What Do You Think of Buying Second-Hand Goods?

Since this is a forum for us tight asses I am wondering what's our attitude towards buying second-hand, including Op shops? And the reason?

I myself will search second-hands forums if I need/want electronic products. The reasons being they are less prone to fail if they functioned well in a reasonable time. Some time if I snatch a bargain I can sell it later with no or little financial loss. Perfect examples are phones, computers, monitors, camera and lenses. But I wouldn't buy personal items from strangers such as clothes, shoes, etc., unless given by friends and relatives.

Poll Options

  • 32
    I never buy second-hands
  • 324
    It depends (on category, price, location, etc.). Mind elaborate in comment?
  • 124
    I will search second-hand option before buying new if I need something
  • 7
    I only buy second-hands


  • Pre-owned goods are so underrated. So many good bargains to be had in 2nd hand market.

    Recently bought a router for $50 that retails for $250, barely had 9 months use.

    Also bought a fridge for $300 that retails for $900, and again was barely 1 year old.

    Could easily furnish a 3 bed house for under $1400, including beds, lounge, tv, washer and fridge, with decent items from 2nd hand market.

    Although would prefer a $200 new phone than something 2nd hand. Phones can be cleaned but they're still kind of gross with the pathogens and grime they can accumulate. Plus their battery life and speed tends to decline.

    • I bought a spare modem/router that is the same as the one I got from my ISP(Netcomm AC modem with Aussie Broadband) from a local salvos for $10 bucks….

      If I have any issues in the future with my NBN connection, I'll have a second modem readily available to test with(Some ISP's want you to test your connection with another modem before forwarding jobs to the NBN)

    • +3 votes

      So many are too expensive though. Where do you find items?
      Op shops on the Gold Coast are crazy high prices, eBay and gumtree most are trying to sell for at least retail $

      • You can negotiate with local sellers on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. If they haven't sold after few weeks or longer they may take half or less. Sometimes you also have to wait and monitor for new listings, and jump on something quickly if it's initially listed at a bargain price.

        Of course not everything is a bargain, but there are great bargains to be had (or negotiated).

        If you mean games or consoles though, things like that won't have much wiggle room as they do hold an inherent value.

        • +1 vote

          I am after cassettes, cassette deck. Silly crazy prices for units not working or broken.

          • @PVA: Supply and demand in action.

          • @PVA: humm as in audio cassette tape and player?

            I had a lot of them that was in very good condition and I believe I binned them recently.. wasn't expecting people to want them (those were blank ones that I had some of my own music recorded)

            • @oz-eh: I just sold ours for $5 a year ago. The mum who bought it just wanted it for the cassette player because she had found her old children's books with tapes.

          • @PVA: I picked up a completely working Nakamichi for $200 of ebayz, got lucky!

          • @PVA: I paid $50 a few months back for a Pioneer cassette deck. One of the decks doesn't work, but the other one works well with no issues, and I'm impressed with the sound quality. I only need to use on deck, so I'm fine with only one working deck.

          • @PVA: Tapes are starting to trend now. Some okay op shops around in gc but most don't know specialist pricing. Recommend the endeavour shop, lifeline superstore or the community op shop near Stevens St.

      • That was my first thought, every time I go to check Gumtree or Ebay for something that I wouldn't be fussed about if it was second hand, half the time the prices are near retail prices.

  • If you are a watch maker, then perfectly acceptable.

  • Furniture definitely, tech yes, appliances depends on who owned them, but I’d still look into it. Clothes are the only thing I’m still not sure on. If it was a friends then definitely but the op shop I’m working on 😂

  • There is nothing wrong with buying second hand, in fact during these times some items have become so hard to buy second hand becomes a natural choice.

    A good example is the bicycle, I was having a hard time finding a kids tag-a-long and managed to source one on gumtree. New bikes are also very expensive now.

    Other things I bought second hand were golf clubs ( a slight risk due to variable lengths), and tools.

    I generally avoid clothing and electronics.

  • I wouldn't mind a second set of hands…

  • When it comes to console video games - if you ain't buying second hand where available you wasting money (not fkn ebgames pre-owned games, not worth screwing the developers to save $5 - $10)

    • Yep. Got Ghost of Tsushima for $40 last week on FB Marketplace. Loving it so far!

      • Managed to snag a PS5 off Amazon last week so thought I might pick up Ghost of Tsushima. Checked the PS online store and a digital copy is still $100 - full RRP. Didn't this game come out 6 months ago?

        Will be going 2nd hand, now. That's zero extra dollars for Sony and Co.

    • I pretty much exclusively buy used console games now. You have to be patient but considering how many bugs are typically in ne4w games waiting is better anyway.

