Buying used

alisandeOctober 25, 2012

I buy used books all the time--from library book sales and from Amazon, where I also sell. And the Salvation Army is my #1 source for clothes. But yesterday I ordered my first used camera. I'm really surprised it took me so long. Photographers have long traded in used equipment--my father did it often, although that was pre-digital, before camera manufacturers started coming out with new models every year.

The camera I ordered is a Panasonic LX3, which will complement my other cameras, a superzoom and a DSLR. I wanted something smaller to carry with me all the time, and I've seen some stunning images from the LX3. It came out in 2008, and since then two newer models have replaced it. But it has some very loyal fans who feel image quality is tops with the LX3. It's still available new, but money is always an issue. So after a lot of deliberation I ordered a "like new" used LX3 from an Amazon seller.

The day after I placed the order, KEH (a reliable seller of used photographic equipment) put one up for sale. Had I seen it earlier, I probably would have gone for it. But I'm optimistic about my purchase, which should arrive in a day or two.

What have you been buying used?

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We bought a side board for the dining room. It was advertised in our OTOW newspaper. Can't say it was used because the sellers had just moved to the area and the server didn't fit in their new home. It was still in the box and they even delivered! And it's perfect--doesn't take up a lot of room and will hold all those casseroles, etc., that never fit on the table withough crowding.

Hope you enjoy your camera. Usually people take good care of them, but some just have to have the latest and greatest.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Everything but socks and underwear and shoes...but if I found used Crocs in my size, I'd buy them.

All of my furniture, all of my dishes, all of my kitchen stuff, all of my collectibles...everything in this house except the tv and the fridge were bought used. The fridge in the other house was bought used...$100 for a stainless refrigerator probably not even a year old. Guy was upset that his wife was a crack addict and sold everything at give away prices and left. Oh, I take it back about the tv. The old guy I took care of, bought it new and it was still in the box. It sat in his spare room for several years and he decided he wasn't going to use it, so he gave it to me. It was new, but old. My computers were bought new and so was my digital camera. But that's about it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

2 Christopher Banks brand fall vests at The Goodwill, for about $4 total. One was brand new with tags and in looking on line, I see they retail for $30 to $50 each.

They are both 'me' but I certainly wouldn't have bought them at full price.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:02PM
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some just have to have the latest and greatest.

Boy, I see a lot of that on DPReview's photography forums! My dad used to joke that he was a photography "equipment man," but these guys would have shocked him. The money they pour into those new models!

I should have mentioned used furniture, which I love. Antiques, of course, and pieces that don't exactly qualify but are much better made (and much less expensive) than a lot of new furniture.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:06PM
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When we were preparing to put our other house on the market, I needed to replace the range. Had I purchased new, they'd have gotten a stripped down, non-self-cleaning range--which including installation would still have cost me over $500. I popped my head into the used appliance store down the road--got a range for $325--with free installation. It looked like new, and was a top-of-the-line model--self-cleaning, warming drawer, etc. Really nice and I enjoyed using it for the rest of the time we were there. I wouldn't hesitate to buy used from a reputable used appliance store again. When my RE agent saw the range we'd gotten, he was drooling--he had a rental property he managed that needed a new range, and he was sorry we'd gotten that one first (he also dealt with the same store).

Otherwise? I don't buy too much used--definitely not clothes or furniture (not with the bedbug situation these days). Electronics and cars--we prefer new to buying one someone else had problems with and had to get rid of.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:59PM
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We've bought several appliances from the local Sears Outlet - they always have great Scratch and Dent bargains.

Azzalea - I wasn't aware of a local used appliance store - I tried google - is it the one in Audubon? With 3 kids now in their places that might come in handy.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 2:36PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Yes if I think it is a good and worthwhile item I will buy it, I do use caution on any electronics that I purchase as a refurb but so far have had very good luck with those too.

We love hitting the Goodwill and Salvation Army and other similar stores, you just never know what wonderful treasure is waiting for you to discover it.

I would not buy any used bedding or mattresses or under wear.

I love finding really good cookware at those places for cheap. I love my magnalite and have found a few nice pieces at thrift stores and the like.

