Remember, that you should always take into account what you can afford and what will make you happy. This list is by no means definitive. It's just MHO! :o)
OFM's buy it second hand list
2. DVDs and CDs- First of all, my family watches about 75% of our movies and listen to our music online. We also check out both from the public library. We really like music and moves though, so you'll find us searching for these at thrift stores and yard sales, too. Just like with books, the price is greatly reduced and you have to be careful about the condition.
3. Pets- I know, I know. You totally didn't think you'd find this here, right? But think about what happens when you get a pet from a breeder or pet store (aside from the question of ethics). You'll pay hundreds of dollars for the pet, BUT if you find your new pet at a shelter or pet store adoption center like at Petsmart, you'll save so much on vet bills and your pet as well! Plus, so many animals need forever homes. (Now, don't you want to run out and adopt a dog or cat?)
5. Furniture- I have an eclectic style and that's true of my home furnishings. You can find quality pieces everywhere from Craigslist and Free Cycle to thrift stores and yard sales. New pieces in my price range poorly made with flimsy materials. I like the thrill of the hunt as well. Check out some of the really cool pieces of furniture I have found used and sometimes, absolutely FREE!
6. Maternity clothes- I know, but you really, really want to look adorable while you're preggers. Here's the thing though. You'll pay a fortune for clothes you can only wear for a few months at most. Craigslist,eBay, yard sales, thrift stores- just dig in and see what happens. Don't forget to get those hand-me-downs from your friends and family either. When I was pregnant with the Teenager, I was able to getaway without buying a single item new because I had a friend who had just delivered her first child and I score big at the Goodwill.
7. Baby and kids' clothes- I know, you want your baby to look adorable. Here's a heads up: your baby will look just as adorable in second hand clothes. Babies outgrow clothes so quickly, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to buy new. I'm a big, big fan of the hand-me down chain. I receive and pass along clothes all the time with my friends and family.
8. Tires- The secret to buying good, quality used tires is to know a good, quality used tire place. We've always been able to find one no matter where we live and we save hundreds of dollars. Just be very, very careful, friends. You don't want to risk your safety and end up spending more to replace a used tire in a shorter amount of time than you would if you had purchased them new.
9. Video games- Mr. OFM and the middle-Little are video game junkies. Recently, we've only purchased two games new for Mr. OFM's xBox 360. He gets the new Madden and the new Call of Duty every year, but other than that, we buy used. Most often, we shop at Game Stop, but we hit the flea markets for games for my Nintendo and the middle-Little's dsi. A video game's value decreases the longer it is out, so if you can wait for a game, do so and buy it used.
10. Dishes and utensils- I have a complete set of dishes that were sold in grocery stores in the 1940s. Of course, I purchased these second hand over the years. Every single dish in my kitchen is second hand. I pay substantially less and have better quality than I could afford if I had purchased them new. Serving pieces are especially good to purchase used. You get more for your money, that's for sure. The best place to find used dishes and utensils is thrift stores and yard sales. You'll pay next to nothing for fabulous stuff.
11. Small appliances- I haven't purchased a new appliance in four forevers because I can always find what I need second hand. Full disclosure: I did buy my coffee maker new, but it was way, way clearanced. Thrift shops and yard sales are the best places for small appliances. Quality items are to be had, friends. I own a second hand Kitchen Aid stand mixer, for example. It works really well and I could never have afforded the $400 price tag for a new model.
OFM's buy it new list
2. Makeup- Used cosmetics are a good way to catch something nasty. That's because they are great places for bacteria to live. Unless the makeup is unopened and in a sealed container, buy it new.
3. Mattresses- Just think about what happens on beds- stop it, you dirty minded heifers. I mean for reals. Bodily fluids, mites, bacteria... it's all there and you're on top of it. Unless you know the folks and can judge their cleanliness, don't buy a second hand mattress.
4. Vacuum cleaners- I've purchased a second hand vacuum from a repair shop before, but I wouldn't do so anywhere else. Here's why. Vacuum cleaners get the ever loving crap beat out of them and most folks get rid of them when they are simply beyond repair. When you get an older model used, it can be next to impossible to find a bag for it. Now, sometimes, you might luck into a used vacuum cleaner that works really well, but you have to know your stuff in order to access the condition of the machine.