6 Reasons We Buy Used

posted by Andrea | 04/3/2019

Today’s post is an updated repost from April, 2016.

6 reasons we buy used

It’s no secret that I frequently buy used and secondhand items for our home, for our kids, and even for Dave and myself. I’m not ashamed to borrow something from a friend or relative — and you all know how much I love Craigslist!!

In fact, I guarantee the number of “new-to-us” items in our home drastically outnumbers the “brand new” items in our home!

Almost all our kids’ clothes, shoes, toys, books, and games are purchased used, almost all our furniture and other decor items were purchased from Craigslist or garage sales, and even many of my clothes are purchased used from ThredUP or a local thrift store (Dave almost always buys new, but he hardly ever needs anything!)

Both our vehicles are used, all our kids bikes, scooters, roller skates, toy cars, and other outdoor toys are used. Our kiddie trampoline is used, our swing set is used, our kiddie pool is used, all but 1 of our strollers were purchased used, even Dave and my bikes are used!

{every item of clothing they wore for family pictures was purchased used!}

{everything in this photo is used — the swing set, the tramp, the toys, the rockers, the picnic table}

{all these toys were purchased used}

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Buying used is so satisfying for me, especially when I find exactly what I’m looking for! However, there are several other reasons we 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 knowing 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.

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 the kids)… and as you can imagine, this alleviates many trips back to the store to return something that doesn’t work for us.

Plus, 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, Facebook, thrift stores, or garage sales, I feel fabulous knowing I’m helping someone else 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 I 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 fall into debt. We see something, we want it, we buy it. Done!

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 rarely have any buyers remorse or guilt associated with my purchase because I usually get such a fabulous deal. Even in the few cases when 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) because I didn’t pay much upfront.

I also don’t get upset if my kids ruin a “new to us” item of clothing or break a “new to them toy” because it most likely only cost $0.50 or maybe $1. It’s not worth getting upset over that amount of money — and if it was truly an accident, we just trash the item and move on with our day.

I’ve blogged about all the different excuses people make to keep their clutter — and it should come as no surprise that guilt is entwined 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 someone 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. Less Expense

I think it goes without saying that buying used is an extremely effective way we reduce our daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly expenses. (I shared more about this last week!)

I’ve often thought about trying to calculate just how much money we’ve saved buying used — but I think it would be nearly impossible at this point in our lives. I’ve decided that the time and effort it would require just isn’t worth it.

It’s safe to say that we’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars over the last 15 years of buying gently used versus new — that savings is one of the big reasons why we can afford to have Dave home all summer (instead of getting a summer job) and continue doing so many house projects. 

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I realize buying used isn’t for everyone — that’s fine. However, if you have the opportunity to buy used, I’d encourage you to give it a try.

You just never know when you’ll find the exact item you were looking for at a fraction of the price… like that time I found the EXACT kiddie pool I wanted for only $75 AND they delivered it (fully assembled) to our home!!!

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56 comments

  1. Jennifer

    04/07/2019

    I love to buy used, too, and am so glad you wrote this post. However, because I hate to shop, if I NEED something, I just want to find it and be done with it, so I will buy it new. Rule number 4 doesn’t always work for me then. It can be time consuming to look for a deal on something used, and saving time is as important to me as saving money at this point in my life. Otherwise, I totally agree with you. I buy a lot of used things from my neighborhood Facebook group, and sell things on it as well– it’s great. Thanks for another great post!

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