15 Items Experts Say You Should Always Buy Used

When it comes to home decor there is no shortage of new items being made and sold everyday. While many of us are tempted by these glittering new pieces, it’s important to remember that used items can sometimes be a much better investment. There are quite a few advantages to vintage and antique housewares, including the quality-to-price ratio and the uniqueness of the look they help create. There are many items that experts say you should always buy used, so don’t waste your money on the new versions of these home products! Be advised that there are just as many things experts warn you should never buy used, like certain electronics, as well as cribs and mattresses.

15) Dishes

Anyone who has ever built a solid collection of Blue Willow, Fire King, or Fiestaware from thrift stores and flea markets can tell you that this is a great way to obtain a unique look for your table, often at a fraction of the price. And, unlike many modern dishware sets, the used versions probably won’t crack or craze on you if they’ve survived all this time in decent condition.

14) Original Paintings

Via/ eBay

Mass-produced art is everywhere these days, some even painted partially by hand to give the illusion of real paintings. So if you see a lovely vintage oil painting you should get it, even if you’ve never heard of the artist. There is always a chance that you’ve got a secretly valuable work from a noted artist. What’s more likely is that what you have is an unknown yet still one-of-a-kind piece of handmade art which will remain durable for centuries. Cheap originals found for less than $100 at second hand or thrift stores make for a low-risk investment.

13) Lighting

With the price of reproduction vintage and antique lighting at a premium right now, it might be worth it to pay for the rewiring of some older lamps in order the get the look- often the service is fairly low compared to other types of repairs. Materials like leaded crystal, stained glass, and mica add sparkle to a room that most modern lighting can’t even hold a candle to.

12) Rugs

An antique or vintage rug can have significant value despite a low cost to you. Often made of much higher quality materials than their equivalent-cost modern rugs, if maintained well and sold in a professional realm, they can often appreciate in value (even despite worn or faded spots), particularly if they are handmade.

11) Leather Furniture

Unlike toady’s bonded leather, vintage or antique leather pieces are likely to be comparatively high quality and keep their value year after year. Plus, who doesn’t admire the look of a chesterfield sofa or a club chair with that special leather patina on it?

10) Glassware

Via/ Rose Heichelbech

You simply won’t find designs like those from past eras on the shelves of big box stores these days. Buying vintage glassware ensures a special look to your table and can often be very easy on your wallet.

9) Mirrors

They can cost a lot to ship to customers so you’ll often find mirrors for good prices in second-hand stores. This type of item is harder to sell online due to shipping issues so antique stores are often very reasonable on the pricing. But, the best thing are the unique vintage designs which today would cost a a pretty penny to buy new, but are often so affordable in antique stores.

8) Shelves and Desks

If you’ve ever had an inexpensive new bookshelf bow and basically fall apart before your very eyes then you know old bookshelves can be of much higher quality than modern versions. This usually goes for desks, display cases, and other non-upholstered furniture. Not only will you get a quality piece, but you’ll get a chic look that adds personality to your space.

7) Designer or Known Names

In the case of say, Heywood Wakefield, buying used is a really great bet these days. There was a time when used vintage pieces of the then-discontinued furniture line would set you back quite a few dollars due to its rarity. But, the tables have turned with the company now producing new pieces in the classic Mid-century style. A new Heywood Wakefield dresser today costs around $3,000 whereas if you find one in a vintage shop it will most certainly cost a fraction of that, perhaps even as low as 10% the price of a new one!

6) Kitchen Gadgets

Via/ eBay

Particularly if you’ve never made homemade pasta before, or never pitted an entire harvest of cherries, you might not have all the proper tools in your kitchen. For experimental techniques it really doesn’t make sense to buy new. And, for usually only a few dollars you can have the appeal some really classic looking vintage kitchen tools. For example the brand of coffee mill seen above is still in business, but a used mill costs about half what a new one does and looks about 50 times cuter!

5) Books

If you’re only going to read them once then it certainly does make sense to buy your books used. But, even for large format (and costly) art and coffee table books, buying used can save you a bundle while delivering the same beautiful style to your room.

4) Wooden Tables

From side tables to dining tables, if you can find a vintage style you like it will almost certainly be good quality instead of veneer or particle board that many modern tables are made from. For a fraction of the cost of new handmade pieces you can find vintage wooden tables which have some of the hallmarks of fine furniture-making: marquetry, solid wood, dovetailed joints, and skilled assembly. These signs of quality usually ensure longevity.

3) Cast Iron

It can be better quality and more collectible than new cast iron, but it’s got another huge advantage: it’s already been seasoned. Used cast iron cookware is a usually a really great deal. And, pieces like Griswold can have some pretty hefty resale value should you ever tire of them. Here’s where the old saying “buy low and sell high” really comes into play!

2) Dining Chairs

Unless you are going for an ultra-modern look, dining room chairs can be a great way to either save money or get better quality (or sometimes both). Paired with a modern table, traditional dining chairs can make a real statement (and vice versa).

1) Ceramic Stools and Plant Stands

These great little tables are of course perfect for plants, but also for books, knick knacks, and just to generally decorate a room. Buying these new can be costly, but keep your eye for them at thrift and vintage stores and you might be surprised at what kind of value you might walk away with.

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