I have a slow cooker I love, well I saw one of the pots and lids for it at a goodwill store I snatched it right up. This is one that has the heating base that you set the pot on. It was great because mine the lid had a broken piece on it now I have that one and a good one.

Of course I buy most of my glass for my totems at used stores.

I don't understand why more people don't go with the gently used or scratch and dent sales for appliances especially when doing a rental or selling and doing an upgrade.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 2:49PM
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I like buying vintage dishware and linens on eBay because I'm in love with some of the discontinued styles.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 2:56PM
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we don't have a salvation army here. I can never seem to find any clothes or furniture at our goodwill. Most of it looks like stuff that should be taken to the dump. Once, I talked myself out of buying a chest of drawers at GW... it was expensive... but it was soo cool, I went back in not too long after and it was gone! darn it! lol I bought a refurbished reader, and I haven't been satisfied, but I think it's the model, not that it was refurbished. I have cool nightstands from a used furniture store, and garage sales... cool! I wouldn't hesitate buying used stuff at all

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:10PM
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I recently bought a daybed from Craigslist. I first went to look at it because I wanted to know what kind of house it came from. The seller delivered it for me. I put a plastic cover over the mattress and then a mattress pad because little Finn will be napping on it and I didn't want the spotless mattress to get any stains on it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:23PM
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I have purchased a lot of used china and entertaining items on ebay. I once had a tea party and bought 15 antique tea cups for the event--I think I had as much fun bidding on the cups as I did at the party. ;)
Just purchased a bunch of lovely vintage salt and pepper shakers from ebay for my son's wedding reception next year. We will need quite a few sets.
I love old, beautiful things, and you just can't find the quality in stores anymore at affordable prices. ebay and Craigslist are great for furniture and household items--sort of like shopping estate sales without having to leave the couch.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:54PM
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Maire-cate--yes, the place in Audubon is where I went. They were wonderful. Actually, the whole story is that I had them out in Nov. to try to fix my old range, their repair didn't work and I never got back to them (my aunt was diagnosed with only weeks to live, it was the holidays, I just let it go). In the spring, when I got around to doing something--they gave me the price of the repair OFF on the range I bought. They were really nice. Their inventory obviously changes--it's whatever they have at the moment. Some of the stuff is better than others, but the prices are excellant. Oh, and they also took the old range away, no charge

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 5:57PM
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I used to buy all my kids clothes used at thrift stores, Sal Army and Goodwill. Also lots of clothes for myself. I wouldn't buy used underwear or socks.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Thanks for the information Azzalea. I'm going to pass it along to my kids too. DD just moved into a larger apartment and she needs a microwave and she now has room for a washer and dryer. We thought about going to the Sears Outlet but her money will probably go much further if she buys used. They obviously treated you fairly by taking the repair money off the purchase price. That's a good recommendation.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:10PM
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My house was used, built in 1986. I bought it 10 years ago. Time flies.

My dog was considered used also. I'm his second owner after being beaten and abandoned in 2001.

I've gained weight in the past few years and only buy my clothes at Goodwill. Mostly because I don't want to spend alot of money on bigger sizes and because I hope someday to get back down to a better weight and wear all my old clothes that are collecting dust. Something in my brain tells me that spending alot of money on plus sizes means I'm permanently fat.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:36PM
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I "love" thrift stores buys and Craigslist!

Today I purchased a pair of suede slouch boots for $8, it was snowing like crazy and they looked fantastic. :0) I've been picking up carved wood oriental pot stands. My Tony Little Gazelle for $20.....

My list is just endless....:0)

I'm sure your camera will be a joy to use!!!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:07PM
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My car. Can't think of anything else.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:46PM
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havn't bought anything used, but am enjoying the ladies desk, fil finally let us have...of course he ruined it by refinishing and took off all the old patina, sigh...but we're really enjoying it...i used to get boxes of clothes from a friend of my mother's..a compulsive sure helped for years as i wore as much as i could, since we have (now grown) 4 kids...each of them have traded clothes with each other for the 9 grands...

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:43PM
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Most of my furniture is used...circa 1850. I inherited several pieces, and have aquired others from auctions and estate sales. Yup, all of it is "used" and loved. I inherited my mother's beloved (used) dog.

