No doubt about it: moving is expensive. After you’ve given a deposit, the first month’s rent, and you’ve paid all those pesky initiation fees to your utility providers, you might be short on cash. And you’ve probably got to furnish an apartment to boot. But fear not. By purchasing used goods, you can save yourself plenty. But there are certain good that you should only buy new. To help us sort out what’s best to buy new or used, we reached out to Jacquie Denny, co-owner of Everything But the House —an online marketplace that sells used goods— who shared her tips on what’s worth shelling out for and where you should save. “I don’t think anybody should pay retail when there are so many other options,” says Denny. She feels there are three reasons you should consider buying used, rather than new: the item will lose equity quickly, you want a piece with history, you want the eco-friendly perk of reusing an item.
What to Buy Used
- (Most) Furniture
If you’re in need of a bed frame, coffee table, or kitchen table, head to the thrift shop or look for those pieces online. The only furniture you’ll want to steer clear of? Anything upholstered. The reason being that anything outfitted in cloth could contain particles you might be allergic to. “We never know if someone had an animal we may be allergic to. Especially in our business, we find most people can buy a couch from a house with dogs, but not from cats,” says Denny.
- Exercise Equipment
If you have the space in your apartment for a treadmill or exercise bike, you should always buy those pieces used. Their value plummets as soon as you bring them home.
If you’re a student, you know that textbooks can be one major expense. Which is why it’s best to buy textbooks used if you can.
What to Buy New
“Overall, I think with anything that we use to clean our home or that we cook with, it just makes sense that we know the origin of the piece, how it’s been used,” says Denny. She also advises that anything that comes in direct contact with your skin should be purchased new. Here’s what she recommends you purchase new:
With most cookware, the issue is that you don’t know how the other person cleaned their plates or pots and pans. If you have any type of food allergies, you’ll want to buy new to ensure you don’t have issues.
- Small Appliances
Like most technology, small appliances become outdated very quickly. Every six months, they’ll be a better option on the market. On the plus side, most small appliances aren’t too expensive.
- Cleaning Supplies
You’re better off buying brooms, mops, and most cleaning supplies new. The only exception to this is the vacuum. If you don’t have allergies, it might be fine to buy a used vacuum. But if you do have allergies, it’s probably best to buy a new one. “There’s no way to completely sanitize a vacuum,” says Denny. If you buy a used vacuum, you run the risk of buying one from a house with pets.
- Bedding and Mattresses
We shed skin cells every night when we sleep, and it’s just plain unsanitary to sleep on used bedding. You’ll always want to buy bedding and mattresses new. Got old bedding lying around? Then Denny recommends considering donating it to animal shelters, which usually are in need. If you decide to buy used, revamping furniture to seem like new is always a great option, too. Happy hunting!
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