Best Used Goods

New Isn't Always Better: 12 Used Things to Love

Although I admit that new can sometimes be very nice, old or used can be just as good! Here are some examples of used goodies that are even better than new:

  • Books and magazines: Go to your neighborhood library, and take out a book or flip through the magazines. You can also buy used books that look practically brand-new from websites such as Amazon, or trade them on the web at Swap.com.
  • Cars: The value of a new car drops dramatically right after you drive it off the dealership, so consider getting a used car to get more bang for your buck. Remember to do your research first, watch out for these car salesman tricks, and ask the seller the right questions
  • Clothing: You can get great hand-me-downs from friends and family members instead of splurging for a new outfit at a boutique. You can score good buys at thrift store, too, if you use a little know-how.
  • Wedding gowns: There's no better steal than buying a dress that has only been used once — and paying less for a dress that you are only going to wear once as well. Check out these questions to ask the used wedding gown seller before you buy a dress from her. 
  • Tools: Get big discounts on used tools, but do your research before you end up buying a dud. Buy the tools from a legitimate seller or from people you know and trust. 
  • Animals: There are plenty of cute pets waiting to be loved at your local shelter. Remember that adopting older dogs has its benefits too. For example, you won't need to bother with potty training, and most dogs calm down after they pass the rapscallion puppy stage.
  • Designer bags: Vintage bags give the classic brand names a one-of-a-kind twist (after all, you don't see these golden oldies in stores anymore!). Find one from a thrift store or online at places like Poshmark. You can also consider renting a handbag from Avelle's Bag Borrow or Steal.
  • Furniture: There are plenty of great deals on Craigslist, and if your friends or neighbors are giving away their old furniture, that's even better. Don't be afraid to check out thrift stores, as well; you can find some unique pieces with great price tags. But keep in mind that staying away from used furniture with fabric will lower the risk of bringing bed bugs into your home.
  • Things for baby: Baby clothes, toys, and other baby-related gear doesn't get much use once baby is all grown up. Just stay away from items like car seats and cribs, because the safety standards are updated all the time, so the used items may not meet the current safety requirements.
  • Jewelry: Those pretty trinkets you keep admiring also depreciate quickly once they are in a buyer's hands. Check out estate sales, eBay, and pawnshops to see what old goodies you can score. But be sure to do your homework to avoid getting scammed. 
  • Residences: Ah, the great rent vs. buy debate! It depends on whether buying a house is within your means and what state your finances are in. Renting is not always a bad thing; sometimes it's a more sensible choice for people who are living more transient lifestyles. Remember the seven-year rule: seriously consider renting if you're going to be in a place for less than seven years. 
  • Information: Historical knowledge will never grow old. Reading current news is great, but learning more about history can sometimes be even better. You'll be able to make more solid arguments and form opinions that are well-rounded and supported by past examples. You'll also gain a deeper understanding of human nature.
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