I have "used" rugs and china and silver. Everything fits in my "used" house!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:23PM
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I'd be reluctant to buy electronics or camera equipment online. What happens if you have difficulty with the product and need it repaired or replaced or just need advice? I like a brick and mortar store for such things.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:17AM
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I definitely took a chance, but based on positive reports from others it was a bit of a leap of faith. However, there are reputable used camera dealers online, among them B&H, Adorama, and KEH (mentioned above). The cameras and lenses often come with warranties. I, however, will have to rely on crossed fingers. :-)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:48AM
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I buy most of my clothing used (cept shoes, socks and underwear), a lot of my furniture is used, and lots of my cookware, dishes are used.

I find clothing pre washed, pre shrunk the BEST buy. :)


    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 10:53AM
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We have a Saver's store and a goodwill, but I find so much at Saver's I rarely shop at Goodwill. They must get new merch from stores and sell it drastically reduced, because I have purchased things like socks and underwear that have never been used. And high end brands like Christian Dior. I buy a lot of my workout clothes there, new, and drastically reduced. I bought a woman's underarmor turtleneck for 3.99. Those are probably 30 or 40 new. I have purchased many, many new shoes. I once got a pair of Tod's driving shoes, new probably 200.00, for 12.00. They weren't my size, but I couldn't pass them up and gave them to my sister. I love buying at thrift stores.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:05AM
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I never heard of Saver's, but wish we had one! It seems like I'm always saying that about stores people mention here. I love shopping at thrift stores too.

Hounds, I forgot about my used rugs! Some years ago I bought 40-year-old Persian rugs from, which unfortunately is now out of business. (Although I wouldn't be surprised if they went back into business under another name.) I love my tribal rugs!

And yes, many of my dogs and cats arrived "used" as well. LOL

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:17AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I have never heard of Saver's either but it sound good to me!
I have seen brand new clothes with tags still on at many of the stores we go to. I guess people buy it then either decide they don't like it or it does not fit right and they just don't want to hassle with returns.
My Husband loves Hawaiian type shirts that is all he wears in the summer, he can have a field day in some of those used clothes stores and find some extremely expensive brands for just a couple dollars. Some of the ones we have found were the true vintage ones that are quite valuable.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:27PM
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My car ... the latest of several.

I get some things at Sally Ann, GoodWill,Value Village, etc., things for the house, outer clothing, pants, shirts, etc.

Sidewalk shop, mainly for cupboards, bookcases, appliances, etc. Took a vacuum, microwave to church yard sale ... and a bike that a house near the church had put at the curb: lady said it was to go. Also another bike, out in the country, that was included with stuff for sale ... but when I told of need at a local housing area, lady gave it to me.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 5:47PM
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FlamingO in AR

When I shop on Amazon, I always check out the used items that are offered. I bought 2 used toilet seats for our hard-to-fit Eljer toilets, thinking I'd scrub and bleach them, but while they were marked used, they were actually new, sealed in the factory wrapped plastic with all the hardware, etc. Saved a bunch of money, too. Retail was $65 each, Amazon had them for $34 and I paid $8 for the "used" ones, with free shipping. :)

I love antique furniture and I'll buy used clothing and household goods at the Salvation Army, no problem. I don't look at underwear or shoes, though, just tops/shirts/jackets usually.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 6:17PM
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Alisande, don't forget to check out used books on That's another good website I often check for used books.

I'm all for used items. Used doesn't always mean trash. As the majority of items are now made poorly in China and countries alike, I often find myself searching for used items, made in USA or at least more reputable country such as Japan and Germany. Some of these items included cast iron cookware, coffee percolators and knitting machines. They're old but are workhorses, they last and last and last.

I have an electric percolator made in 1960 that I'm currently using it. I dropped it once on my tiled floor, it had a dent. Other than that, it is still running and making great coffee. Whereas, I've heard of people purchasing the new electric percolators (made in China) and they'd only last for a couple of years.

