Things you don’t need to buy brand new


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Pursuing the aisles of a consignment shop can be a great way to save some money in an event of finding something that suits your fancy. From dishes to decorations to picture frames to rugs and more, used stuff is great. 

Shelby Kramer

I’ll be honest and say I’m a bit of a cheapskate. Of course there are things that I’m adamant about buying brand new (kitchen utensils, intimate apparel, blankets and bathroom accessories, to name a few), but some things in my life I’m okay with purchasing secondhand.

Here’s a little list I’ve thrown together for some ideas of what you can peruse the local consignment shops for:

1. Enter at your own risk, but buying used furniture can be a huge money-saver, especially when you’re looking to furnish an entire apartment. Check out Craigslist and consignment shops in your area for some good deals. The main problem is running across furniture that fits your style and budget at the right time you’re looking. The same concept can apply to household appliances as well.

2. Refurbished technology can work just as good as the original products. I don’t know much about this topic, but I’ve known some people that save a couple hundred bucks by buying refurbished or open-box stuff. Just try and avoid anything uncertified because you never know if what you’re buying could be sketchy, like it’s stolen or holds some scary viruses.

3. Movies and games can also be purchased after the plastic has been removed for the first time. Yeah, you might have to wait a bit for a consignment shop or Gamers to have what you’re looking for, but, if you’re willing to wait, it could be worth it. You can also buy used CDs and records at greatly discounted prices if you’re willing to wait.

4. Textbooks are an obvious thing to try to save money on. Make sure you’re weighing out the positives and negatives of buying new versus buying used or renting. Renting means you’re out of the money regardless, buying used means you’re only causing the book to lose its value that much more and buying brand new might break your bank right away, but it could also pay off when you’re selling it after class finishes.

5. Bicycles and other recreation equipment. Again: check Craigslist and consignment shops for used gear.

6. Used clothes can be a scary thing to pursue, but you might find some gems hidden in Plato’s Closet. There are some Ames locations that feature used clothes, and you can always check out your sister’s closet.

7. Raising a pet can be difficult, time consuming and expensive to pay for the cost of the pet up front. Solve this by adopting a “used” pet from a shelter home or taking a less fortunate animal off of someone’s hands. There’s a chance of encountering a not-so-good animal, but you’ll be able to “shop” for your right fit. Plus you’ll be making an animal’s life that much better straight off.