What to Buy Used vs New

Many people have it in their mind that new items are the way to go. In some cases, this is true, but you should know what to buy new, and what to buy used.

There are some good reasons to buy used. Buying certain items used will save you tons of money! When in perfectly good, usable condition, buying used items is less wasteful and keeps things from ending up in the landfill prematurely.

Now, you can buy just about anything used these days. Check out sites like eBay or Craigslist; if you need it, chances are good that someone is selling one used. In the list below, I’ve detailed some items that you should always consider buying used. Buying these items used offers you some of the biggest money-saving opportunities possible. Let’s get on to that list…

Buy Used Children’s Clothing and Save

Clothing is a necessary (unless you live in a nudist colony) expense for us all. There is a major difference between clothing for adults and clothing for kids though. As adults, it isn’t unthinkable to have an article of clothing in your regular rotation for more than one year. Kids, on the other hand, will likely outgrow their clothing within the span of year (sometimes even in months).

Does it really make sense to pay retail prices for clothing that your child will only be wearing for such a limited time? I can understand buying new clothes for special occasions, or buying underwear and socks new (used underwear or socks – that’s just gross), but if little Timmy is only going to be in a particular size for six-months, do you really need to pay retail prices?

Get clothes second-hand or used for young, growing children. You will save a lot of money buying their clothes at garage sales, thrift stores, or hand-me-down exchanges. You’ll probably be surprised to find that many of the outfits are in excellent condition. After all, they were probably bought new just six months ago.

New Cars Are a Dumb Buy, Buy Used Cars

I’m sure you’ve heard how dumb it is to buy a new car, right? I know from experience that this is true. I bought my last car new and made payments on it for five painfully-long years; the new car buzz wore off long before I received my second monthly payment notice. Even if you have the cash and don’t use financing to purchase the new car, you still lose.

Someone paying $20,000 for a new car could drive it off the lot, pull into another car dealership across the street, and struggle to sell it for $18,000. Let someone else absorb the instant depreciate on a new car purchase.

Be smart and buy your cars used; a low-mileage, used car could save you a lot of hard-earned cash.

Buy Used Tools

About three years ago, I went to an estate sale. While everyone was inside the house looking for a great deal on decorative items and trinkets, I was in the garage with wide eyes. Inside the garage was a vast assortment of tools for sale. I left that estate sale with a collection of used tools including: hammers, screw drivers, shovels, rakes, a root feeder, hand gardening tools, and a coffee can full of fasteners. I still use many of these used tools on a regular-basis. A quality built tool should last for a very long time.

Aside from estate sales, other great places to find used tools include: garage sales, public auctions, police auctions, and local thrift stores like Goodwill.

Buy Media Like DVD’s, Video Games, and Books Used

Is that used video game any less amusing than the new, store-bought copy? I think not. The same goes for movies and books. Why buy them new when you can easily find used copies that will undoubtedly give you the same result? Just watch out for counterfeit or pirated copies; be sure what you are buying is an legal, authentic item.

Great sources for used media like DVD’s, video games, and books include: Amazon, Craigslist, book swaps, garage sales, and public library sales.

Buy Used Toys, Games, and Sporting Equipment

There are stores, like Play-It-Again Sports, dedicated to selling quality used and reconditioned sports equipment. Why pay a premium for something new when you can find high-quality, used equipment? I have purchased a set of professional golf clubs that were like-new from one of these stores in the past – the same set of clubs would have cost me $500 more had I purchased them new!

Go to garage sales or Craigslist to find outdoor play-sets, bicycles, and other used toys for your kids. Many of the toys I have purchased this way were in great shape and I payed only pennies on the dollar for them.

Know What to Buy Used and You Will Save Money

Quit being so uppity, or grossed-out at the concept of buying things used. Knowing what to buy used will free up cash for you to pay down existing debt, save, or invest.

Buying used starts to change your mindset about spending altogether. Once you start, you almost get addicted to it. You start to really scrutinize what you buy and how much you spend on things. You start looking at value more closely. You begin asking yourself, “Can I get that used somewhere?” When you see the savings and the extra cash you have, you’ll wonder why you didn’t consider buying used before.