What you should and shouldn’t buy used

Thanks to eBay and Craigslist, we no longer have to hunt around for local garage sales or rummage through grandma’s basement to find used stuff. Even though buying used has never been easier and cheaper, it doesn’t mean you should become a total thrifter.

It can be hard to tell which items are best bought used, and which are best bought new. Not to worry, here’s a breakdown.


  1. Cars

One of the things people are most likely to overspend on are cars. After all, if it gets you from Point A to Point B comfortably, isn’t that all that really matters? Used cars are a great way to save money, especially if they’re newer models. Remember, new cars depreciate in value the second they are driven off the lot. Cars.com and Autotrader are both great places to find used car deals.

  1.  Furniture

Since furniture will slowly accumulate over time, buying used furniture whenever possible can be a subtle way of saving. Krrb and Apartment Therapy Classifieds are both good options for buying local used furniture. Plus there’s always online shopping stalwarts like Craiglist and eBay.

  1.  Phones

With smartphones more of a need than a want today, it’s no surprise that providers have jacked up prices dramatically.Oftentimes, these “updates” are in name only, with ancillary features that don’t actually add a whole lot of value. Unless you’re someone that needs to have the latest model, why not just purchase someone else’s used device? You get the same phone without paying a massive premium. Check out places like Swappa and Glyde for used phones.

  1.  Textbooks

This is a big one. If you’re a student, or at least a parent of a student, you should absolutely buy used textbooks if it’s available. The scam of new textbooks has been well-documented–they’re way overpriced and often only have minor changes to their older predecessors. It’s also a good idea to wait until a few days into class to buy your books, as some classes will list books that won’t even be used. While you’re at it, see if you can split the costs of textbooks with other classmates.

  1.  Video Games

These days it’s cool to own retro video games and consoles. The great thing is most stores that sell used games, such as GameStop and Best Buy, won’t sell them if they are not in good condition. Also places like Amazon have tremendous depositories of used games, usually at incredible discounts.  A good quality game at a low price that also makes you cool?  Sign me up.



  1. Mattresses

Most people sleep about eight hours a day. That’s one-third of your day spent in bed, plus extra time you may spend watching TV or eating in bed (hey, we’re not here to judge). A new mattress will be expensive, but consider it an investment in your long term health. When you get a new bed, you want to be 100% pleased with its quality and cleanliness. Better not to risk it with a used one.

  1.  Tires

Unlike most of the other items on this list, used tires can actually be dangerous. After all, they’re used for a reason. Between worn-down treads and loose ends, it’s better to stay safe and spend the money on new tires that will respond to your wheel on the road.

  1.  Cookware

You should buy cookware with the intention that it last a long time.  For safety reasons, the teflon or other chemicals could be scratched and seeping into the food you are cooking.  This is why it’s a good idea to bite the bullet up front and buy high-quality pots, pans, and knives that can last decades.

  1.  Baby cribs

Again, keep safety in mind. Babies are expensive, so you’ll undoubtedly be faced with some decisions of whether or not to cut corners when it comes to certain things you buy for your newborn. Don’t let one of those be cribs. Especially considering how much babies sleep. You yourself should sleep well knowing that your child is safe and comfortable in a new crib.

  1.  Vacuum Cleaners

There is only one reason why people would be selling a used vacuum cleaner: it doesn’t work well enough to keep anymore.  With the high usage of most vacuums, buying a used one will most likely be satisfactory for a short amount of time (if at all), the repairs are difficult to fix (and expensive), and you well soon have to buy another one anyways.  It would be better to purchase new vacuum now, and not have to buy another one for a long time. Check out Zebit Market’s vacuum cleaner selection to buy now and pay over time.


When evaluating whether to buy new or used, consider your safety first, then your pocketbook. If you can save and stay safe, opt for the cheaper, used option. Otherwise, buy new and save yourself the headache later. Zebit can help you buy new, and pay for them over time, interest-free. Good luck shopping.

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