Used Items

Buying used items is coming back into popularity, which is awesome because it benefits everyone in the transaction. Unfortunately, many are approaching it blindly, which can lead to some major issues. These are the most important things to keep in mind when shopping for used items and why it matters to think things through beyond a great deal.

If You Truly Need the Item

Sometimes we see good deals, and it’s hard to say no to them even if we know we don’t need them. Consider the items you’re looking at and how much you do or don’t need them in your home. We all want to get a great deal, but if you’re spending money on an item, you don’t need it, you’re losing money. Choose carefully, and pick things that will aid your life and make you home or work better.

If They’re Clean or Able to be Cleaned

How dirty or well-used are the items: and are the items you can clean? A good example of this is the difference between a stained mattress and a stained couch. With a stained couch, you can take it apart, deep clean it, and treat it by washing each cushion and the seats. Unfortunately, most mattresses are one firm unit, so if it’s stained, the most you can do is clean the surface and hope that it did enough. IT’s clear which of these is the better option.

The Perceived Value of the Item

When shopping, look at the perceived value of the item. If you find a bicycle for $30, but it’s not a color you usually love: it might still be worth it if you want a bike because most new ones go for over $100. Consider how much use you’ll get from the item and if the aesthetics matter as much as their use. This can be difficult, and I feel like math doesn’t work with any real figures, but it matters if you want to make sure you buy things you truly need.

How Long You’ll Want to Use it

How long will you be able to use this item? For some, like used kids clothes, it’s better to get something used because they go through clothes quickly. Other things, like kitchen tables, or desks, will be used for at least ten years, if not longer. Pay attention to how sturdy these items are, how good-looking they are, and if there’s anything you can do if down the road you don’t find it attractive anymore.

How Much Money You’re Saving

Although buying used items is important for those trying to recycle and reuse as much as possible for the environment: be aware of how much you’re spending on this used item vs. how much you would have to pay on it if it were new. In recent years, there’s been a big trend for people to go into thrift stores, buy vintage or unique items, and then list it online at ten to a hundred times the price that they got it for. So consider costs carefully when buying used.

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