designed don’t last. But is used clothing a good deal?

One person made an excellent point, “All clothes except undergarments. If it’s lasted long enough to reach a secondhand shop, it’s already 100x better than fast fashion.”

Where should you look to find used clothing? Consignment shops and thrift stores are good options. Also, consider Facebook Marketplace, as some people might be cleaning out their closets, and you can get some good deals.

If you agree that clothing is expensive, but cannot get behind the idea of buying used, make it a point to shop at a discount retail store like Ross or TJ Maxx. The quality won’t be great, but the prices are much more reasonable. 

Finally, while you might have purchased clothing at outlet malls to save money, know that the deals currently offered are not as good as they once were.

7. Furniture

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Are you moving to a new place and in need of furniture? Like most other products on this list, new furniture can be a major expense.

You can find fantastic deals in your neighborhood, from dressers to couches to coffee tables. You might even be able to find some furniture for free! Just be sure to check it for imperfections or infestations before you bring anything into your home.

The best places to look are on Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp. It may take some time searching, but you can get amazing deals. For example, I purchased a high-quality leather sofa and loveseat for $1,000 in perfect condition.

The set was one year old and was for sale because it did not fit in the owner’s new home.

8. Electronics

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Buying used tech equipment, from computers to camera lenses, can be a great way to save a buck.

Used tech equipment can be trickier to find in good condition, so you should stick with reputable third-party sellers who vet the products before they sell them on their marketplace. 

Still, you can save a bundle if you can find the items you are looking for. I regularly upgrade my phone by purchasing used on eBay.

Since people upgrade to the latest model even if they have the previous years, you can save by upgrading. I only buy from sellers with high ratings and detailed pictures to ensure the phone is legitimate.

I also make a point to communicate with the person to put my mind at ease.

9. Tools

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Do you rely on your tools to get things done around the house or generate income? If so, it can be wiser to invest in secondhand tools than to try to buy them new. 

Of course, when it comes to tools, there are many options to save a few bucks. A discount store like Harbor Freight is an option to buy at a lower cost.

You could also reach out to neighbors or friends to see if they have a tool you can borrow, assuming you only need it once. Finally, Home Depot also allows you to rent tools, helping you save money.

Of course, you could always buy the tool, use it, and return it to get your money back. While I don’t encourage this, it is an option. To protect yourself, understand the store’s return policy to ensure you can return a used tool.

10. Exercise Equipment

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There is a lot of affordable exercise equipment that you can get for cheap. Take, for example, basic exercise essentials like exercise bands, yoga mats, and smaller dumbbells.

However, larger weights and even exercise machines can be a significant expense. High-quality used exercise products can make it easier to create a home gym without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to get the same new equipment. 

And since many people set a fitness goal in the new year only to abandon it a few months later, you can usually find gently used, like-new fitness equipment in the spring on Facebook Marketplace.

The only issue you might encounter is someone trying to recoup all the money they spent. Remain patient and make an offer or wait for them to lower the price.

11. Books

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Used books are cheap, depending on where you get them. The best place is on Amazon.

Search for the book you want and look for the section where you see used books offered by other sellers. They will list the book’s condition, so you know what you will get. 

And don’t think it will be challenging to find the book you want used. As one person said, “Not always, but I’ve found some pretty great books to read that were used/secondhand.” 

The only caveat is if it is a book you only plan to read once. In this case, your best option is to borrow it from the library. Then if it turns out you plan to reread it, you can then buy it used.

12. Instruments

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Learning a new instrument can be a worthwhile endeavor, but it can also be quite pricey. This is why shopping for used instruments is often preferred, especially if you’re a parent trying to get an instrument for a child going into the band. 

One person made the excellent point, “Instruments. You just save so much money buying a used instrument, and it won’t be much different from a new instrument, you just have to do a little bit of research beforehand to know what to look out for when shopping used stuff.”

You can find great deals on Facebook Marketplace here, too, as many parents try to recoup the expense of buying an instrument their child no longer plays.

13. Gift Cards

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Yes, you can buy used gift cards. In some cases, the user doesn’t need the card. For example, they might have returned an item without a receipt and were issued a gift card. They sell the gift card to get cash.

Or, people might sell brand-new gift cards. In this case, they received them as gifts and wanted the cash.

Either way, you save money by purchasing used. Most times, you can get up to 20% off the value of the gift card, depending on demand. A $100 gift card could be yours for $80!

If you decide to do this, buy from a reputable source. Buying on Craigslist or eBay is possible, but it is risky because you could get scammed.

Luckily some websites specialize in selling gift cards. These include Raise, CardCash, and GiftCash, to name a few. 

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