How to Save Money by Buying Used

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The reuse and resell market is booming, and it’s no surprise. Buying used is an excellent way for you and your family to stretch your dollars and reduce waste. Here are some tips on how to buy used.

Clothing and Accessories

1. Utilize online platforms to look for quality clothing

Buying used does not mean that you have to compromise on quality. Sites like Poshmark, The RealReal, ThredUp, and eBay allow shoppers to find beautiful items at a far lower price than buying new. Many of these platforms also sell kid’s clothes, too! And, you can sell your gently-used clothing to these sites for cash or credit.

TIP: If buying designer items, don’t be afraid to ask for authentication documents so you can be sure that what you are buying is the real deal.

2. Shop in-person

If you’d prefer to see items IRL, check out local consignment shops or larger format stores like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. The bigger stores can be overwhelming but take your time. Inspect items carefully and try everything on.

TIP: Always throw used clothing in the drying for at least an hour before wearing them. This will kill any critters that are along for the ride!

3. Buy in bulk

Another option for buying clothing for growing kids (as long as they aren’t too particular) is looking for bulk sales on Facebook Marketplace. Sellers will often bundle items according to age.

TIP: Ask questions of the seller regarding the condition, styles, and brands. When meeting up with a seller in-person, exercise caution by meeting in a public place.

3. Check out retailers with resell option

Brands like Patagonia, REI, and Levi’s have their own resell subsection in support of their sustainability missions. While the Patagonia Worn Wear program isn’t necessarily secondhand clothing, Patagonia uses material from traded-in Patagonia clothing to make upcycled pieces. For a more classic secondhand store setup, check out REI Good & Used or Levi’s Secondhand for broken in pieces.  


1. Shop on Amazon, Best Buy, Target & Walmart

These popular retailers offer pre-owned and refurbished tech, including computers, laptops, headphones, phones, and gaming consoles.

TIP: Look specifically for certified/warrantied items in case something goes wrong. This applies especially to Amazon where you could be purchasing from a third party. Also, always familiarize yourself with return policies.

2. Use platforms like eBay, Backmarket, Decluttr, OfferUp, Gazelle, Swappa & MPB

eBay, Swappa, and OfferUp carry lots of used tech items on their platforms. You often have the option to meet in person or have the item shipped.  

TIP: If meeting in person, meet in a public place and ideally bring someone with you.  

Decluttr, Backmarket, and Gazelle are platforms where you can buy and sell secondhand electronics, like laptops, phones, and tablets. MPB specializes in camera and video equipment. These businesses purchase items from you, carefully inspect and repair them, and make them available for sale. There are more assurances in place when purchasing from one of these platforms versus buying from an individual seller.  

3. Go straight to the brand

Apple’s Certified Refurbished and Samsung’s Re-Newed programs allow consumers to purchase like-new warrantied products, and trade in their older products if need be.


1. Shop local

Places like Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, thrift stores, and consignment shops will have well-priced items, however, with the rise of resellers and the popularity of “vintage” items, some pieces may be priced higher than you’d expect. Do your research before purchasing if a price seems high!

2. Visit yard/garage sales and estate sales

Nothing beats a good “everything must go” yard sale where prices will be rock bottom! Estate sales are typically higher priced, but good finds are still available especially if you go on the last day. Local Facebook groups and NextDoor are good places to learn about nearby sales.

TIP: Spend the time to scrutinize each piece before purchasing. Ask for discounts if you find imperfections.

4. Don’t be afraid of DIY fixes but be realistic about what you can do

There may be a few fixes needed here and there, which is fine if you’re handy and you have the time. Avoid too many DIYs that potentially won’t get finished.

5. Go digital

If you’re more of an online person, sites like Chairish have used furniture. Etsy is another site to check out as it has unique pieces of upcycled furniture. The pricing on these sites can potentially be higher than in-store finds, but it’s worth a try if you’re looking for a unique piece to spruce up your home.

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This article appeared in its original form on It has since been updated.

Related post: How to save money when you shop


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Smart Shopping Expert

Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist, TV presenter, spokesperson, and educator, specializing in beauty, tech, apps, toys, gift guides, and smart shopping. She has appeared as an expert on dozens of TV shows and radio networks, including Today, Rachael Ray Show, Inside Edition, CNN, Reuters,, Sirius Radio, and numerous FOX, ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates. Trae has been featured as a beauty tastemaker in Elle, Redbook, InStyle, and Essence, and her work has appeared on Yahoo Finance, Marketwatch,,,,

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