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The Top 10 Items To Buy Used Instead Of New


When you’re making a purchase, big or small, it’s tempting to buy the shiny new item instead of searching for one that’s been used previously. Many consumers believe buying new is always the way to go and that the benefits of brand new will outweigh downsides, like increased cost. However, experts say many items are actually better bought used, primarily for cost-saving purposes.

Keep in mind “used” doesn’t always mean you found it at a garage sale in a pile of other items. Used can mean buying off the rack in a store instead of ordering something new, purchasing a floor model or “open-box” item, or shopping at retailers that specialize in buying/selling gently used clothes and items.

Other than garage and yard sales, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace, some of the best places to buy gently used items include Amazon, Etsy, eBay, OfferUp, and even Goodwill.

Here are the top 10 best items purchased used instead of new.
Stationary Bike   


Ellipticals, treadmills, standing bikes, and free weights are all examples of exercise equipment that rarely needs to be bought new. First, just because a piece of equipment is older doesn’t mean it’s not operational. If you’re not looking for the latest and greatest new piece of equipment, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by buying from Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, garage sales, or even local gyms selling old equipment. Oftentimes, the equipment was barely used, because while it was purchased with the best of intentions, the previous owner didn’t use it enough or it required too much space. Before purchasing, be sure to research the brand and test the equipment.


Stop by any garage sale or auction and you’ll likely find a variety of hand tools in good condition. You can often find full sets of hand tools or power tools—just be sure to test them and examine power cords closely. If the item comes with rechargeable batteries, check those too, to ensure they'll still hold a charge. Keep your eyes out for name-brand tools like Craftsman, DeWalt, and Bosch.


Technology gadgets probably aren't something you’d think about buying secondhand, but there are a variety of reliable, trustworthy places to look when you want to purchase a TV, laptop, tablet, or other device. For example, check out Best Buy or Target and ask for an “open-box TV” which is a TV that was returned or used as a floor model. Buying the floor model can save you hundreds, but you'll want to be sure to ask about getting a full warranty.

Amazon Warehouses are another source for items that have been returned, used, or refurbished. When purchasing used electronics, make sure to plug it in and/or test the equipment and ask about return policies.


When you have growing kids who need new sports gear and equipment or are trying different sports, the costs can add up quickly. Unless your kid is fully grown or committed to a sport, buying used sports gear can be a great option. In addition to the regular places, check for items at secondhand retailers to find used, intact sporting goods that are in acceptable condition. Depending on where you buy, you may even be able to sell the equipment back to the retailer.


There’s a long-standing debate whether buying a new or used vehicle is the better option. However, when simply driving a new car off the lot reduces the value by thousands of dollars, buying a like-new, pre-owned model can result in significant savings. For example, many dealerships carry vehicles that are virtually brand new with low mileage because they were used as a rental car. Plus, people upgrade vehicles regularly, so it's quite possible to find a used car in great working condition for a price that fits your budget. Have the vehicle thoroughly checked by the dealership or a mechanic you trust. You just may be able to get a new-to-you vehicle with minimal or no debt.


Yard sales, flea markets, antique shops, and even Craigslist are all great places to find bargains on used furniture. You’ll want to be cautious when buying upholstered furniture, like couches or recliner chairs, and be sure they are clean and comfortable. Other pieces like tables, dining/side chairs, dressers, and bookshelves, can easily be cleaned or refurbished to look like new. Buying used furniture can save you a significant amount of money, especially if you shop at flea markets or garage sales, where you can often negotiate the final price.


Buying a new bicycle will cost you at least a couple hundred dollars, but many garage sales and yard sales have bikes for sale at lower prices. You can even find bikes on the side of the road thrown out with the trash. While these may need a little TLC, like a new bike chain or new tires, the repair costs will surely be less than buying a new bike.


Whether you’re looking for your next fiction or nonfiction favorite or a school textbook, buying used books can help save a lot of money. For example, textbooks for college courses can be hundreds of dollars and you’ll only use them one or two semesters. Buying them used, from websites like Chegg or Amazon, can keep money in your pocket. You can also usually sell books back when you’re finished, or take them to a used-books retailer like Half-Price Books.


While some homeowners pay for landscaping services, those who plan on doing the work themselves will likely find hefty price tags on mowers, weed eaters, leaf or snow blowers, and other yard equipment. Check local yard sales, auctions, and Craigslist for less-expensive, used equipment. As with electronics and power tools, check the equipment to make sure it runs properly before completing the sale.

10. TOYS

Toys and games are often the go-to when it comes to gifts for holidays or birthdays. But many parents find that kids quickly outgrow or lose interest in toys. Fortunately, bargain hunters can find an abundance of toys and games at secondhand stores, garage or yard sales, often at a great price, or sometimes even for free. When it comes to buying used toys and games, always check for missing parts and sanitize them before use.