We need more reliable "made in USA" products!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 7:19PM
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We have a local swap site on-line that is part of Facebook. I know several people on that site. One woman I know is constantly selling things. I bought a blender, a Sesame St. sleeping bag and other things from her. I washed the sleeping bag before I let Finn use it.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 7:26PM
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Today I got a great pair of Talbot's black slacks at a resale store for $16. Not bad. I always haunt the thrifts for good buys. We have a Facebook page where people sell their used items. I only bought one thing, but there have been some good bargains. Too many kids things, though.

Yes, I always buy a used car.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 9:49PM
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I'd guess that close to half of what I own is used... I find things at garage sales, eBay, Craigslist and thrift stores. Car had a previous owner as did my dog.

I don't usually buy second hand electronics, but I did buy a used Sony camera once. Worked great!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:14PM
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Oh yes......most all of the time.
We've been "taken" a couple of times...but that hasn't stopped me from looking for a good buy.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:53PM
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All of the autos i have bought in the last 20 years have been used (pre-owned according to the ads).

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 12:01AM
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not so much...but the i wear stuff forever, and buy moderate prices appliances that have gone on fridge was on the floor at best buy cause the people who bought it couldn't get in the house and removed it from the box it was considred "used"....wheni kids were small we'd buy my parents cars...and my present car is 2003..(but frame has a rust hole, sigh)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 12:11AM
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I love the Friends of the Library room at out local library where I can buy books for fifty cents or a dollar. I buy children's books for the grands for 35 cents!

I also buy very nice clothes for the grands at a consignment shop here in town. Some still have the store tags on them.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 1:35AM
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I guess I am out of the norm. I don't buy a lot of used, other than cars and the house. I used to purchase a lot of stuff second hand at the Salvation Army and yard sales, but where we live now, it is slim pickings. The Goodwill stores around here and yard sales are not worth the time. People here think everything is worth new prices, so to buy new makes more sense. On the other hand, I buy quality to last as long as possible because I don't want to keep repurchasing and I know what I like.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 2:01AM
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Ntt_hou, I sell used books on Amazon and (occasionally) eBay, and Abebooks is one of the places I check for prices. Yes, I should think about buying from them too.

Did I ever update this thread regarding my used camera? It's perfect--I love it! The seller surprised me by throwing in a leather case that sells for $70 on Amazon. And everything really was Like New; the manual was still sealed in its wrap, and the LCD, etc., was pristine. It's been taking great pictures for me.

Like many who posted, I would much rather buy good used/antique furniture than buy new. Quality is one reason . . . you'd have to sink a fortune into furniture today to get the kind of quality that was produced more routinely decades ago. Plus I just like things with a history.

I was at the Salvation Army the other day and came THIS close to buying a Bill Blass down coat for $5.50. Not to wear--the coat was voluminous--but to keep in my car for winter emergencies. It was so well made, and the equivalent of a small down comforter with a high fill rating. But I was stopped by the realization that I'd have to find a place to keep it in the warm months. I have almost no closets and too much stuff!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 9:30AM
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For many, many years our whole house was furnished in "Early Goodwill". 42 years now and we still have some of those things. Many of our vehicles were purchased used. We get the best clothes at our thrift store or at consignment stores or at garage sales.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 11:33AM
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Almost every furniture item and others accessories are used and I mean used from the 19th century...150 or more years ago. Nothing bought new except all appliances and all upholstered furniture. I have no other furniture made past the 1870's or before.

After decades of buying clothes at stores , I buy much from a local tony thrift store. I won't buy shoes or bathing suits or undergarments, but usually get the sporty clothes I wear. This is in an affluent area and i only buy my favorite labels like R Lauren, LLBean, J Jill, J Crew, Eddie Bauer, GAP, Old navy, Banana Republic. This week it was a Banana Republic taupe cardigan in 59 % angora rabbit for 1.99!!! I also got a fabulous lamp made from an old pottery crock with a funky shade. $4.99. Love the thrill of the hunt. Last year a Cashmere Ralph Lauren sweater set for 2.99. Fun shopping adventure.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 12:18PM
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My youngest daughter loves to go to Goodwill and buy t-shirts. It is always fun when they are 1/2 price that day too. We also go to Uptown Cheapskate which is a resale shop for teens to Misses. My daughter can buy some used jeans alot cheaper. Last week I bought a new strainer and dd found a t-shirt at Goodwill.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 12:21AM
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