6 Surprising Reasons We Buy Used

posted by Andrea | 06/28/2013

6 reasons we buy used

It’s no secret that I frequently buy used and 2nd-hand items for me, for Dave, for Nora, and for our house. I’m not ashamed to borrow something from a friend or relative — and you all know how much I love Craigslist.

The photo above is our most recent “used” purchased — a $15 Little Tikes car for Nora. You can tell the she is quite unhappy we didn’t splurge for a brand new car (they’re over $50 new!)

See her in action below (click here if you’re reading this via email).

I’ll be honest, the main reason I love buying used is for the cost savings. With just a quick search of Craigslist or any of the other online garage sales, I can usually find what I’m looking for at a fraction of the “new” price. I still can’t believe how many free or almost free things Dave and I have amassed over the years — many of which we still use on a daily basis in and around our home. It’s fabulous!

Yes, most of the items are things we can afford to buy brand new, and the new items might be a bit higher quality then our gently used items. BUT, these used items are good enough for us… especially since we save sooooooo much money! 

And although the cost savings are fabulous, you might be surprised to know that there are a few other reasons I almost always buy used.

1. Less Packaging.

Have you noticed how much packaging comes with new items — especially new toys and other kid/baby items? It’s CRAZY! Then, on top of  all the packaging, there’s all the paperwork, manuals, instructions, warranties, etc. etc. — so much extra (and, in my opinion, unnecessary) stuff I don’t need.

Even though I’m not a die-hard environmental buff, I still feel happy that when I buy used, I don’t add all that stuff to landfills (or to my filing cabinet!). Plus, I’m a very visual person, so it’s nice for me to be able to see and touch the actual item I’m buying — I often can’t do this if the item is all packaged up at the store.

2. Less Hassle.

When I buy used, I have the option to test out the item, make sure it works, make sure it will work for me (or Dave or Nora)… and as you can imagine, this alleviates many trips back to the store to return something that doesn’t work for us.

And anything that requires construction is usually already assembled or installed — which means less hassle for me once I bring the item home.

3. Less Clutter.

I know how difficult it can be for some people to get to the point where they are ready to purge — so when I purchase something used via Craigslist or garage sales, I feel fabulous knowing that I’m playing a part in helping someone else to declutter and simplify their life.

This might sound silly, but it’s true. I get such a sense of satisfaction knowing that I not only found a bargain, but also gave the seller a bit more breathing room in their home and life.

4. Less Haste.

Impulse purchases are a huge issue in today’s society — and a huge reason so many people are getting into debt. We see something, we want it, we buy it.

However, since I’m pretty committed to buying used, I often need to spend a few days searching the internet, so I don’t have that same “hastiness” or impulsiveness to buy it NOW. If I can’t find an item used, we often just go without until I do find it — and sometimes we end up deciding that we really don’t need that item anyway.

Plus, even if I DO find the item I want to purchase, it still takes a few more emails or phone calls to figure out a time/location to meet so I can make the purchase — I use this time to evaluate and reconsider how badly I need the item. If it’s not worth a 15 minute drive, then I probably don’t need it that badly.

5. Less Guilt.

When I buy used, I don’t have the buyers remorse or guilt associated with my purchase because I usually get such a fabulous deal. Plus, if I do decide that the product isn’t for me, I don’t feel bad getting rid of it again (either selling it or donating it).

I’ve blogged about all the different excuses people make to keep their clutter — and it should come as no surprise that guilt is intwined in many of those excuses. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “but I paid good money for that” when trying to encourage a client to purge something they no longer need, use, want, or love.

It’s hard to get rid of something you paid a lot for (I know!) — and that’s why I personally feel a lot less guilt if I’m able to score a fabulous deal.

6. More Satisfaction!

I think it goes without saying that there is A LOT of satisfaction involved in finding just the thing you’re looking for — at a rock-bottom price.


So what do you think… have I convinced you to buy used? 

I realize that buying used isn’t for everyone — and that’s fine. I also know that in certain parts of the country (and the world) buying used isn’t nearly as easy as it is in good old, frugal West Michigan :)

However, if you have the opportunity to buy used, I’d encourage you to give it a try. You might be surprised at some of the nearly new items you find.

Do you buy used? If so, what are your reasons?

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Filed under: Frugal LivingLife



  1. Kim E


    I love buying used toddler clothes because at least you know what they will look like after they’re washed, and you don’t have to worry about more shrinkage. Also, the toys I’ve bought used from our local Goodwill are some of my daughter’s favorites. That really makes me feel like I got a great bargain!


  2. Sharon


    I love buying used because then I dont feel badly if an item is accidentally broken or destroyed. It helps us not worry about book pages being ripped and cars rusting after being enjoyed in the water.


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