6 Things You Should Always Buy Used

Never Buy These Things New

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:

  • 01 of 06

    Baby and Children's Clothing

    mother buying children's clothes at yard sale
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    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.

  • 02 of 06


    High Angle View Of Cutlery In Cabinet
    Bernard Van Berg / EyeEm / Getty Images

    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.

  • 03 of 06

    Sports and Exercise Equipment

    Garage Sale Items
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    It'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.

  • 04 of 06


    France, Paris, man looking for old books in the Bouquinistes of Paris along the banks of the Seine
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    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.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Specialty Kitchen Appliances

    Collection of cooking utensils, including mezzaluna, knives, colander, pasta machine, pizza cutter
    Clive Streeter / Getty Images

    I remember the holiday when everyone I knew asked for and/or received a bread machine as a gift. Most of them spent the next decade trying to give them to me.

    I didn't need the bread makers, but I wouldn't mind having the wasted money.

    Don't blow big bucks buying trendy specialty appliances new at a store. Instead, buy yours at a yard sale or thrift store. Craigslist is also a good option when you're looking for something specific.

    Then, if you find that you actually use that pasta maker, carbonated drink mixer, etc. more than once or twice, you can invest in the Turbo 2000 robot-operated model.

  • 06 of 06

    Movies and Music

    Vintage Vinyl Records
    Lisa Valder / Getty Images

    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.