Smart things to buy pre-loved that you may not have considered.

There is little doubt that in the past year or so, our buying habits have changed, becoming more deliberate and considered. We want to save money and reduce waste more than ever. The most common items bought used include home furniture, cars and books. With this in mind, we’ve devised a list of handy things you may not have considered to buy second hand.

Bikes

Most of us have bought a used car before. Sales have skyrocketed due to Covid-19, with people avoiding public transport. And along with that, so have their prices - by almost 20% per vehicle.

Yet bikes are a fantastic option to buy used too. Generally, they have terrible resale value, so you can pick up a quality bike for a fraction of the original price. Second hand bikes are a great commute to work option, and you’ll get fit at the same time. Also, kids outgrow their two-wheelers so quickly, it makes great sense to buy used and save some cash.
Test that it’s in good condition before handing over your money. Make sure it’s not too heavy, the wheels don’t wobble, and that the tyres aren’t worn. Also ensure that there is little to no rust, and that the brakes work effortlessly. You would check these things when buying a new bike anyway, so it’s no extra hassle. And you can always take the bike for a service for added peace of mind. Always buy a new helmet though, as old ones can degrade over time, or be weakened by a crash - even if it looks undamaged.

Where to buy

Facebook Marketplace is my favourite place to look, or a local second hand bike shop if you have one nearby.

 

Musical instruments and sporting equipment  

Growing up, I was the kid that tried every interest imaginable. Between the guitar, tennis, piano, snowboarding and surfing, my parents must have spent a fortune nurturing my brief passions. Generally speaking, basic instruments and sports equipment don’t change that much over the years, making them a great consideration to buy used. Save your PayPal account for when the passion sticks, and then upgrade.

Where to buy

Support your neighbours by searching at garage sales, surf shops and pawn shops. Then online at second hand musical instruments stores and Gumtree.
 

Jigsaw puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. But there are only so many times one can re-jig a puzzle. For my preschooler, that number is about a hundred. But for myself, once I have basked in the glory of my completed masterpiece, it’s packed away and gathering dust on the bookshelf. So replacing them with second hand jigsaws is a great way to continue the brain-teasing love, whilst also saving the planet.

Where to buy

There are buy, swap and sell puzzle Facebook groups across Australia.
 

Designer clothes and shoes  

I don’t get to dress up as much as I used to. Which is a shame, because I know which brands I like and suit me best. And those quality pieces usually come with a hefty price tag, that I often can’t justify (thank you, kids music lessons). Hello pre-loved designer wear. Buy the best quality, high fashion pieces, whilst also extending the product’s life cycle. It’s a win-win situation!

Where to buy

We don’t just sell designer baby clothes. Our range of almost-new designer women’s clothes and shoes can be tried on in-store or bought online.
 

Plants

Now, this one you don’t even need to get your wallet out for. Next time you’re at your friend’s/neighbour’s/mum’s house, admiring their thriving Monstera, ask for a cutting for your own garden. It’s a very grandma thing to do, but I have more luck with plants surviving in my garden if I’ve witnessed them growing in actual dirt, than buying expensive ones from garden centres. By growing from a cutting, you have seen for yourself what conditions the plant grows well in. 

So there you have it.

A few areas to potentially save a buck, and our planet. It may also be worth seeing what you have gathering dust at home to pass back into the community. Gumtree’s annual Second Hand Economy Report claims that Australians could make a whopping $5,800 per average household on pre-loved items. You could trade in that neglected guitar for new(ish) luxury heels! 

Lyndal Pontello is a freelance Art Director/Designer, who loves the beach, hiding vegetables in her childrens dinner and modern ceramics.

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