Before you purchase something new, do you consider buying it used? One of the ways that I am able to get the best deal on everything is that I always consider buying used first. The savings is tremendous! I have a really hard time paying “new” prices for things now that I am savvy about garage sale and thrift store prices and deals.
The truth is, there isn’t much that I’m not willing to get used. Once you realize the price difference between new and used items, you may agree. Even so, there are a few things that I won’t buy used.
I’m squeamish when it comes to used mattresses. Between the normal sweat, skin cells, and dust mites, the mattress has collected bodily fluids (from people and pets) and maybe even bed bugs. Ewww.
When we got married, we bought a new queen mattress and box spring from a college student who had a business selling them wholesale from a storage unit. It cost us $300 and we are still sleeping on it. After we pay off our debt and get our own place, we plan to upgrade to a king size so my husband’s feet don’t hang off the end!
Even when we needed three twin mattresses for the triple bunk beds that my husband made for Christmas, we didn’t get used mattresses. We were thrilled to find very affordable new ones on Amazon that work perfect for the kids.
Just like mattresses, couches are full of dead skin cells, dust mites, bed bugs, and DNA. If they come from a home with kids or animals then you can guarantee they’ve been peed on, thrown up on, and that’s just the start.
Now I’ve never actually bought a new couch, but I’ve never bought a used one from a stranger either. We have found used couches from friends or family. At least I know where my couch came from even if it isn’t new. Somehow it’s not nearly as gross to have a couch that was pre-loved by friends or family rather than a stranger.
I have actually bought little kids underwear at a yard sale before and I’ve bought cloth diapers used, but I usually draw the line at underwear. Thrift stores sell them, so I know some people buy them, I just don’t.
While some pillows can go in the washing machine, I generally have the same concerns with pillows that I have with mattresses and couches.
Things from a Smoker’s Home
It’s not just clothing and upholstery that absorb the tobacco smell. Wood, plastic, and other materials also soak up the smoke smell and are nearly impossible to freshen up.
I bought a beautiful kitchen island from a yard sale during our law school years. Since the sale was outside, I didn’t notice that it came from a smoker’s home. As soon as I got it in my home, the smell was very apparent. I tried everything to get rid of the smoke smell– leaving it for days in the sun, scrubbing with vinegar, scrubbing with bleach, even repainting. I learned to give everything I buy the sniff test before making a purchase. If I’m buying online, I always ask the seller before I go to look at the item.
That’s about it! The list of things I won’t buy used is pretty short. I am happy to reap the savings of buying most anything else secondhand!
How About You?
- Do you buy many things used?
- What items would you never consider buying secondhand?