7 Reasons We Love Buying Used Stuff – Great Sites for Finding Deals

Buying Used Stuff - 7 Ways to Find the Best Deals!

Buying Used Stuff is a great way to keep money in your pocket and stretch your money way further than you ever thought possible. In this blog we’ll describe why buying used stuff is beneficial to you, your budget and the environment. At the end of the article, we’ll list our favorite websites to buy used stuff along with other great resources for buying AND selling used items. You’re going to save a ton of money reading through this article.

If we’ve missed a resource that you love, please leave it in the comments below!

Buying Used Stuff and Selling it is a big business.

  • There are more than 200 million items listed on eBay at any given time and each day more than 3 million of those items are sold. Many of those items are used or manufacturer refurbished products.
  • There are 40 million classified ads placed on CraigsList’s 700 sites each month. Millions of those ads are to sell used items.
  • Any given week there are more than 165,000 garage sales in the U.S. with more than 690,000 of us making purchases.   More than 4 million dollars are spent each week purchasing used items at garage sales.
  • There are more than 25,000 resale, consignment, and Not-For-Profit resale shops in the United States, generating an estimated $13 billion in revenue annually.

Seven Reasons Why We Love Buying Used Stuff

1) Buying Used Stuff Costs Less

Retailers have to make a profit, someone selling an unwanted item usually doesn’t have to make as much. A re-seller also realizes that they won’t get retail value for their item, and usually this person has no need for the item anymore—it’s just taking up physical and mental space. Consequently, they’ll gladly accept less than retail for it.

2) Buying Used Stuff  Works Fine.

Think about it – does a used book read just as well as a new one? You bet. Does a used bicycle ride as well as a new one . . . most likely. Sure, it may need a few adjustments or new parts, but it will ride just as well. How about a used car? If you’re careful and have a good mechanic check it out for you, you’ll likely save a boodle and enjoy the ride just as much as if it were brand new.

3) Buying Used Stuff Depreciates Less.

We’ve all heard that a new car loses value as soon as you drive it off the lot—that’s depreciation. But what if you buy a used car—is there instant depreciation? Not as much, if there is any at all. Your used car will hold its value better (more about this in a minute) . . . and it will hold its value longer.

What makes up your Net Worth? Did you realize that your Net Worth is in large part the value of your used stuff? To calculate your net worth you add up all of your bank accounts, investments, IRAs and 401ks, and then figure the estate sale value of your other possessions (cars, furniture, jewelry, musical instruments, artwork, clothes, etc). You calculate the used value of your stuff. If I come to an estate sale to buy a Kitchen Aid Mixer, it won’t be selling for its retail price: it’ll be selling for 50 to 90 percent of retail. It will be worth its depreciated value. 

Two examples:

A) Becky’s truck. Our daughter Becky saved for several years and finally purchased the truck of her A Gold Toyota Tacoma parked in a cul de sac. dreams in 2009. She paid $11,500 cash for a gently used 2003 Toyota Tacoma with 70,000 miles on it. In December of 2012 Becky purchased another Tacoma, this one was a  2007 with four wheel drive. She listed her 2003 Tacoma on CraigsList and sold it in 3 days for . . . watch this . . . $12,000 – it had 90,000 miles on it. She drove her truck for 3 years and sold it for $500 more than she paid! That’s reverse depreciation—her used truck APPRECIATED!

B) Steve’s Inversion Table. Last year Steve was working through some lower back pain and was told that an Teeter Inversion Table inversion table would help bring some relief. He found a gently used Teeter Inversion Table on CraigsList for $60 (with delivery included). For three months he did chiropractor prescribed exercises and used the inversion table. When he was feeling better we decided the inversion table needed to go (it took up too much space in our family room). We researched comparable models on CraigsList and listed ours for $100. It sold in two days, just before Christmas! 

C) Annette’s Mixer. Remember we mentioned buying a used Kitchen Aide mixer a minute ago: we did find one at a thrift store a couple of years ago and bought it for $20. Steve bought a couple of needed parts for it ($10). If we wanted to sell it, we could easily get $60 to $80 for it, but we’re saving it for our daughter Becky when she gets married some day.

We are beating the depreciation rule by buying used stuff.

