1.29.2009

Buying Used

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!

5 comments:

nicola said...

the motivation for me is both environmental and economical. which outweighs depends on what i am needing to purchase. and there are exceptions to our rule due to safety and ick factor. we are trying to stick to local/independent sellers if we do buy used. it is tough(!!) but we were inspired by the blog of a family not spending any money at all!

BookyG said...

Hmmmm, My motivation for used vs new is usually $ but often waste. It seems wasteful to me to buy new baby clothes. But of course I'll buy them for other people - because then it is a GIFT. But if I really want something, and I can't get it used (not a lot of options where I live) then I'll buy it. I really really wanted overalls for Oscar in size 0-3 months. Didn't see any at the thrift shop, I got overalls as presents, but in larger sizes, so I used a gift certificate to buy it new. From a devil chain store. If I made more money I would have looked for something more locally made. But locally made baby overalls, that would have really cost bucks.

Lots of people buy diapers used, I even got some as gifts. And I appreciate the gift, but there is no way my used Happy Heinys are going to last Oscar through potty training (the eleastic is already stretched), and then I also want the diapers to last for kid #2...so diapers, I buy those new, and I try to get ones that aren't made in china. But my Bum Genius are made in Egypt - I'm not sure that's better. My Cloth Diaper Wholesale's are local....

Lauren said...

Cheap good stuff is my motivation. We bought lots of used furniture on Craig's list: our bed frame, the bed frame and dressers in our guest room, a cabinet, a buffet, and an end table.And we bought our dining room set used. The reasons we bought used were: it's a lot cheaper, it's actually much higher quality than ikea, target etc, it felt good to reuse, and i prefer the vintage style. We've started going to a used book store but i actually prefer the library- except cookbooks because i get them very dirty. :) I also like to shop consignment for clothes sometimes- i'm a bargain hunter. but i buy lots of stuff new too so i'm not as good as all of you.

seattlemom said...

I recently donated my pack n play to Xander's daycare. Local neighborhood mom's yahoo groups are great for this sort in our area. Last year I wanted a jogging stroller and was able to find one for free! One good thing about living where we do. :) Miss u guys!

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