  • +11 votes

    I can't say I only buy second hand items but I can't say I shy away from it. The only second hand things I probably wouldn't buy is underwear, maybe shoes but other than that I've bought clothes and just washed them. The way I see it is that even at the shops people most likely try on the clothes we buy.

    I've bought clothes from op shops and from Facebook Marketplace

  • avoid used Pacemakers.

  • I never buy anything new unless its essential.

  • I try not to buy second hand, unless what I want is long out of stock new.

  • I never buy anything second hand. Only things I have that are second hand have been given to me by friends/family. But I don't even consider buying second hand for anything.

    • Houses, car or yacht in that list?
      And what about the Atlantean sword you found huh!

    • +1 vote

      Why not?

      • Different reasons for different things I suppose. I'd rather have items with warranties for the most part/know that it's still in good working order. I have worked since I was 17, and always been good with saving, so never worried too much about saving a few bucks compared to buying something new. The time factor comes in as well, I've got better things to do than trawl through Gumtree/Facebook Marketplace/eBay to find something particularly cheaper than new.

        To answer the earlier question, I have only ever bought two cars, both brand new, and not particularly expensive ($15-30k). My house was built brand new as well, although true, I have owned two houses that were second hand previously.

  • I feel it depends what it is that I'm buying when it comes down to new vs second hand. If I need a new mattress I'm going to buy it new because who knows what sort of liquids have gone through the mattress. If I'm buying a dining table or chairs or something like that then absolutely I'll look into the second hand market and patiently wait for whatever it is that I want.

    • Agree with the questionable liquids soaked in mattress. Same with couch, all the food crumbs fart dust that cannot be removed. Would rather buy a cheap couch

  • It really depends.

    You can pick up great stuff at great prices. On the other hand, you can pick up someone elses problem with only a slight discount.

    I feel it depends on how much you know about certain products. I had a client who was always buying and selling computers getting a 10% margin. He knew very little about computers. He'd pick up 4 or 5 computers and have no issues, but on the 6th, he'd need pick some sort of lemon with issues. Win a little, lose a lot kind of deal.

  • I try to find a cracking bargain (usually by stacking offers) on new before buying 2nd hand - sometimes I even sell things 2nd hand for the same or more than I paid 2 or 3 years earlier this way.

    But I should definitely try 2nd hand more often. My wife is NOT a fan of 2nd hand, but went to an op shop doing fill a bag for $4 yesterday, and she came home with 3 bags and tens-of-dozens of toys/books/kids shoes/etc. She might be converted now :)

    I find scheduling collection of gumtree/marketplace items a PITA

    • If it's relatively low value ($20 or less) I just leave items on the porch and tell them to leave the money. I've done this maybe 20 times, I've only had issues once where I'd left two things out for different buyers and the first bloke took both of them. It takes the pain of no-shows out of the equation, and if someone steals it it's not a huge loss

  • I rarely pay more than 50% of what someone is asking 2nd hand (I learned this based on what people tend to offer me for items I sell on gumtree etc - doesnt matter how low I advertise, the offer is usually around 50%)

    • +13 votes

      I always sell second hand at a very reasonable price, so if the person offers less I just don’t sell to them. Sometimes I’ll have 20+ people message me about something so if then when the person comes to pick it up and asks for a discount I politely decline and let them know many others are interested.

      Fair enough if the item is overpriced though.

  • Second hand is hit and miss. It depends on why the person is selling. Sometimes can be perfectly good item otherwise it can have something wrong with it. Know what you are buying.

    Bought a router. Pretty new but died after a few months. Bought another router, couldn't work out which version of the model it was then realised the function I wanted isn't there (lucky only cost $20). Bought a $15 2 year old router and performed flawlessly at parent's place. Only thing wrong with it is it doesn't have 5Ghz wifi but they live on acreage therefore no interference from neighbours, therefore all is good.

  • For luxuries I think 2nd hand goods are fantastic value. The depreciation curve on luxury goods is crazy. Think $100,000 luxury cars. $10,000 home theatre sound systems. When a new model comes out the value of last years model plummets even though there is nothing physically wrong with their old product. Its fashion and demand that props up the values of luxury products.

    In 2006 I bought a brand new professional 5.1 surround sound receiver (Class D amplifier) that cost $1000 RRP. 15 years later it still works and has better specifications than a consumer level amplifier sold today for half its price. My amplifier is the type that is typically thrown away because it doesn't have HDMI inputs. An older Class D amplifier has more power and clarity than high end headphone amplifiers.

    For necessities I tend to buy new. If it is a product that needs to be dependable I'll buy new. eg. used car battery, used car tyres, battery jump starter

    For stuff that's low complexity with non-moving parts I don't mind buying 2nd hand and outside of warranty. eg. USB cables, PC cables, audio/visual cables, tools (wrenches, sockets).

