When I was younger, I was a manager at a thrift store called Plato's Closet. If you haven’t heard of it, it's a young adult clothing store carrying trendy clothing in good shape.
While working there, I learned a lot about used clothing and accessories, and I also learned a lot about people's perceptions of used items.
There are many people out there who are completely against buying anything used. In fact, I know a person who is actually disgusted by “used homes” and looks down on people who live in them. Yes, this is a real person!
I don't think there's anything wrong with buying used items. I have bought a variety of used goods, and I don't see that ever changing. There is a lot of value to be found in buying something used.
However, that doesn't mean all used items are worth their savings. While you may be able to save a lot of money by getting a used item for cheap or even free, there are some items you should be wary of.
Below are seven items you should and shouldn't buy used.
Buy: Used clothing.
Due to the fact that I used to work at a used clothing store, I'm going to include this one first.
Buying used clothing, no matter how young or old you are, can be a great way to save money. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year by purchasing secondhand clothing.
Now, before you think you need only the latest and greatest new clothing out there, there are many used clothing stores selling designer labels, trendy clothing, and more. Sometimes you can even find new clothes with the labels still on them.
A new website I recently heard about and have come to love, is ThredUp. It's an online thrift store with a HUGE selection of great clothing.
Skip: Used underwear.
Buy: A home that someone else has lived in.
Surprisingly, there are quite a few people out there who won't buy a home that someone else has lived in. While I didn't know about this until recently, I think it's crazy that some have this opinion about “used” homes!
A “used” home may have character, you may be able to renovate it into your dream home, you may receive better pricing, and more.
Skip: Used helmets.
Many of the helmets out there are made only to endure one big hit. This is something many do not realize.
If you buy a used helmet, you may be putting your life at risk because you don't know if the helmet has ever been involved in an accident.
Due to this, it's always best to buy a new helmet so you know it will protect you if something happens.
Buy: Used baby clothes.
Babies outgrow clothing crazy fast, and most people have more than their children will ever use.
By purchasing used baby clothes, you may be able to score great deals, plus you don't have to worry about wasting money on clothing that may only be worn for a short period of time.
Skip: Used mattresses.
While mattresses can be expensive, you should always try to buy a new one if you can.
Mattresses usually carry a lot of bodily fluids (yup, that was gross typing that), dead skin cells, and possibly even bed bugs. Bed bugs are a HUGE problem and something that a person never wants to deal with. Even if you are just renting your home, you should still be thinking about bed bugs.
One of my friends recently rented an apartment and she had to sign an agreement stating she would not bring bed bugs into the building and if she did, she would have to pay $10,000. Yes, that's how big of a problem bed bugs are!
There are plenty of ways to get a new but inexpensive mattress. I used to think that all mattresses were crazy expensive, but there are many ways to find an affordable mattress that suits your needs.
Buy: Used textbooks.
Used textbooks can help a person save a decent amount of money over purchasing a brand new textbook. You can usually get the same book for half the price of a new textbook.
Yes, there may occasionally be a highlighted sentence, but who cares about that?
If you're looking for another way to save on college textbooks, I also recommend renting from CampusBookRentals. I rented the majority of my college textbooks and saved a good amount of money, plus there was less hassle because I didn't have to worry about selling it after the class was over.
What items do you tend to buy used? What would you never buy used?
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