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Kiplinger: Save money; buy used

Tuesday - 7/15/2014, 3:05pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Buying used goods to save money doesn't just apply to car shopping.

According to Kiplinger's Finance, consumers can save big on used electronics, furniture, children's play items and evening wedding dresses.

"You want to look for things that are almost new, that have been treated gently, that are still in a good condition, that still operate like new," says Kiplinger's Online Editor Cameron Huddleston. "You're still going to pay a lot less than if you bought them brand new from the store."

Electronics like cellphones and computers can be refurbished so that they are like new, Huddleston says.

The Apple Store, for example, sells restored iPads and Macs. Similar items are available from BestBuy, Dell.com and even Walmart.

Another area to save money by buying used is children's play items like bicycles and outdoor swing sets. Swing sets can cost thousands of dollars if purchased new.

These pricier toys won't get much use before a child outgrows them and moves on to other toys or a bigger bike.

"You can get (a bike) for your kid at half the price of what someone else paid for brand new," Huddleston says.

Shopping for used furniture through consignment stores or estate sales can also save big bucks. Used furniture also can be more interesting in design and may also be more kid-friendly. Parents don't have to worry about ever nick and scratch, she says.

Huddleston also recommends that brides-to-be consider a used wedding dress. Typically the gowns have only been worn once, or not at all if the wedding was cancelled, and are treated gently by the wearer, Huddleston says.

"If you're going to spend thousands and thousands of dollars for something you're only going to wear once, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense," she says.

Learn more about buying used at Kiplinger.com.

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