I was featured on The Stir again the other day! This time they asked me to share the top 13 things you should be buying used…and probably aren't. It was actually hard for me to narrow down the list to just 13 things, since I think so many things are great second-hand! So here's my top 13 all-star lineup:
(read the full article on The Stir)
Ah, the smell of dusty silk flowers, mauve floral sheets, neon 80's track suits, and VHS tapes. Most likely brings you back to any memory you have of yard sales and thrift stores, right? Believe it or not, buying things second hand is not what you think it is, and certainly is not like it used to be. Heck, it's not even limited to your stereotypical yard sale or thrift shop! (Though I am a fan of popping some tags…)
Buying second-hand is a great way to get quality, vintage OR modern, used AND new (yes you read that right) items at a fabulous price!
Today I'll teach you the 10 things you should be buying second-hand, but probably aren't. I'll also cover my top 3 things that you should always buy new, since life is about balance right?
Between eBay, Craigslist, classifieds, hand-me-downs, consignment stores, yard sales, Amazon, and good ol' thrift stores, there's an endless trove of treasures waiting for you. If nothing else, here are my top 13 things to buy second-hand:
Kid bikes, adult bikes, bicycles built for two, you name it. The nicer the bike, the better the deal. My husband sold some old items (such as his guitar amp from college) to pay for an incredible $3,200 mountain bike that he scored off the classifieds for $1,500 — simply because the original owner wanted to upgrade after one season of riding on it. Classifieds and yard sales are great places to buy kid bikes since kids grow out of them so quickly. (Psst … learn how to become a Yard Sale ninja and save hundreds!)
I'm a bit anxious that I'm giving away one of my best kept secrets, and that is the world of refurbishment. You can buy a refurbished iPad for quite a bit less than a brand new one, straight from Apple's website. And yes, they work every bit as well (trust me, that's how we bought ours!). The secret is that this isn't limited to just iPads! Any form of technology can be bought refurbished, and often times still includes a warranty of some kind (our Dyson vacuum is proof!). Check your local electronics repair shops, they often have liquidation sales of refurbished items.
Aside from quality yard sales (my favorite way to get used clothes!), consignment stores are great places to get quality items. Not to mention, shop virtually for free! You can take in your unwanted clothes to a store like Plato's Closet or Kid-to-Kid, sell your items on the spot, then use that cash to then buy an updated wardrobe for a great price. Look for gently used clothes that aren't faded or stained. Check sweaters for snags, check pants and dresses for buttons and snaps, and make sure everything is easily washable (and wash it before you wear it!).
Each year we create our costumes mostly from second hand items
4) Halloween costumes
Let me ask you … how many times have your kids worn the same Halloween costume two years in a row? Exactly. Yet, as parents we continue to mortgage our house to afford a new fancy costume every year! Take advantage of all those “worn once or twice” Halloween costumes that especially go in abundance in the fall. And hey, if it never makes it to the trick-or-treat streets, it will be a great addition to the dress up box. My family likes to create a theme of costumes from second hand items, just like we did when we dressed up as Finding Nemo.
5) Snow suits & boots
Kids grow so fast, most people end up replacing kid snow gear each season if they live in a snowy climate. Their loss is your gain! Shop around winter time as people clear out their seasonal closets. We bought an entire professional ski suit (including gloves, goggles, boots, jacket, and pants) for our 5-year-old at a neighborhood yard sale for $5. It was only worn for one season and was worth over $200 retail. Our other kids got fabulous winter coats and boots this year from a thrift store.
6) Breast pumps
Yup. You read that right. But to hear my reasoning behind it, read the rest head over on The Stir! Trust me, #13 might surprise you a bit.