20+ Things you should Never Buy New
Updated: Nov 23
We live in a world where we consume a lot of stuff. In fact, Amazon has about 20 orders each second. Unfortunately, the norm is to purchase new ones for most of us. This is not only very expensive, but it is also not very eco-friendly. For the production of everything we purchase, resources are required. Even though more and more renewable resources are used, the process of making and transporting our products is also very demanding on our planet. A good solution to this problem is to go for used products. There are lots of products where it is even better to shop second-hand instead of new. Therefore this list with over 20 items that you should never buy new.
Even though a car is not the most eco-friendly way of transportation sometimes it is unavoidable to own a car. However, a new car is not a good choice as it not only requires an immense amount of valuable resources, the value of a new car drops considerably as you drive it off the lot. As a car losses most of its value during the first few years, it is best for your budget to purchase a car that is a couple of years old.
A brand-new bicycle can be pricy and not worth it if you are not using it regularly. Now, I bike a lot and I purchased my bike new I have been using it almost daily for over a decade now making it a worthy investment. If you are not planning on using your bike often, a secondhand one is a much smarter option. For my daughter, I have purchased a bike secondhand as she will outgrow it so fast making secondhand the best financial option.
Unless you are a handyman for a living, tools should not be purchased new as you most likely will not be using them on a regular base. Renting or borrowing is even better as most of us use tools so infrequently.
The same goes for tools used in your garden. Whether it is a lawnmower or a shovel, find it secondhand as you won’t be using these daily.
Not only your local thrift store has plenty of furniture, but you can also find lots on a Facebook marketplace or Craigslist. With this much furniture readily available there is no need to purchase it new.
Small Kitchen Appliances
Large kitchen appliances, like ovens and refrigerators, I recommend purchasing new ones as those are used very frequently and the newest version is much more energy efficient. For small kitchen appliances like food processors, bread makers, and coffee pots it is best to purchase secondhand. So only use these a handful of times but they start collecting dust and will eventually be sold.
Thrift stores and yard sales are stocked with glass, ceramic, and stainless steel kitchenware for a fraction of the cost.
Baskets are amazing for organizing, potting plants, or DIYing gift baskets. These are plentifully available at thrift stores in all shapes and sizes.
Picture frames and Mirrors
Picture frames and mirrors are easily upcycled to your taste making even the most outdated oak frame look great in your home.
Most of us have too many plants and to make them look even prettier, they need a nice pot. Your local gardening center has plenty of expensive pots but you can easily find a secondhand one at a fraction of the price.
The same goes for every other piece of home decor, most of these pieces just sit on a shelf looking pretty so they will remain in pristine condition even after decades of being resold.
Lots of people will upgrade their electronics as soon as a new version is available. This is true for laptops, phones, cameras, etc. This means the market is full of perfectly functioning electronics for a fraction of the new price. Another great benefit of refurbished electronics is that no new precious resources need to be generated for the production of your device.
Especially around February (when everyone has thrown their new years resolutions out of the window) you can find second-hand sports equipment both big and small for a very reasonable price. So, if you want to create a small home gym wait till February to put one together.
Technically speaking you shouldn’t have to buy physical books at all as your local library is also great or you can read from an e-reader. However, some of us love having a well-stocked home library. In this case, go for secondhand books as books require lots of paper and energy to produce.
For all the college students out there, textbooks come with a very hefty price tag. Unfortunately, you can only use these books for about 1 semester. Yes, the newest version may have some updates but is it impossible to copy this extra paragraph from a friend instead of purchasing the newest version of the textbook? Besides, as soon as a new version is available, the price of the older versions drops considerably.
100 billion garments are produced each year, meaning there are enough clothes in the world already. Not only that, the clothing industry is extremely polluting for our waters so choosing second-hand clothes is a great way to not contribute to this problem.
This is even more so for clothes for special occasions. A wedding dress is often made from synthetic materials that require fossil fuels to make, costs a lot of money, and will only be worn for a couple of hours. If you need clothes for a special occasion, you can find plenty of those on online marketplaces.
Jewelry shines whether it’s new or used. As jewelry requires lots of precious recourses that are extremely polluting to mine go for secondhand jewelry as no one will know the difference anyway.
Secondhand baby clothes are not only a smarter decision financially as they grow so fast, but it is also much healthier. Organic clothes are better compared to regular cotton clothes but for most out of budget. Regular cotton can contain lots of pesticides as these were needed to grow cotton. To make sure these are removed from clothes as much as possible, you need to wash them frequently. As secondhand baby clothes have been washed a lot by other moms these chemicals have been removed as much as possible making secondhand clothes healthier.
Stuff for babies can be very expensive from a crib to a mattress, strollers, and play pins, everything a baby needs costs a ton of money. Luckily, you can buy most things used which is great as they all work the same as the new ones do.
I don’t recommend purchasing a car seat secondhand unless you are 100% sure nothing ever happened to it. Car seats are like motorbike helmets. If you ever had an accident with it you can’t use it again as it is no longer safe.
Toys for kids are great as they are both entertaining and educational, but there’s no reason you have to purchase your kid's toys brand new. They outgrow toys very fast, and the cost of new toys adds up quickly. So go for pre-loved toys as your kids won’t notice the difference anyway.
Music is a beautiful art and anyone who wants to learn should have access to good equipment. However, instruments do not come cheaply and are demanding to make. The better the quality, the higher the price. So go for a secondhand one, especially for kids you are still figuring out if they like to play an instrument and if so which one.
People often start a new hobby and later find out it was not for them. They purchased lots of new supplies while only using them once or twice. Instead of selling craft supplies from finished projects, you can also donate these to local schools for kids to craft with.
This may be a bit of an odd one out but I think it is important to mention that adaption is always better compared to purchasing a purebred animal. Local shelters a full of animals who will love you just as hard as a thousand-dollar puppy.
Anything with a lifetime warranty
Purchasing a product with a lifetime warranty gives you great peace of mind. When someone else has already paid this fee, you get to reap the rewards without any additional cost.