I want to hear from you!

How do YOU feel about buying used goods?

Reader Interactions


  1. Awesome jenny, worth reading a longer post for such a good topic….we’re totally on board and used to make games out of it for our daughter (like find a dvd we don’t own or find a hat/belt/purse you like for £1 or less) so now she’s a teen and still happy to go second hand clothes shopping: No stigma. Love the post, thanks again x

    • Thanks for reading Jen! The used market for kids things is especially great because of how quickly kiddos outgrow their stuff! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the Post! 90% of the time I love buying used and getting a good deal. However, I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy used shoes. How do you clean yours when you buy them? I would love to be able to buy them if I knew how to sanitize them well.

    • When it comes to shoes I generally use a Lysol spray and vinegar solution. Material shoes can even go in the washing machine. When it comes to leather though I tend to stick to a really good cleaning with Lysol and white vinegar. I’d hate to damage them ya know? I look at it this way when you buy a new pair dozens of people have potentially tried them on. A good cleaning is really quite efficient at getting rid of the icky factor!

  3. Yipee for this post. I garage sale every Saturday with my girlfriend, coffee in hand, and we find the BEST gently used goods ever. We call them the DOTD – people are shocked by what we find. I don’t need toys any longer, but the rush we get when we find a table full of housewares/frames/kitchen wares or purses is indescribable! I KNOW only those that do this, will “get it..” Nothing like a bit of hot soapy water (with a bit of bleach) to clean up anything. Shoes are a tough one. I typically will check out the bottoms, insides, etc. I have lucked out and found a couple of beauties never worn… and paid only $5. Great post Jenny, and your blog keeps getting prettier and prettier! #jelly Happy Monday All! LA

    • Thank you lovely!!! Sounds like you’re a pro at buying used which is great! There are SO many treasures to be found – it’s really quite unbelievable and sad at the same time. These garage sales and the volume of stuff just proves how distorted the buying cycle is.

      The thing about shoes. I’ve lucked out too. I’m also super picky and wont buy shoes that are in terrible condition. I try to find pairs that come from homes where the owner never wore them or they didn’t fit right etc etc. You can usually tell which pairs those are with a good inspection.

  4. I LOVE this post! I’m a huge fan of garage sales and thrift stores. I love your info on how to clean used items – I will definitely keep this blog as a reference!

  5. This is such a great post and I am totally with you as I am a total thrift store junkie.

    I buy everything from clothes to house decor items to books and toys. The only thing I can’t bring myself to buy is shoes – silly I know, I’m sure they are fine but I just can’t do it.

    • Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to share this with me! Shoes are difficult, I admit. I don’t buy them unless they are in great to nearly new condition!

  6. I love the list of your savings on the children’s outdoor toys, really makes it hit home and should make everyone to check out the used selection before making a new purchase!

    • A lot of times you’ll catch toys that kids played with only a few times. In other words they are in nearly brand new condition! Thanks for reading Lisa!

  7. I completely agree with you!! It’s totally not gross to buy things used. As long as you clean them, what’s the problem?! I’m definitely pinning this though so when I buy some used stuff for an apartment someday, I’ll remember how to clean them.

    • So glad to hear you’re a fan of the used market! I bet you’ll find a ton of stuff for your apartment when the time comes!

  8. Thank you! This was totally worth the read. I have no qualms about buying second hand or even picked up things put out to end up in the landfill. (This is how I got a good turtle sandbox and a practically new kitchen for my toddler.)Do use discretion and practice thorough cleaning, though. Actually, buying used and repurposing is very popular and in fact a badge of pride. DIY’ers turn trash to treasures every day. It is shows great vision and creativity! I’ll jump on the soapbox with you anytime!

  9. I buy used all the ime and love my local charity stores for a bargain! I love this post and found myself nodding my head a lot!! Great work x

  10. I always love a good used find! “Someone’s trash is another persons treasure” is definitely true! I do agree though, there are some things I won’t try used!

    • Absolutely!!! You really never know what you’ll find. But, like anything you need to be careful and although we’re a frugal family there are still things I would never buy used. Thanks for reading!

  11. Such a great post! I have to agree with the things that you just don’t buy used! Definitely understand if you know the person you’re buying from there may be an exception for car seats, but otherwise, very great ideas here! Garage sales and buy sell sites are great to get a bargain!

