Buying Used Items

You have certainly needed or wanted something in your lifetime. And, what do you do when you want or need to buy an item?  You most likely go to a store or a website and purchase whatever it is you are looking for correct? That is normally what I do for everyday items. Walmart and Amazon are frequent stops for me for the various odds and ends that are needed in life. But, what about more expensive items? Do you do research first? Do you wait for a sale? Have you ever considered buying things used? I’ve bought tons of secondhand items from the internet, paper ads, and flea markets and yard sales. And, I’ve saved a lot of money in the process.

I’m not suggesting that you buy someone else’s junk. There is plenty of that out there, but I’m talking about quality used items.  Anything from clothes, furniture, tools, power equipment, appliances, cars, and even houses can be found for sale from private owners. I’ll give you a few places to look for items.

Facebook Marketplace

I love browsing this platform. Currently, I’m looking for a wood-burning stove for my house to use as a supplemental heat source.  New, these units can be around $1,000 dollars. Most of the ones that I’ve been looking at used are in the $300 to $400 dollar range. That is quite a savings over new. Gently used doesn’t bother me on something like this since they are made of steel and there are minimal mechanical components besides a blower motor.


Probably one of the most popular resale sites out there, you can find anything and everything here. I’ve bought and sold a multitude of things from Craigslist over the years. One word of caution if you plan to be a seller. There are quite a bit of scammers on here, so don’t leave a phone number in your ad postings. Use email as a contact only. Also, don’t wire any payments to anyone.  Meet in person in a public place and only deal in cash. If you are a buyer be sure to scrutinize the postings. If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.


eBay is another popular site to buy and sell items of all kinds. This platform also sells new items. Like Craigslist be sure to not fall for scams. Prices are usually very competitive, but returns can be a pain depending on the seller that you are dealing with. Also, you’ll need to set up a PayPal account to do business here.

This is one of my favorite resell sites. It is, as the name suggests, run by Goodwill. Everything on the site are items that were taken in as donations to Goodwill and resold online. The site is set up like an auction. Each item will have a starting bid price and a time limit of how long it will be available for bidding. When time is up the highest bidder wins. The advantage that you have is that the site isn’t all that well known or used, so you don’t have a lot of competition for bidding.

You can find anything and everything here just like if you go to a Goodwill store. Personally, I’ve won bids on several power tools.  Setting up an account only takes a few minutes, and you can pay via credit or debit if you win a bid. Caution, often there are shipping charges with items, and some items are pick up only and can’t be shipped to you, so pay attention.

Auto Trader

If you are looking for an automobile, then Autotrader should be your first stop. The site is organized and easy to navigate. Sellers are vetted, and there are plenty of pictures and a detailed description given for each vehicle. Since sellers must pay to post an ad you are much more likely to find professional and honest people.

Some More Traditional Outlets

Besides the internet, there are traditional brick and mortar stores that deal in resale items. Goodwill was mentioned earlier.  Salvation Army stores are also an excellent place to find quality used items. I’ve found household items and furniture at both.  Flea markets and yard sales are also great places to find items of all kinds. Some of my best finds were from these outlets.

Before you buy new be sure to check out the vast resale market to see if you can find a gently used item at a potentially deep discount. Almost anything that you can imagine is for sale somewhere in the resale market. It may be worth a look to help you save some serious money.

See Also:

Should I Buy A Used Or New Car? The Pros and Cons

5 Unique Ways to Save Money

7 Ways to Crawl Out of Debt

5 Essential Tips On How to Stay Out of Debt

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