In an effort to be "green" and frugal, I try to buy used items or make do without as often as possible. There are some items where I think buying new is the best way to go because 1) I will get a warranty, 2) the item will (or should) last longer than something bought used, 3) the "ick" factor". These would be things like kitchen/laundry appliances, mattresses, and (some) upholstered furniture. Used underwear, socks, etc.... definitely out.
My friend nea has taken this further and started a year of NBN (no buying new). Cool!
Recently, I bought a used playpen/travel crib for Lucy because of several upcoming weekend trips. The playyard is in great shape, had all the pieces except for the user manual (which you can get free on the website), but cost about 73% of the new retail price. The price seemed high to me, but there are extenuating circumstances. We don't live in a huge metro area, so the selection of used baby items is limited. I wanted a specific brand (safety reasons). I ended up buying it because I didn't want to shell out the additional $$ to buy new.
What's been on my mind is... what is my motivation for buying new versus used? If the used item cost the same as the new item, I would have definitely bought it new. So clearly, my motivation is more economical than environmental, right? I need to spend some more time considering my motivations. The best thing would have been to borrow one... but I don't know anyone to borrow one from!