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Getting great deals on gently used items is not a new concept, as thrift stores and consignment shops have been around for ages. But the Internet has brought forward a new age in thrifting, as buyers can browse items and connect with sellers more easily than ever. A number of online enterprises have also popped up for the sole purpose of peddling refurbished items at low prices.

Buying items secondhand presents its challenges, as sometimes wading through item after item of questionable quality can be grueling. But if you know the right places to look, you can get some serious deals on quality items in the blink of an eye or click of the mouse. While not everything lends itself to multiple uses, the following items promise great bargains to those who know the value in buying secondhand.

Cell phones: Keeping up with the latest trends in the mobile phone world can be exhausting – and expensive. Or if your phone breaks, you may find yourself having to sign a new contract with your provider to get a deal on a new one. The good news is websites like ReCellular offer discounted cell phones, including many recent models that have been refurbished. Getting a great deal on your own can free you from the restrictions an undesired contract and may beat any deal your provider can offer. Visit to see what types of gently used phones are available.

Computers: Since technology changes so rapidly, you may sometimes feel as though you paid way too much money for your new computer even a year or two after buying it. If you don’t need all the latest features, buying a refurbished computer may be the way to go. Check to see if a business in your area sells refurbished computers or check manufacturers’ websites to find out if they offer refurbished versions of their own products – all the better if a warranty is included.

Books: Because most people read a book only once, there are plenty of gently used copies of the next novel you hope to tackle available. Used books can often be had at half price or less. Check to see if there’s a used bookstore in your area or visit an online marketplace. This is especially true for textbooks, as buying used can save hundreds of dollars for college students.

Tools: Simple tools are also items that won’t wear down much over time. Items like shovels and hammers can be purchased for next to nothing at yard sales and thrift stores and will work just as well as new ones. A word of warning: Power tools aren’t as sure of a bet, as they are more expensive and battery-powered tools in particular have a tendency to wear out more quickly.

Buying these items used is a great way to get the same satisfaction out of an item while saving money and reducing your environmental impact. As with buying new, the more homework you do before purchasing, the more confident you can be about getting a great product.

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
Known globally as a willing source for tech news and views, Andy takes great pride in consultation and education.

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