    • Car seats are tricky! I actually have a used car seat but I was very careful when getting it. I traded for it with a mum friend who I 100% trust. I’ve often seen people picking them up on trash day. Although the seat might look like it’s in good condition there’s no way to know if it’s been damaged in any way that might compromise its safety ya know?

  12. As always a thought provoking Post, however I would say here in the UK attitudes to buying used are slightly different. My Town has @ ten donated-to Charity Shops (most Towns do) and ‘Freecycle’ is booming, in fact we ‘take the mickey’ out of my sis-in-law because ALL her young children’s clothes come from Charity Shops, bought even when she’s on holiday somewhere!!!

    • Thank you so so much for your continued support Andrew! I really appreciate it!

      I’m very jealous that buying used is more normalized in your neck of the woods. I’m hoping the same thing happens around these parts soon too!

  13. I am so programmed just to go to Amazon and have it arrive on my front porch. However, you make a VERY good argument for why I need to stop this immediately! Thank you so much for your post – it will save me thousands!

    • Thank you for reading Tiffany!! Technically, if you join local garage sale groups you can buy used while online too. It might not arrive at your door but I’m sure you can score some pretty cool stuff in your neighborhood!

  14. This is a great post. I get so frustrated by the stigma associated with living within your means (and the stigma attached with being poor itself for that matter). I honestly love the idea of buying used but I have trouble finding the time to find what I need used. I’m not a big shopper, so finding the time to look for things when they are less obvious to find than at a box box store kind of overwhelms me. Any tips?

    • I was nodding my head while reading this. The stigma is very real and so inaccurate right?

      As for finding what you need. It can get really frustrating because buying used absolutely requires more patience than say heading to Walmart. I totally totally get that.

      I’d suggest maybe joining some local facebook or online groups where you specifically request what you’re looking for. Often times people will reply if they have what you need and you can go from there. This is especially interesting because often times you can set your price straight out. It can make for a very valuable transaction!

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  15. I love buying used stuff! You can get some amazing deals if you are willing to search and who doesn’t love an excuse to save a bit of money. I’m so glad I’m not the only crazy one who loves to reuse old stuff.

    • Yaaaaay so glad to hear this!!! I’m such an advocate for buying used and it’s so so nice to see other ladies who feel the same way!

  16. Okay so I went into this post raising my hand high haha, I am so weirded out by used things. I came out of this post with a completely new mindset. I have four children and saving money is so essential for our family. I cannot believe the price difference on the outdoor toys! You have converted me lol, now I just need to get my husband on board!

    • Welcome! So glad you enjoyed this post.

      So, if you’re not quite a convert and just want to give it a try – I’d probably start with kids toys. The savings are seriously astronomical! It’s seriously the greatest starting point to acquiring a liking for buying used.

  17. I love buying used. Clothes especially. I think it’s more rare for me to buy new clothes. There are so many good things that people are tossing that can still be good and fasionable.

  18. You are absolutely right, we do sleep on used mattresses and sheets in hotels, I actually never thought about it like that! Our coffee table was a craigslist score and there a host of other items in our home that we purchased used. It is fun to hunt for something unique, and I love repurposing or restoring if it is needed!

  19. It always makes me cringe when people will only buy their kids brand new stuff. They will literally grow out of it or become disinterested in a majority of their things within weeks, if that long! If more than one kid can get some use out of an item, the better. The only time I ever get brand new clothes for myself is if someone else is buying them. I hate clothes shopping anyway, so I only do it when I have to…and even then I get just what I need and nothing else. I really don’t care about trends or fashion, so as long as its comfortable and I don’t feel like I look like a goon wearing it, I’d rather pay a couple bucks than waste my whole paycheck on a single piece of clothing.

    • I know! Sometimes you’ll buy a toy and a kiddo wont even play with it. It’s really really not worth the investment. And, i’m with you on the shopping – it’s really not my favorite activity.

  20. This is such a great post, Jenny! I buy used not just to save money but also to help the environment by reusing items. Plus, I’ve found some very unique items in second-hand stores 🙂

  21. When we had our first child, my husband refused to buy ussed cloths. We had no money, but he did not want our child is cloths from other people. Over time, I was able to show him how much money we could save. Now, he loves buying ussed. So do I!!

    • I get that. I think the social stigma prevents people from really getting into buying used. Usually once they try it and see that you can in fact get good quality stuff in very good condition they are hooked! Thanks for reading Anne!

    • There is unfortunately a social stigma surrounding it which makes me incredibly sad because there are just so many awesome opportunities on the used market!

