By Noah Henry • April 11, 2014
When faced with the decision to buy new or used, many people buy new because there’s a trust and novelty in an unused product. Today, it’s easier to neglect the thought of buying new because of the financial landscape we find ourselves in—consumers simply don’t have the cash to burn like they used to. However, there have always been benefits associated to buying used instead of new. Let’s explore some of the reasons why the following products are better to buy second-hand instead of ripe from the manufacturer. Here are seven things you should always buy used:
Cars: It’s been suggested that new cars lose 20 percent of their value the moment they’re driven off the lot. If you purchase a $30,000 car, you immediately depreciate $6,000 of its value on the drive home. According to Investing Answers, a used car that is five years old is usually the third of its original price. As well, the insurance costs are a lot less than they are if the car is new. For me, and typically others who carry a budget-first mindset, the smell of a new car is simply not worth shelling out thousands.
Movies, books and video games: Unless you’re an avid collector, entertainment media typically has a very short shelf life. The momentary experience of a new movie, a new book, or a new video game may not be worth the new price. Fortunately, the Internet has amassed a sterling selection of sites where you can purchase incredibly cheap entertainment. Whether it’s Half.com, booksfree, or Amazon MP3 Downloader there are always more affordable options to buy used as opposed to shelling out big bucks for the new entertainment.
Power tools: For most people, power tools are only necessary when there’s a job to be done. When the job is complete, these tools tend to go unused for lengthy periods of time. Very seldom does heavy duty machinery have a place in a household—that is, unless there’s a construction worker in the family. Amazon has an extensive selection of reconditioned tools always available, where you can get the functionality of a new product at a fraction of the original price. Likewise, eBay and Craigslist are great sources for used and refurbished tools.
Pets: Of course, there’s nothing more adorable than a baby kitten. However, there are thousands of shelters scattered across the U.S. with little critters in need of a home. According to the ASPCA, 3 million to 4 million pets are euthanized each year—cue Sarah McLachlan. If you have an interest in doing something kind for our furry friends, while saving yourself money, it is invariably cheaper to buy a pre-owned pet as it is to buy a new one.
Bikes: If you have children, it’s almost always better to buy used, considering they’ll eventually outgrow their bikes. For adults—and I think you’ll agree with me—bike prices are usually inflated well beyond their manufacturing costs. New models arrive each season, and cycling enthusiasts often resell their bikes at substantial markdowns. Once purchased, the used bike will continue save you on commuting expenses, which is always nice.
Sports and fitness equipment: Parents know all about the pain of purchasing new sports gear every season. The costs of entering leagues, pitching in for team unis, and paying for myriad sports equipment is enough to give any parent a headache. Target and eBay both have used sporting goods categories, and there are usually cost-cutting coupon codes available for any sport or fitness activity.
Formalwear: Let’s face it—not to many of us life the lifestyles of James Bond and Queen Elizabeth II. The occasions that call for formalwear are few and far between, so it’s simply illogical to pay for attire you wear only rarely. I mean, how many weddings and proms are you actually going to attend? TheDressList.com and OnceWed.com are sites where people can buy or sell used dresses, and formalwear deals are always in full swing. Paying for a completely new dress or suit should be the last thing on your mind, even on lavish occasions that come once every blue moon.
Noah Henry Noah Henry is an amateur movie critic, foodie, bowler, and beer reviewer. But he's no amateur when it comes to saving money, so listen up!