To all the Young Free Mainers out there, I just read a great article from the U.S. News & World Report on things you should never buy new. I thought I would share, because it's important to know what items are worth paying full price for and what items are not.
There are some things that we just have to suck it up and pay full price for, but items like CDs, DVDs, furniture, and sports equipment can often be acquired for a fraction of retail price when you buy them used. And it's not impossible to find used goods in great shape!
It's common to find used office furniture at yard sales or thrift stores, and good news: office furniture was built to withstand heavy use and handling! So that used desk probably won't fall apart on you.
When you try selling you used jewelry, in most cases value is lost. But that's great news for buyers. You can find high quality, unique jewelry for less than retail prices at reputable pawn shops or estate sales.
Tools like hammers, hoes, screwdrivers, and wrenches can be picked up at yard sales or flee markets on the cheap. Tools with few moving parts last a lifetime when they are well-made and maintained.
Don't pay full price to furnish your apartment. It's easy to score furniture on Craigslist and Freecycle all year round. And when summer comes around, yard sales are the way to go. Another great time to get free or nearly free furniture is when college students are moving out of their apartments in the spring.
Look online for used sports equipment on Craigslist, it's common that people buy equipment with the intent to use, but never do. Yard sales and used sporting good stores are also great.
CDs & DVDs
Stores like Bullmoose have good quality used movies and CDs. You may run into a scratches but they can be easily repaired.
Special Occasion & Holiday Clothing
Most people take good care of their high quality and expensive items. When it comes to formal clothing (suits, tuxes, prom dresses, wedding gowns, etc.) by the time it gets to you, it'll still be in great condition. Thrift stores, yard sales, online sellers, and even some dress shops offer fantastic buys on used formalwear.