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I was talking with DH about buying clothing from consignment shops, and this is something that we will plan to do the next time we need new clothing. I used to do this all the time when I was single, but for some reason I haven't been to one in a long while.

However, we agreed that there are certain things that we definitely won't buy secondhand: shoes and underwear, for obvious reasons. I also won't buy used blue jeans--it sounds weird, but they become "molded" to the shape of the original owner's behind, and they just don't feel right when I wear them.

If I we had children, I'd also be reluctant to buy certain items because of product recalls.

So, are there any things that you refuse to buy second hand? Why?

Vikki
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I won't buy underwear or socks. I also won't buy sleepwear, towels or robes.

I don't have a problem with buying shoes though, if they're in good condition. I've bought many pairs of shoes second-hand (thrift/consigned and on Ebay) and I've never had a problem.
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<<So, are there any things that you refuse to buy second hand? Why?>>



Condoms.


-a.
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So, are there any things that you refuse to buy second hand?

Toilet paper. Also toothbrushes.

Other than that, I can't think of anything.

phantomdiver
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>>So, are there any things that you refuse to buy second hand?

>Toilet paper. Also toothbrushes.


Food.

;-)

- KK

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"Condoms."


Eeeeewwww!

Vikki :-D


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Condoms

Well, they're not really second hand.
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So, are there any things that you refuse to buy second hand? Why?

False teeth, dental floss, braces, tissues. . .

Seriously, though, for me the added expense of a new car vs. used right now is worth it. I've never taken the time to develop solid mechanic skills, so I'd be somewhat paranoid to drive the car for fear it would fall apart. Yes, I know I get killed due to depreciation, but I've made it a point to drive cars until they give up the octane ghost, so I'm more interested in longevity than depreciation.

Other than that, and the examples you listed, can't think of too much I'd flat-out refuse to buy.
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There's no clothing item that I wouldn't buy second hand if it was something I wanted and was in good condition. Same goes for my daughter's clothing.

No toothbrushes (who really sells these secondhand anyway?)

Probably no hairbrushes (yes, I could probably clean them, but I've seen some hairbrushes that I wouldn't even touch after cleaning)

I think that's it...

Louise


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I have wandered thru a few second hand stores, and they are generally pretty dismal. It's mostly because there are very few products that are durable enough to use a second time. Any furniture not made of solid wood is not worth carrying home the first time. Even some steel furniture doesn't hold up well. Some people donate new clothing to charity stores and those items can be good bargains, but otherwise clothing is cheap enough that there is hardly any point in buying used stuff. Electronic components usually are phonographs, daisywheel printers, cheap stereos, and other obsolete things of doubtful usefulness, even if they still work and are not missing any parts.

Maybe I've been going to the wrong stores or something.
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I have wandered thru a few second hand stores, and they are generally pretty dismal... other obsolete things of doubtful usefulness</I.

That's been my experience too. Sometimes you can find clothing bargains, but I rarely find anything in my size. Most of the stores carry mostly children's clothing. But what I "would" buy secondhand and what I actually find secondhand are two different things. I was looking for some secondhand cooking equipment when I was setting up my apartment and all I found were dented bowls, broken appliances and bent and broken utensils. And about 10,000 plastic cups, usually the kind you get free at fast food places (why did the thrift store even take this kind of stuff?) I was hoping to find something that had cosmetic problems but was still usable, but I didn't find much, and what I did find was so overpriced I could buy new things more cheaply.

So I'd buy secondhand stuff if it was in good condition but so far I've never found secondhand stuff in good condition. Except occasionally at yard sales, but most of those are 90-95% kids clothing and toys, so I've stopped going. If I had kids, though, it would be a bargain for toys and clothes, every thrift store and garage sale is overflowing with things for children, just not much for adults.

Karen
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I have gotten some nice cast iron cook ware at fleamarkets. some nice tools too.
Reklaw
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Upholstered furniture (couches, armchairs), unless I personally knew the previous owners (ie relatives, close friends). I have an unholy fear of insects inside the furniture's upholstery...maybe I just sat on one too many college-apartment/former curbside couches...it just gives me the heebie-jeebies to wonder what's living in there.

rmf
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I have an unholy fear of insects inside the furniture's upholstery...

I once had a friend who lost a six foot boa constrictor in his apartment. After six months, the snake got hungry and crawled out of the couch looking for some food.
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<<I have wandered thru a few second hand stores, and they are generally pretty dismal. It's mostly because there are very few products that are durable enough to use a second time. Any furniture not made of solid wood is not worth carrying home the first time. Even some steel furniture doesn't hold up well. Some people donate new clothing to charity stores and those items can be good bargains, but otherwise clothing is cheap enough that there is hardly any point in buying used stuff. Electronic components usually are phonographs, daisywheel printers, cheap stereos, and other obsolete things of doubtful usefulness, even if they still work and are not missing any parts.

Maybe I've been going to the wrong stores or something. >>


It depends upon your personal style and interest. Recent thrift shop purchases for me included a bicycle helmet ($4), a Samsonite briefcase that's like new ($3), a zippered bag for my bicycle rack (69¢), a zippered bag to store cooking gear for camping and boating (69¢)and a nice Eddie Bauer all cotton shorsleeved shirt that looks new ($1.75).

Heh, heh! I suppose one of the reasons I like thrift shopping is the thrill of the hunt ---you never know what you will find next! Also, you get to know the kinds of things that ARE available, and when my old briefcase finally became unseable, I new I'd find a good replacement if I shopped around for a while. Besides, I prefer buying things for 5¢ of the $ to paying full price at a mall --- and malls are designed to separate people from their money.

Also, I hate waste! Why pay to make new junk when there's a lot of perfectly useful junk waiting for someone to buy and use some more?


So --- it works for me, but perhaps it's not your style.



Seattle Pioneer

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<<I won't buy underwear or socks. I also won't buy sleepwear, towels or robes.

I don't have a problem with buying shoes though, if they're in good condition. I've bought many pairs of shoes second-hand (thrift/consigned and on Ebay) and I've never had a problem.
>>


I agree. I very rarely buy shoes new. My latest pair of running shoes were pretty close to new and cost me $2. The last pair cost me $2. and lasted me through 15 months of use.



Seattle Pioneer
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It **IS** the hunt that makes thrift store shopping fun! I've found brand new T-shirts (the promotional Race kind) for $1.95. These are great to run in. I found a brand new LLBean auto visor pocket for my car for $1.25 and I've gotten books there. It's amazing how many people give away perfectly good books!!

Melissa
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I agree that thrift store quality varies greatly. My wife knows where the good ones are in our area. And for the poster who said children's items are more common than adults' items, that's also true in many cases.

But if you really want to save money at consignment shops, you just have to check all of them out. If you live in an urban area, there are probably numerous shops within driving range. Over time, visit all of them. Go back to the ones that have better-quality merchandise.

Another good option is Goodwill. We have a Goodwill store in our area. My wife buys factory-new games missing a piece for pennies on the dollar, then orders the pieces from the manufacturer. Our son doesn't know the difference, and as long as the moving ducks make noise, he's happy. Overall, we probably save hundreds of dollars a year on items we would pay full price for if we hadn't found them at secondhand stores.

We don't buy many secondhand clothes for ourselves simply because we rarely buy clothes. I've been behind the style trend since high school, and I don't see any point in trying to catch the wave. And some of my older stuff is starting to regain its popularity.

Benevolent
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