4) Selling Used Stuff Clears Out Clutter!

Buying used clears unnecessary items from someone else’s house or business and puts cash in their hands.

5) Buying Used Stuff Means No Tax for You!

When buying from an individual there is usually no sales tax. In Arizona it saves us almost 9% (even on used cars!!!)

6) Buying Used Stuff Helps the Environment.

Buying used is better for the environment. No additional fossil fuels are used in manufacturing or delivering another item around the country. And the unwanted item is used by us rather than ending up in a landfill.

7) Using Used Stuff Means Fewer Problems?

Buying older technology or other items allows time for the manufacturers to work out or identify “bugs”. Knowing the shortcomings or things that need to be fixed with an item saves you time and headaches, not to mention hours on hold with tech support. Let someone else get the recall notices or do the upgrades – you get to plug and play!


Being a careful researcher and a smart shopper can garner you excellent working, gently used, products at a fraction of the retail price.

Our Top Resources for Selling and Buying Used Stuff

There are so many new ways to buy and sell used thing, so we create this list and have it broken down into common categories.

At the end of the article, we provide a brief summary of each of the apps or websites listed in this article.

Buying Used Stuff – Clothing

There are so many ways to get deals on good quality clothes, that it just doesn’t make sense to pay retail very often. Check out this list of options for buying and selling used clothes.

We’ve found the best deals on used clothes at thrift and consignment stores. But there are other options. Our daughters have purchased clothes on eBay – especially when they know a particular brand and size fits them well.

Buying Used Stuff – Clothing Apps & Resources:

  • eBay
  • Mercari
  • Poshmark
  • Facebook SwipSwap Groups
  • LetGo
  • Garage Sales
  • Rummage Sales
  • Consignment Stores
  • Thrift Stores
  • ThredUp

Selling Used Clothes

If you have a lot of your own clothes to sell, and they are brand names and in good condition, try eBay first. If they are relatively current fashion-wise, check out consignment stores in your area.

Best Options for Selling:

  • Consignment Stores near you
  • Mercari
  • eBay
  • Poshmark

 

Large Household Items

When it comes to buying furniture, kitchen appliances, wall décor and other larger household items, paying for shipping from online sellers can make the cost of a pre-owned item really skyrocket. If we do find an item through a local source on a website, we usually set up a place to meet and pick up the item.

Buying Used Stuff –  Household Items

  • Thrift stores
  • Consignment stores
  • OfferUp
  • CraigsList
  • SwipSwap

Selling Used Household Items:

  • OfferUp
  • CraigsList
  • SwipSwap

Books, Movies, Music, Games, and Tech

There are so many great places to buy and sell used books, movies, and music, this list may need to be updated periodically.

We buy most of our movies and books at thrift or consignment stores. You can also find deals at used bookstores. Many of these used bookstores are great for buying, but you don’t get much when you try selling your things. We love Half Price Books especially when they drop a 40 or 50 percent off coupon.

Buying Books, Movies, Music, Games, and Tech

  • eBay.com
  • Half.com
  • Amazon.com
  • Decluttr

Selling Books, Movies, Games, and Tech

  • eBay.com
  • Half.com
  • Decluttr

 

Small Home Décor Items, Knick Knacks and Kitchenware

If you’re looking for something very specific, then CraigsList, OfferUp, eBay or Amazon may be the place to buy. But if you’re looking to sell your things, then consignment stores may be your best option.

Details about Buying and Selling Apps and Websites

CraigsList:

https://www.craigslist.org/about/sites

Type: Website and Facebook Groups – worldwide – many micro-sites within each state – for localized deals.

CraigsList is the grand-daddy of used stuff websites. Its interface is kind of outdated, but still, there are loads of people using it.

There is no official App, but we’ve used the site on desktop and mobile devices just fine.

There is no feedback for buyers and sellers, so we strongly advise caution when scheduling a meet up to buy or sell an item.

Shipping: Not applicable

Fees: none to list, sell or buy

OfferUp:

offerup.com

Type: Website and App

Available on: iOS and Android devices

We use OfferUp as much CraigsList.

All listings are made from mobile devices- not desktop. This means that most of the listings are very light on copy – many people leave out critical details about the items they are listing.

