The original post can be found here: Debt Free
You can call them “used”, “second-hand”, “pre-loved”, or “broken-in.” But in a time where money is tight or when you are intent on paying off debt or reaching a financial goal, it will do your wallet good for you to consider buying certain items “pre-owned.” It may take a little extra time and searching, but you can find high quality items that are in excellent condition. So let someone else pay the over-inflated retail price. You get about the business of saving some money.
To help in your quest for frugality, I present:
20 Things To Avoid Buying New
1. DVDs and CDs – If taken care of, CD’s and DVD’s will play just as good as when they were brand new. Even if you sacrifice the original case, you can get your entertainment for a lot less.
2. Books – If there’s a book you want to read, you might first try to borrow it from your local library. If they don’t have it, or you need to own the book, you can get significant discounts online or at used book stores.
3. Video Games – Most kids play a video game, beat it, and then move on to the next conquest. Don’t spend $60 for a new game when you can wait a few months and get it at a huge discount. Check sites like eBay and Amazon, or even your local Blockbuster.
4. Special Occasion and Holiday Clothing – There are times that you need formal clothes for a special occasion, or special outfits for the holidays. Rather than pay retail for these one-time wears, shop thrift stores, yard sales or buy from online re-sellers. You can find some huge bargains.
5. Cars – You already know this – new cars lose up to 70% of their value in the first 4 years. Let someone else pay the premium price for the new car smell. Buy a reliable used car that has been inspected by an independent mechanic. And, you will generally pay the least when buying direct from the owner.
6. Jewelry – Jewelry suffers drastic depreciation as soon as it is worn. Diamonds in particular have an unbelievably low re-sell value. But if you are in the market for a nice jewelry purchase, you can take advantage of the markdown and get a great value. Check reputable pawn shops and jewelry resale shops. Just make sure you get an independent appraisal when buying diamonds.
7. Furniture – Furnishing a home or office can be incredibly expensive. Take advantage of the reduced price of high-quality, gently used furniture. Even if something needed to be re-upholstered or painted, you can find great bargains. Check Craigslist and yard sales. You can also negotiate a deal on the floor model at retail stores.
8. Games and Toys – How many board games and toys have you bought that ended up sitting in a closet or box? Don’t pay a premium for new games and toys thatmay only capture your kids’ attention for a few weeks. You can find used toys and games in great condition on craigslist or at yard sales. Or have a “Toy Swap” with another family.
9. Maternity Clothes – Maternity clothes don’t suffer the same wear and tear that every day clothes might. Used maternity clothes may have only been worn for a few months. And it doesn’t make sense for you to pay high retail prices for items you will only wear a few times.
10. Baby Clothes –Borrow baby clothes from friends and family, or shop at yard sales and thrift stores. Your little bundle of joy will look just as cute, and will never know the difference. The money you save can be used to start funding your child’s college fund.
11. Baby Items – Strollers, car seats, and high chairs can cost hundreds of dollars. But you can buy perfectly good used baby items at a huge discount. Just be sure that everything works properly and check that there have been no safety recalls at www.cpsc.gov and www.recalls.gov.
12. Musical Instruments – For a beginning musician, there is rarely any reason to buy new. People, especially kids, are fickle. Playing guitar may sound fun at first, but little Johnny may be bored with it after the first week. Go to a local music store or pawn shop and save a bunch.
13. Auto Parts – With a vehicle that is a little older, you can find reliable, used replacement parts online or at a salvage yard. This will save you a small fortune over buying new from a parts store or repair shop.
14. Pets – Buying a cute little puppy from a breeder or pet store can cost you several hundred or thousands of dollars. Consider adopting your new pet from a local animal shelter or rescue. Both of the dogs we have adopted two dogs and they have both been wonderful companions.
15. Home Accents – As with furniture, home accent pieces can be bought deeply discounted at thrift stores, yard sales and online.
16. Hand Tools – Hammers, wrenches, screw drivers, garden tools…well-made tools will last decades. Skip the big-box store and shop neighborhood yard sales.
17. Sports Equipment – Most people don’t use their high-priced equipment nearly as much as they anticipated. And when it’s time to be re-sold it is still in excellent condition at a fraction of the price. Check Craigslist, eBay and some sporting good stores.
18. Recreational Items – Big ticket items like campers, jet-skis, boats and ATV’s can be found very inexpensively. And often, they have barely even been used.
19. Kids’ clothes and shoes – As soon as you get home from the mall, little Susie has outgrown the new dress you just bought. Rather than buy brand new, use hand-me-downs from friends and family, and shop at consignment shops and thrift stores.
20. Exercise Equipment – We all have a friend whose New-Year’s-Resolution-Impulse-Buy-Treadmill is serving as a coat rack. Let their unfulfilled resolution become your new home gym. And free weights and other equipment can be bought at yard sales for pennies on the dollar.
With just a little extra time and effort, you can save yourself a bundle buying gently used items. You can often buy higher quality items that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. Plus, any extra money you save can go toward paying off debt, building up your Emergency Fund, or saving for larger purchases. Now, go save some money!
Yours In Freedom,
Join the conversation…what great bargain purchases have you made on pre-owned goods?
20 Things To Avoid Buying New
May 20th, 2011 at 09:26 pm