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What you should buy used — and where to get the best deals!

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What you should buy used — and where to get the best deals!
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If you’re like me, you love a good bargain. One of the best ways to save money is to shop resale — whether it’s a garage sale, flea market, online or at a consignment store or event.

Recently, I reached out to a network of bargain hunters for their secrets on things you can — and should – find used, as well as the best places to look for them.

So to help you avoid wasteful spending and put more money back in your pocket, check out the list below of where you can find great deals on furniture, books, jewelry, electronics and designer clothing!

You can often buy used items as good as new for a fraction of the cost

Furniture

From estate sales and consignment shops to Craigslist and Facebook yard sale groups, furniture is a great item to buy gently used. Not only can you get it for a fraction of the retail price, but you can also refurbish a piece to make it just like new again — and even match your personal style!

  • Estate sales: You can find antiques, complete bedroom or living room sets and higher end items. Prices tend to be a little higher than online or consignment but you can often find pieces that will stand the test of time.
  • Consignment shops and sales: Many consignment events (like Just Between Friends) have furniture—both for kids’ rooms and other rooms. Prices are typically lower at consignment events compared to estate sales, although they can vary. Typically, the person consigning the item sets the price. And with these shops and sales, you can see and touch the merchandise before deciding to buy.
  • Online: Craigslist and eBay are great sites, although shipping might make a good deal a bad one on eBay. Overstock.com is worth perusing as they often has close-out deals on furniture. More people are also selling used furniture through their local Facebook yard sale groups. As with anything, put safety first. Always meet sellers in a public place and take a buddy with you as you go to make your purchase.
  • Charity stores and shops: Some charities have thrift stores that specialize in furniture and household items. Habitat for Humanity has ReStore shops where you can buy all kinds of items for fixing up your home as well as furniture and appliances.

Books

This is a great item to buy used as often books are still in great condition after a number of readings.

  • Used bookstores: Nearly every town has at least one—and you can find some great books in them.
  • Local library: Most libraries will have annual or semi-annual book sales to make room for new titles. Plus the money supports your local library. Bonus!
  • Children’s consignment events: Books are a huge seller at local consignment events. You can find great deals on books for all ages. Often homeschool groups will sell their books and supplies too!
  • Community book sales: Check out booksalefinder.com to find local book sales in your community.

Jewelry

Like furniture, this is a great item to search for at estate sales as well as local pawn shops and, of course, online.

  • Estate sales: Check the description of the sale to determine if they are selling jewelry. Most sale descriptions will list a variety of items being sold. net is a great site to find local estate sales in your area.
  • Pawn shops: You can find all kinds of great jewelry at pawn shops. Just make sure you know what you are buying so that you end up with a bargain and not a rip-off.
  • Online: In addition to the traditional online yard sale groups, there are also some specific websites where you can find used jewelry:
    • I Do Now I Don’t: Buy used diamonds, jewelry, and watches.
    • Worthy: Bid on jewelry items —a site similar to eBay for luxury items.
    • Tradesy: Another site where you can find used jewelry, with brands such as David Yurman, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co.

Electronics

You can save quite a bit buying “gently-used” electronics, whether it’s a television, PlayStation, or Wii. You can also find accessories such as DVDs and Blu-ray players.

  • Consignment & thrift stores: Once the kids get a new PlayStation for Christmas, parents often take the old one to a consignment or thrift store. The same is true for DVD and Blu-ray players.
  • Consignment Events: There are a lot of DVDs and Blu-ray discs at these consignment events, as well as gaming systems such as Nintendo DS.
  • Pawn Shops: Just like jewelry, these are great places to find deals on electronics, too.
  • Online: If you prefer to shop online, here are some websites to help you find some great deals.
    • Amazon: This popular site offers a wide variety of “refurbished” electronics.
    • eBay: Another great resource. Make sure to check the feedback and information on the seller to avoid potential scams.
    • Overstock.com: They sell extra merchandise from different companies at reduced prices so often you can get new items at resale prices.
    • Best Buy: The popular electronics big box store has an online outlet where you can find refurbished and open-box deals.

Designer Clothing

Look like a million bucks without spending it.

  • Thrift Stores: Start shopping locally at thrift stores. Goodwill Industries often has brand name and designer clothing at really low prices. You may have to take the time to sift through items, but the hunt is half the fun! Local thrift stores often support local causes, too. So it’s good for you AND good for your community, too.
  • Consignment stores: Search for local consignment stores, especially those that specialize in upscale clothing.
  • Online: There are several websites where you can find designer duds and accessories.
    • ThredUp: This is one of the largest online sites where you can buy and sell designer clothing.
    • Tradesy: is another similar option worth checking out.
    • Poshmark: This site is gaining popularity and has a wide variety of higher end brands and items.
    • Rent the Runway: If you’re looking for a formal dress that you only plan to wear once, check it out.

Where do YOU shop to save money and find great bargains? Let me know and share with others in the comments below.

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Shannon Wilburn About the author:
Shannon Wilburn is the CEO & Co-founder of Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc. (JBF), North America's leading children's & maternity consignment event.
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