Almost everyone (and I think it might be safe to say 100% of members on this site) is looking to save money but saving money doesn't necessarily guarantee a good deal. I can't tell you how many times I have purchased something that was highly discounted only to bring it home to use it and say, "Oh...that's why it was so cheap!". Lucky for us, the internet can help us in our buying decisions. You can find reviews on almost every product and make a more informed decision.
Coupons and ads help us save on groceries and clothes and this site helps us easily browse and search for deals. What about buying used items? You can't always rely on reviews when buying used items because each condition is unique and you usually can't return a used item. I have compiled a list of items that you should never buy used as well as items that you should consider buying used. I hope this helps and please feel free to add!
Items You Should Buy Used
Books (and Textbooks): You can buy used books online at discounted rates. Barnes & Noble and Amazon usually have a "buy used" option. You can also find used books for sale at your library, at a pawn or consignment shop, or in book stores.
eBooks: Unless you can get the book for free or under $2, there is an option to rent ebooks. Many public libraries have this option. Check out your local library and ask if they have ebooks. Amazon Kindle Lending Library also has free rentals if you have a Kindle and a Prime Membership. There are also many other apps and lending programs available.
Baby Clothes/ Maternity Clothes: Babies grow so quickly. If you like to have certain brands or styles that may not be the cheapest, look at buying used. You can buy used from garage sales, consignment shops, or online. Make sure you wash the clothes after purchasing. Stores like Once Upon a Child buy and sell used baby clothes. You can also buy online on ebay, craigslist, or from sites like Swap Baby Goods. Maternity clothes also make sense to buy used (unless you plan on having a ton of kids). You can also find used maternity clothes at consignment stores, garage sales, and online.
Tools: People usually sell their tools because they got a better set, not because they are broken or unusable. You can find some pretty good deals at garage sales. You can also find some good deals online but, because of the weight, the shipping makes it a sour deal.
Jewelry: A piece of Jewelry is like a car. Once you leave that store, it loses value. You might be able to bring it back within 30 days, but good luck getting a similar price selling it. Many people don't like to buy used jewelry because they are afraid it isn't authentic. Reputable stores like Zales and Helzberg also sell pre-owned jewelry that is restored to it's original luster. Next time you go to a jewelry store, ask to see some of their pre-owned items.
Cars: It's always nice having a new car, but it isn't always practical. Car rental companies often sell their barely used cars that often still smell new to dealers. Just remember to always check the car's history.
Items You Should Buy New
Bike Helmet: Bike helmets can be kinda expensive, but it's worth it to spend the money. Helmets don't take up a ton of room, so it is safe to assume there might be something wrong with it if someone is selling one. Safety is the most important thing and you don't want to take that risk to save $10.
Car Seat/ Cribs: Car seats are often recalled. People also fail to set them up properly. Sure, they can be expensive, but you can buy a convertible car seat that your baby can use from birth until the booster years.If you do choose to buy used of borrow from a friend, make sure you check for recalls.
Laptops: This is a gray area. There are decent used laptops out there but, if the difference is under $50 and you have a warranty, I would buy new.
Vacuum Cleaners: If someone is selling a really good vacuum, there might be something wrong with it. It is also very germy and can introduce new allergens into your home.
LED/ HDTVs: You want the warranty. The nicer and newer the TV, the more questionable. Factory restores is usually fine because they often have a warranty.
Mattress: Don't really have to say anything.
There are plenty of other obvious and not so obvious ones out there. When buying used, always check return policies and also search for prices online because sometimes you can find the product on sale. As always, please feel free to add!
i am in the midst of shopping for a car and i think i will be looking in the used car lot. it's just a better buy because new cars seem to use their value the moment you drive it off the lot. thank you.