18 Things You Should Always Buy Used Instead Of New

Written By Jill Taylor

Buying used items instead of new ones is not just an option for when you want to save money. In fact, secondhand purchases can be more environmentally friendly and give your home a lot of extra charm! Here are 18 items that you should consider buying secondhand.


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Brand new furniture is often pricy, and sometimes won’t actually last you that long. CNN suggests that “to maintain low price points, manufacturers of affordable furniture often use cheaper yet less robust materials.” Secondhand furniture can be a cheaper and higher quality option for your home.


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Although newer cars may come with the newest technology and fancy extras, they also often have a high price tag. Due to depreciation, they also lose their value very quickly. However, used cars can be much cheaper and are available immediately, compared to the wait you often experience for a brand-new car.


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Before you dive into the next current bestseller, it might be worth checking out some secondhand books. They’re usually a fraction of the cost of new books, and if you go hunting in secondhand bookstores you may find some rare, out-of-print editions.

Musical Instruments

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When you’re first learning to play a new instrument, the high purchase price might put you off. However, used instruments can be a great choice while you’re getting started. You can even try out a few different instruments without having to make a big investment in just one.


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The Washington Post estimates that college students can spend “as much as $1300 over their college careers on books alone.” To offset that eye-watering cost, you could buy used textbooks, which can be significantly cheaper – and may even have helpful annotations in them from previous owners.


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Building up a collection of brand-new tools can be expensive, but there are better options out there. By searching online, you can find barely used tools that are still high quality but won’t force you to break the bank. You’ll likely have a more complete collection much sooner if you buy secondhand.

Sports Gear

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Similarly to musical instruments, buying secondhand sports gear means you can try out a new hobby, or even several, without spending too much! You’ll also be helping out the environment by stopping the gear from being thrown out and going to a landfill.


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Household appliances can be a huge cost for families across the U.S., so preowned appliances might be a smarter choice than buying new. With some careful shopping, you could find a well-maintained kitchen range or dishwasher even on a tight budget.

Baby Clothes

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Babies grow quickly, and their clothes can cause lots of waste. The Guardian states that “on average, parents use 280 items of clothing for their child before his or her second birthday” and “only 15% of clothing is donated or recycled.” By buying used baby clothes, you can reduce the amount of retail waste.


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A bicycle is always an eco-friendly purchase since it’s an environmentally friendly way to get around. But buying a used bicycle can also be a lot cheaper than buying a new one, and you might even find some high-quality brands at more affordable prices.

Video Games

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While preordering the latest video game can be exciting, your next digital adventure could be a lot cheaper if you look for preowned games. Secondhand game stores sometimes have some rare hidden treasures as well, and there are plenty of older titles to choose from.

Designer Clothes

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If you want to change up your wardrobe, then why not look for some used designer clothes? Savvy clothes shoppers can often find unique, vintage pieces when shopping for secondhand designer clothes. You can stand out from the crowd and also reduce the demand for fast fashion.


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New jewelry can be beautiful, but also quite pricey. Forbes also points out that “most metals and minerals come out of the poorest regions on earth”, making “supply chain transparency … difficult to achieve.” Looking for secondhand jewelry can reduce the demand for new jewelry, making it more ethical and affordable.

Vinyl Records

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Vinyl is most definitely making a comeback, with many new releases from bands and artists being available as records alongside CDs and digital versions. However, new vinyl records are often priced very high, whereas used records are cheaper – and you might find a few old favorites to listen to!

Camping Gear

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If you’re only dipping your toe into the world of outdoor adventures, then splashing the cash on a brand-new tent, hiking boots, and other items can be intimidating. Used camping gear is often available for a much lower cost, providing a less overwhelming entry point into outdoor recreation for newcomers.


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Not only can secondhand appliances be an excellent option, but you should also be on the lookout for used kitchenware. Chef’s knives, cutlery, and crockery can all be found secondhand, and you’ll be paying a much lower price than you would for new kitchenware.


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According to the BBC, despite DVD sales experiencing “a steady decline since the mid-2000s,” a concept called “streaming anxiety” has spiked their popularity. If you’re fed up with the inconsistency of streaming services’ catalogs, then used DVDs might be the answer; owning a physical copy of your favorite film is much more secure.


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Nothing makes a house feel more like a home than bric-a-brac, and some of the best pieces can often be found in thrift stores. You could find vintage ornaments that fit in with your home’s aesthetic, and create a beautiful display out of these lost treasures at a shockingly low price.

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