Buying Used Stuff: 7 Reasons We Love Buying To Save & Make Money

The bonuses of buying used stuff

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If you buy used stuff, it’s a great way to keep money in your pocket. It also increases your buying power further than you imagined. And it can also be a great way to make money.

Buying used things is a great benefit to you, your budget and the environment.

We’ll share why we love buying used things, and where we find the best deals.

We’ll also share how we sell used things we no longer need … and the sites we use to do that.

You’re going to save a ton of money reading this article.

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

Buying and Selling Things is 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.

Related Article: Retail Arbitrage – Making Money Buying and Selling Used Stuff

Seven Reasons Why We Love to Buy Used Things

1) It Costs Less to Buy Used Things

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) Used Things Usually Work 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) Used Things Depreciate 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.

Examples of Used Things Appreciated In Value

A) Becky’s truck.

A Gold Toyota Tacoma parked in a cul de sac. Our daughter decided to buy used things to save money.

Our daughter Becky saved for several years and finally purchased the truck of her 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 made in 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.

Teeter Inversion Table

Last year Steve was working through some lower back pain and was told that an 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 gave it to our daughter Becky when she got married.

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 Things Usually Mean No Sales Tax

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

6) Buying Used Things 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.

RELATED ARTICLE: Best To Buy Used Cell Phones and Save

7) Do Used Things 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 a 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 & Selling Used 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.

Clothing Apps & Resources:

  • eBay
  • Mercari
  • Poshmark
  • Facebook SwipSwap Groups
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • 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 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

  • Decluttr

Selling Books, Movies, Games, and Tech

  • 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



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. It’s a great tool to buy used things and to sell them.

Shipping: Not applicable

Fees: none to list, sell or buy

RELATED ARTICLE: Sites Like CraigsList



Type: Website and App

Available on: iOS and Android devices

We use OfferUp as much as CraigsList.

All listings are made from mobile devices not from your desktop. This means that most of the listings have very short descriptions. Many people leave out critical details about the items they are listing.

However, there is a communication portal to reach out to the seller. And because you’re using the app, your email address or other personal information are hidden.

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. Offer Up is a great tool to buy used things and to sell them.

Shipping: OfferUp now offers a shipping option

Fees: none to list, sell or buy.


In March of 2020 LetGo was purchased as a subsidiary of Craigslist.

Visit the OfferUp – who purchased LetGo in March 2020 to move them from only a local pickup site to a full-fledged site that offers local pick up and shipping along with online payment options.


Get the Gone App here

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 smartwatch. 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.



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 on Senior day where she was picking up clothing treasures to sell on the app. Our friend Laura said that Mercari is a great place to buy used things and to sell them.

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:

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

Fees: none to list, sell or buy.

SwipSwap and Facebook Marketplace

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! it is a great place to buy used things and to sell them.

One other cool thing about Facebook Marketplace is that when you post an item, you have the option of adding it to your Facebook SwipSwap groups at the same time. AND if you update your item on Marketplace, it updates all of the groups you posted it to.

We are part of 20 SwipSwap groups and the total membership is close to 150,000 members. Add that number to Facebook Marketplace and our reach is huge. Getting our items in front of that many people makes them sell pretty quickly.



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, and 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 the next day through Paypal or Direct Deposit. This is a great place to buy used things but does not earn you very much money when you sell them to this company.

Buy Used Things - 7 Ways to Find the Best Deals!

The Wrap-up On Buying Used Things!

We love to buy used things: 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!

Related Article: 25 Sites Like CraigsList

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