However, there is a communication portal to reach out to the seller without giving away your email address or other personal information.

Exercise caution when scheduling a meet-up with a buyer or seller.

Security: OfferUp has an optional TruYou Program, that allows users to validate their identity to increase confidence among buyers and sellers. You verify your Facebook profile, scan your driver’s license or other state-issued I.D. or U.S. passport, and then take a selfie.

When you buy an item you can leave a review for the seller.

Shipping: Not applicable

Fees: none to list, sell or buy.

LetGo:

https://us.letgo.com/en

Type: Website and App

Available on: iOS and Android devices

We’ve never used LetGo to sell, but have browsed it several times. It is very similar to OfferUp – with a “Pinterest-Like” visual format.

It is designed for local buying and selling. They provide a private chat feature for communicating. Listings show approximate locations, but not specific addresses.

Items are uploaded to the app on your mobile device, so descriptions tend to be shorter and less detailed.

Shipping: Not applicable

Fees: none to list, sell or buy.

Gone:

http://thegoneapp.com/

Available on: iOS devices only

We have not used this app as we only have android phones.

You take a photo or record a video of your tech item – laptop, phone, tablet, E-Reader and smart watches. Gone reviews your item and lists your item for you.

If you accept their offer, Gone will pick up your item from your home or send you a prepaid shipping label. They review your item when it arrives and if it passes inspection, and sells, they send the amount you agreed to. If your item doesn’t sell in 30 days, you have the option to lower the price or receive your item back at no cost.

Shipping: They pick up – it costs you nothing.

Fees: Gone calculates their fee into the suggested price for your item. So, whatever you agree to as the selling price is what you will receive. You can receive your payment through PayPal, as a gift card from Amazon or by check.

Mercari:

www.mercari.com

Type: Website and App

Available on: iOS and Android devices

We have a friend who told us all about Mercari. We met her in a thrift store one day where she was picking up clothing treasures to sell on the app.

On Mercari users can sell clothes, electronics, household goods, specialty items, and more.

The first steps are to take a photo and upload it to the app, write a description and then set a price. When your item sells, Mercari holds the money until the item arrives.

You can charge a fee for shipping or you can pay for shipping from your sale price. Mercari sends you a FedEx or USPS shipping label when the item sells.

The awesome thing about Mercari is that you keep 100% of the sale price, Mercari does not take a percentage or a listing fee like eBay does. This app is growing in popularity with more than 2 million downloads.

Get more details here: https://www.mercari.com/help_center/category/10/

Shipping: You can either charge for shipping or pay for it from your sales price.

Fees: none to list, sell or buy.

SwipSwap

Type: Facebook Groups

Accessible on: Desktop, iOS and Android devices

These are local, private Facebook groups that are all over the world. Buyers and sellers must be approved to enter the group. Once in, you see the newsfeed and request to purchase an item you want to buy. You can also sell your things there.

SwipSwap requires you to scroll through a news feed of items listed by people in the group. BUT, there is also a search box to help you to speedily find the used item you’re looking for.

We’ve found some great deals in SwipSwap groups. We picked up an upholstered, solid oak rocker glider for $15!

One other cool thing about SwipSwap in our area is that when you are part of several groups, you can cross-promote your item into all of the groups at once. We’re are part of 6 groups and the total membership is close to 100,000 members. Getting our items in front of that many people makes them sell pretty quickly.

Decluttr:

http://www.decluttr.com/

Type: Website and App

Available on: iOS and Android devices

Decluttr allows you to sell your used DVDs, CDs, Games, Blu-Ray movies and Books and textbooks for cash. Plus they will even buy used cell phones, tablets, video game consoles.

All you have to do to get started is to scan the barcode from the item you want to sell into the app. If DeCluttr says the item is resalable, they will send you a shipping label so you can mail it to them. Once the item is shipped, they pay you’re the next day through Paypal or Direct Deposit.

The Wrap-up on Used Stuff!

We love buying used stuff: Cars, Computers, Cell Phones, Clothes and loads of other things that don’t begin with the letter C, because they Cost us less and cause us to have more Cash in the bank. C what we mean?

Have you purchased something used and want to crow about the great deal you found . . . leave a comment below —we love hearing about killer deals!

 

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