5 Things You Should Always Buy New

Posted by Don on May 28, 2013

Previously, I wrote about 7 Things You Should Buy Used to save yourself money. Today, I am going to write about 5 things you should buy new, regardless of the price. We all like to save money, but sometimes, that savings ends up costing us more in the long run. For example, when I first bought my house, I needed to buy some rugs and mats for the bathroom. I went shopping and found a nice set, but the price was over $50. I didn’t think they should cost that much. So I went to a discount retailer where I found a set for $20. Fast forward six months and as I take the rugs out of the washer, I notice they are falling apart. I had to go buy another set. I ended up buying the $50 set and they have lasted me over four years.

While I realize the example I gave above compares two new items as opposed to buying one item new and one used, the idea is still the same: you will spend more money in the long run because you will have bought the lower priced used item, but then need to replace it relatively quickly.

Buy New

Photo Courtesy: Arvind Balaraman

5 Things You Should Always Buy New

Below are five specific examples of items to always buy new.

  1. Car Seats. Never, ever buy a used car seat. Doing so puts the life of your child at risk. First of all, you have no idea if the car seat was in an accident or not. It may appear structurally intact, but just one accident could render it broken. Secondly, child safety laws and regulations as well as technologies are changing all of the time. A car seat from five years ago may not offer the same protection or even follow the law. A car seat may cost a good amount of money new, but the peace of mind is priceless.
  2. Mattress. You never want to buy a mattress used because you don’t know the house it was in. There is a good chance you can tell if it came from a house of smokers, but maybe not. On top of that, there is the chance of fleas, bedbugs and bodily fluids all over the mattress. They may have even had pets, meaning their dander is all over the mattress and your allergies could kick up. And let’s not get started on mold and mildew.
  3. Cookware. You see used cookware for sale at yard sales all of the time. Usually, it is really beat up. While $1 for a “new to you” skillet might seem worth it, think again. If the Teflon is flaking off, that is a dangerous sign. Plus, as the cookware ages, the coating slowly breaks down making it harder and harder to clean.
  4. Helmets. The same that was said for car seats can be said for bike helmets as well. While it may look like it is in good condition, it could be rendered useless. For example, my best friend was in a mountain biking competition. He ended up flipping his bike and landing squarely on his head. He is OK, but the doctors said without the helmet, he wouldn’t be here today. The crazy thing is, when you look at the helmet, the only sign of a crash is a small crack on the edge. You never would have known the seriousness of the accident by looking at the helmet. The doctors even said after looking at the helmet that is was compromised and provided 0% protection going forward.
  5. Cable Boxes. OK, you can’t really buy these new, as the cable companies have a monopoly on them and require that you rent the box from the cable company – at least mine does. But all over the internet, you see people selling cable boxes claiming you can save that monthly rental fee. Don’t fall into this trap. You cannot buy the box used. Well technically you can, but it won’t work.

    The boxes have a serial number on them and the cable companies track the box to the customer. Most likely the used box you see online is stolen or was thrown out because it is broken by the cable company and someone rummaged through their trash. When you try to activate it, the cable company won’t let you. Suddenly, you are in possession of stolen property. I hate the monthly fee as much as you do, but it isn’t worth buying stolen goods in order to avoid it.

Final Thoughts

This is a short list of items you should always buy new. Be sure to check out coupon sites online and sales to make sure you get the best deal possible so that you can save money in the process.

What items do you a make a point to always buy new?

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Comments to 5 Things You Should Always Buy New

  1. Exception for cookware: used cast iron. Can find some great high-quality stuff this way, and you’ll want to strip and re-season anyway. There are many more exceptions, but you are absolutely right to be leery of old teflon.

    Roman Mitz

  2. LOL at the Cable box comment…
    You must have been dinged with this one yourself, as that is very specific, and mostly common sense…


  3. Unless things have changed, I have to disagree with your statement regarding item #5. Several years ago I bought my cable box used for 1/3 the price of new. I called Shaw, gave them the serial & ID, and they activated it remotely. No fuss, no muss.

    Nowadays, I’d still buy one used if I can meet the seller, verify that it turns on, and call my cable provider to confirm that they will transfer it to my account before I hand over the agreed purchase price.


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