  • A lot of the times, I buy things second hand, think that I go in buying a project that I could have fun with.
    If it works fine out of the box, that's brilliant, if not, then it'd be a project that I could embark upon.
    That way I don't disappoint myself with a dodgy good that I paid blah amount of money.

  • +20 votes

    My order of priorities
    1. Hard rubbish
    2. Second hand
    3. New

  • Not sure if I can comment like this, but I also look at other sell items of the person, trying to see his/her social background, age, suburb, family situation and then make an offer.
    Like buying a car or furniture from old lady moving to aged care or family moving overseas.
    Second hand mattress or phone is definitely no for me.

  • Always go to local op shops and stuff like that, why not they wash items, they don't take dirty stuff, they usually make sure it's safe, and I'll wash it again anyway, even bought new clothes with tags from op shops for a fraction of the costs, bought lounges for fraction of the cost new, I've bought phones, cars, TVs, just have to do your research going in and make sure you do all tests before handing over any money of course!!

    Just bought a mountain bike with full disc brakes for $100 same bike at shop was $500 but the owner didn't want or need it so I got a killer deal

  • Not worth the time/money in alot of cases. If you have the luxury of checking gumtree/FB marketplace every day for a possible deal sure.

    Otherwise I find the price of pre-owned to be similar to that of what can be found brand new on sale on OzBargain. Too many people with psychological barriers "I paid X for item and expect X now" , even though the same thing can be bought cheaper New lol.

    I'm talking about needing specific items and hunting for them in stores/secondhand. If your purchasing just cause 'hey it's a deal', theres plenty of stuff available.

  • Know of friends who furnished their whole house from road side collections, picked up working fridge as well

  • Depends on what it is….

    I've never had any issue with 2nd hand goods (cloths/Video games/ toys in particular) my issue is more with the process of buying second hand goods these days there are a lot of scum scammers out there.

    It often becomes a 'pay in cash' transaction and requires travelling all over to just look at an item in which you may or may not buy and can be a real pain in the ass.

    Once upon a time ebay was the go-to place for people selling off 2nd hand staff and you could find a reasonable deal however i feel like times have changed and it is more gumtree or market place in which buy and selling can waste a lot of time that i simply dont always have to spare.

    The other issue is a lot of 2nd hand or 'pawn shops' often charge far too much on 2nd hand items i've literally seen 2nd hand items 10-15% more expensive then the same item new!! I remember the local pawn shop was selling a PS4 recently for more then a new one that would come with some games.

  • Won't buy clothes, shoes etc used, or low value items.

    Lots of things are great value if you know what you're looking for. I'm a tightass and like fixing things, so I will sometimes buy things that may have issues. Got a condenser dryer for $30 from the auction, slightly noisy drum bearing. Replaced the bearings for $15 or so. $45 instead of $750 or so is pretty good in my book. Same thing with washing machine, $50 or so from the auction, put in a set of shock absorbers that a mate had, has been going like a champ for years now. $50 instead of the about $1100 it was at the time.

  • People are forgetting there is a huge range of items that can’t be bought new at anywhere the same quality as you can get secondhand.
    Hand tools are a great example.
    Some camera lenses.
    Some automatic watches.
    Many expensive clothing articles (coats, handbags)
    V8 Holdens
    Lots of fishing gear

    A lot of new stuff is trash.

  • Furniture, clothes, toys, household items, yep absolutely. Some of my favourite clothing items are from op shops. There is a baby and kids op shop near me that I buy much of my kid’s clothing for 25c to max $2 a piece, he grows out of it and I donate it back. Most furniture used to be second hand, but I find the market for decent stuff is not as good as where I used to live.

    For electronics and appliances I tend to buy new as I want the warranty and latest tech. Unfortunately this isn’t as good for the environment.

  • We have bought camping gear, kayaks, and furniture second hand on fb marketplace. Much cheaper than new and generally in very good condition.

  • I don't mind second hand at all. Often see things i want second hand on FB marketplace. Wouldn't buy underwear or shoes perhaps, but heck, we sleep in hotel sheets, so why should we be squeamish about buying second hand?

    My doctors always get upset when I buy medical things like a second hand oxygen concentrator or nebuliser, or CPap…. but hey, I first get them cleaned and serviced by the same people that rent them out, and I bet my second hand unit was not used for a very long time and probably by one person, whereas the rental unit was used by someone probably the week before and by dozens of other people.

    Money may not matter to some people but when I can buy a second hand car, computer or phone or bicycle that is a few years old for a quarter the amount, that is what I tend to do. The other advantage is you can read reviews. New items haven't for the track record yet and you can't see how happy the average person is with their purchase.

