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Shop Smart - Buy Used VS News When You Can

A great way to save some money is by purchasing used items instead of new when and where you can.   With the abundance of thrift shops and online sites like Craigslist, you can find almost anything if you're willing to take a little time.    

There are some categories of items that buying used just makes good financial sense!  You can buy some items  in like-new condition without having to pay top dollar.


Everyone loves the "new car smell" but is it worth several thousand dollars? Within the first year, your car's value will depreciate by 20%.  Five years down the road, you'll see a 60% decrease in value.  Rather than a new model, look for one that is a few years older and one that historically holds value.  Once you find the one you want, take it to a trusted mechanic and have them do a thorough review of the vehicle.  The hundred or so you may spend for a complete diagnostic review can save you thousands on a new model.  


Between online options, discount book store chains such as Half Price Books and yard sales  you can find books in any genre.  With new books costing $25 - $30, a gently used version on Amazon of the same title can save you as much as 75%!  

Students who are looking to save money on textbooks can save as much as 80 percent using sites like and  Check out to get a daily list of books for your Kindle or iPad in genres of your choosing from free to $2.99.


If you need a table, chairs or a lamp, look used.  Consignment shops, thrift stores and moving sales can offer lots of choices at low prices but it pays to take a look around online as well.  Craigslist and other local listings always have plenty of furniture listed.  Just be sure to inspect carefully for signs of wear, including stains, tears and mildew.  In some cases even if the item is slightly worn, you can do some quick in- home repair and it's like new!


Don't spend hundreds of dollars on new tools, unless it is something that you will use every day or you need a specific item for your job at hand. Look for used tools in good condition at pawn shops, estate sales, yard sales and online through Craigslist and Amazon.  How often do you wear out a hammer or screwdriver?

Kids Clothing, Toys and Care Items

Kids are expensive!  They grow out of clothes, furniture and lose interest in toys. When it comes to baby gear, buying secondhand is a smart way to save, since your little one will only be using it for a short amount of time.

Just keep in mind that for things like car seats and cribs, you're better off buying new since an item that's been damaged or expired could lead to a potential safety hazard.  There are plenty of places where you can buy used kid's clothing for much less than what you pay retail.  If you're looking for name-brand items at a discount, look for resale shops, consignment shops and thrift stores that are located near upscale neighborhoods.  

Don't forget the adults in this equation either.  Moms to be will need maternity clothes.  Rather than spending a fortune on items you may not wear a year later, look at consignment shops and other place that carry used clothing.  

The money you save will be helpful when it comes time for diapers, formula and all the other things you'll soon need.

Exercise Equipment

Avoid the gym fees and work out at home if you can.  Whether its a treadmill, weight set or bicycle, look around online and locally for deals on used equipment. You can usually find equipment that's still in great shape and you won't have to feel guilty about spending a lot if you don't find yourself using it as often as you planned.

Movies & Games.

DVDs and games can run as much as $30 each these days.  If you're an avid movie or game collector, you should look at local used retailers or online shops such as eBay and Amazon. People are constantly trading in games and movies, so find your favorite local store and check in on a regular basis.  You'll be amazed how much you can save.  


If you are looking to buy a puppy (or kitten) from a professional breeder or a pet-store outlet, it can set you back anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Adopt a pre-owned pet from your local animal shelter and get a new family member, with fees and vaccines at a substantially lower cost as well as being saved from being house-trained!

Buying used is a great way to save money if you're willing to put in a little extra time and effort to hunt down the best deals.  Make sure you do your research and carefully evaluate your purchases.  A savvy used shopper can save thousands of dollars a year or hop online and hit the thrift shops next time you're in need of a select item.


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