  22. Great article as there really shouldn’t be any stigma. My husband and I buy everything second hand. We brought a second hand bed and couch in our last place (Brisbane, Australia) no worries and I was surprised how easily and for a good price we were able to sell the bed on again when we left to go travelling. What I want to focus on next time we have a home to furnish, is finding second hand items that meet the intentions we set for use and look of each area, rather than just buying a good enough item at the right price. Even if it means a little restoration (which I love).

    • This is such a good good point. Buying used sometimes becomes buying for price. I guess in some respects buying used can become buying because it’s good enough but not necessarily perfect. There really is an opportunity to buy exactly what you need for functionality if you’re patient right?

  23. Great post, I love to buy “Second hand” I love to reduce, re-use, recycle. Very lucky here in the UK to have lots of places to find used goods!

  24. I love this post! And I couldn’t agree more with you – there are so many great deals and secondhand finds that you can give new life to. Any way to be frugal is a win in my book!

  25. I’m with you! I love buying used! There are a few things I won’t (the same things you mentioned: certain baby items, cloth items that can’t easily be washed/cleaned, etc.) but for the most part we buy lots of used stuff – my kids toys, clothes, furniture, etc.

  26. I love this! Even if you have the money for all of the new stuff I don’t understand wasting money! As long as it can be cleaned, used is great in my book!

    • This exactly. Buying used doesn’t reflect your financial status. Society and the eww factor have created so many misconceptions about the practice! Thanks for stopping by!

  27. I used to be one that thought buying used was gross. My parents raised me that way. But now that we have a large family, buying used is just more practical. We have found many things we otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford by being smart and buying slightly used.

    • Buying used can be gross in some situations when the item isn’t in the greatest condition. Often times though our buying habits are formed when we are little. Glad to hear you’ve had positive experiences with buying used. When you have a large family I imagine it’s a great great way to save some cash!

  28. This is such an interesting perspective. I’m ashamed to admit that I never buy used (other than used books from time to time). You have really made me rethink the way I shop. I love a good deal, so I think I’ll hit up Value Village. I’m sad that Goodwill closed in Canada though 🙁 Thanks for the tips – very helpful!

    • There are so many great things you can get for a fraction of the cost that are often in almost new condition! Best of luck if you decide to take the plunge!

  29. Great Post! I love that you shared how you clean used items! Our kitchen table and living room furniture are all used. The chair I bought for our living room was a bit dirty – luckily the chair and ottoman fabric is slipcovered and can be washed. And the wood frame I wiped down. It turned out awesome – for just $20.

  30. Thank you for this! I completely agree with you, buying secondhand (or preloved!) is better for your wallet and for your environment! And at the end of it, just trust your gut – if something is gross, it probably is!

    • Yup! Not everything used is worth buying for sure but the majority of it once clean is nearly as good as new!

  31. What a great post! I love buying used if I can. A lot of my casual wardrobe is second-hand. I just look for clothes in good condition and wash them when I get home. I also like used books and games if I can find them. Saves so much money! As for the stigma, most people don’t even know the things are used unless I tell them. I don’t get any flack from my friends and family. They’re happy for me to find such great things and save money. If I’m worried someone will disapprove, then I just don’t tell them LOL.

  32. I have gotten some great items from yard sales, thrift stores, and little antique shops! I honestly tell myself all the time that I need to do it more often! Great post!

  33. Great article!
    I had the exact same flow of thoughts the other day when someone preferred hotels over airbnb, as if in airbnbs they use different way of washing sheets etc.
    Thanks for fighting for being rational!

  34. Great points here! I’ve never felt like buying used was gross–I feel great when I’m able to save money and be environmentally friendly at the same time! I think one limitation for me is that shopping around for used stuff takes a lot longer, and time is a valuable resource, too!

  35. I don’t think it#s gross at all I grew up buying second hand clothes and items I needed even in college and they were really good quality. Even when I go back home, I still go to the second hand shops because I love what I find.

  36. I am all about buying used. Not only do you save money but often you find things that are unique compared to the stuff in stores. I agree there are somethings I won’t buy used but there is a lot I will. Love this post.

  37. I too have saved so much money from buying second-hand. One man’s trash is another mans treasure. Plus, it’s cool to me that someone else had memories with the piece I bought! love this post!

  38. This is so awesome. There is nothing wrong with buying second-hand. I’m glad we’re building a culture that’s removing the stigma of it. Some of my favourite items have been bought second hand or given to me from friends.