  • No qualms what so ever. Do your research. Usually much much cheaper. Usually as if brand new.

  • If I'm wanting some archery gear I always try for second hand equipment first except for arrows as they are consumables . I've bought a couple of AV receivers second hand and you save a fortune and I've been able to sell them on when I upgrade.

  • I buy most of my electronics from eBay. I bought my Android phone from eBay two years ago. In a few years when I replace it, I will most likely buy another used one. I doubt I would ever spend more than $200 on a phone.

    I buy all of my computers from eBay. It's much cheaper than buying new, and I have no need for a new computer.

  • I can’t buy new retro video gaming gear so second hand it is.

    E.g. SNES, Sega Dreamcast, etc

  • Used condoms are pretty cheap, and also effective 100% if you're single and have exceptionally low standards.

  • i dont nessecarily think all this forum is for tightarses.

    A lot of us spend but like to spend wisely and like looking for deals. I think ozbargain gets me to spend more rather than less.

    Anyway I dont see whats wrong with secondhand goods for most things, though I would never touch personal items.

    I dont know why people worry too much, no one thinks about buying used cars, how is a computer or tool any different?

  • If you want anything vintage, then your only option is 2nd hand.

  • I've tried:

    1. Secondhand camera lenses - usually fine
    2. Secondhand video cards - Tried 2x through ebay and have had good experiences
    3. Secondhand shoes - Bought some Meermin good year welt shoes. Would do it again. In fact, they were better than the meermin factory seconds that I'd bought.
    4. Secondhand washing machine - did this during my uni years, no issues
    • You really need to know what to look for in 2nd hand camera lenses. I've had a few people try to pass off lenses infested with fungus.One even had a rotten take away food smell to it. Have lost out on postage in one case. But saved a lot more with other lenses.

      • Yeah had good luck so far, but I was getting old vintage glass for my Sony a6000 so it was pretty cheap, even if it was a loss.

  • +2 votes

    I'm a hypocrite.

    I'd like everyone to buy secondhand goods to save the environment, but rarely do so myself.

    Only things I buy used these days are:
    - cars
    - watches
    - Kid's bikes (they grow out of them so fast) $50-$100 used for rrp $400 bikes.

  • Depends what it is. Apart from a mattress, I don't think I have ever bought a new piece of furniture (apart from things I've built).
    I've bought second-hand shoes (very nice shoes) and electronics with good success.

    Basically, I feel very confident buying things if I can easily see the condition by inspection or can easily be repaired. I'd say a lot of solid state electronics fit this bill i.e. TVs and speakers, but also small appliances like a toaster or a kettle.

  • Depends. Happy to buy a lot of things second hand with the exception of clothes and bedding. After that it comes down to whether the discount is enough to negate the benefit of being able to return and warranty

  • I like to buy recycled toilet paper, which was recycled from toilet paper.

  • I've historically only bought second hand furniture but now that I've bought a house and developed a sense of style it's hard to find furniture I actually like on marketplace/gumtree.

    I've started buying my phones second hand, there's really not all that much innovation in newer models, staying a few years behind is fairly cost effective. Otherwise most of my electronics are new, but I'll generally wait to get something at a good price. The number of warranty claims I've made on TVs and computers leads me to believe the failure rate is fairly high, so it's good to be able to enforce your consumer rights

    I'm all for second hand clothes, normally through op shops but occasionally on ebay. I'll only go onto ebay if I have a very specific thing in mind, rather than browsing.

    I generally try expensive items second hand - furniture/appliances/cars/bikes

  • My favourite secondhand wins were my PC, monitor and keyboard, and a west elm shelf that cost $350 in store for $50. I don't always buy second hand but if I am after something I do check marketplace and gumtree first to see what my options there are.

  • Second hand aluminium foil and cling wrap. Got some just used once for free.

  • +2 votes

    often times people try to sell used items more than i can buy brand new

  • I buy everything second hand. Condom included.

  • I buy second hand goods from op shops, thrift stores, Gumtree, eBay, Garage sales, etc. Generally do the rounds at a few local op shops and thrift stores once or twice a week.

    Toys, board games, furniture, electronics, bric a brac, collectables I have bought from op shops and actively use/keep.

    If the item/s fulfill a purpose and will be useful, whether it is to use or resell to make a bit of $$$ then I'll purchase.

    YMMV though, will steer clear from most "more personal usage" items like clothes or shoes (unless its sporting merch to collect or onsell).

    Sometimes you come across brand new, unused, tagged items which are a fraction of the price when new. Board games,etc.

    Plus for various, older collectibles and items you've got no choice, majority of these will be second hand anyway.

    Lots of value to be had when browsing the second hand market if you look in the right places and know what you are looking for.