12 Things to Buy Used

You can save a lot by buying used rather than new.

Mature couple putting up sign for Yard Sale
(Image credit: Thinkstock)

You can save a lot by buying used rather than new. Many pre-owned items cost 50% to 75% less than comparable new items. Think “used” for products that:

-- will have a short lifespan in your possession. If you expect to discard an item soon, why pay top dollar for a shiny new model?

-- likely saw limited use by their previous owners. Think of these products as "almost new" rather than "used."

-- have been refurbished by trusted manufacturers to operate like new.

-- will get dinged and dirty in your possession. Who cares about an existing scratch or two on something that you’ll beat up on your own?

There are many ways to find used items -- at consignment shops specializing in used items, at retailers selling both new and used wares, and from strangers at yard sales or online. One popular source for pre-owned products is the online classifieds site Craigslist.org. It can be a great source of bargains, but shoppers should be aware that scammers can use the site to take advantage of people looking for deals. Remember: Any deal that's too good to be true probably is.

Here are 12 things you should consider buying used:

Cameron Huddleston
Former Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Award-winning journalist, speaker, family finance expert, and author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk.

Cameron Huddleston wrote the daily "Kip Tips" column for Kiplinger.com. She joined Kiplinger in 2001 after graduating from American University with an MA in economic journalism.