Efforts to save money or cut expenses can easily get derailed this time of year. The excitement of giving gifts to friends and loved ones can lead to overspending and dangerous consumer debt. One way to limit this risk is to buy used items. Here are some tools and options to help find used goods this season.
Ways to Buy Used Items Successfully
Finding decent quality used items in good condition is easier than ever. Whether you search physical stores or shop online, you can find gently used items for yourself or to use as gifts this season.
Where to Shop for Used Goods
- Used Goods Retailers – Goodwill and other thrift stores might be the most well-known sources for clothing and other used goods. However, locally owned stores specializing in selling used items exist in almost every town as well. Pawn shops and flea markets are also great sources for a variety of items. It’s possible to get sports equipment, toys, tools, and even electronics at a discount.
- Yard Sales & Classifieds – Your local paper can still be a great source for finding gently used treasures. The advantage of searching the classifieds is that the items you find are sure to be in your vicinity. The classified section lists many yard sale locations and times. With these sources, you can likely haggle your way to extra savings to put towards getting rid of debt.
- eBay! – Once an auction only site, eBay.com now features “buy it now” and other set-price options that allow people around the world to buy and sell used merchandise of all kinds, brands, and sizes. The site’s search function enables users to quickly find anything they need and see its condition. The eBay company also operates Half.com where users can find used textbooks, games, and more.
- Craigslist – Dubbed the online classifieds, Craigslist allows users to select a geographic region and search for used goods nearby and then narrow results to within a certain number of miles. Craigslist is the best source for larger items like appliances or furniture. Plus, you’ll pay cash for purchases, which is always a good way to avoid adding to existing credit card debt.
*Bonus Tip: You can also use eBay or Craigslist to sell items you’re not using. This is a great way to generate cash for holiday shopping and avoid drowning in debt.
Consider Refurbished or Open Box Items
A lesser know option for buying used is to look for returned or refurbished goods. BestBuy reshelves items that have been returned to them after inspecting them for damage and functionality. When this happens, the item is usually sold at a reduced price.
There are many online retailers that list refurbished items now. This is a good way to shop for trusted brands and get a discount on current models. When shopping for refurbished items, be sure you understand any included warranties and know the return policy.
Investigating all of your options for buying used is a great way to save on needs and wants all year long. The holidays are an especially dangerous time for anyone struggling with debt management. So, now is a great time to try and buy used!