It’s always nice to get a brand new shiny toy, but when it comes to getting the most for your money, there are some things that are better purchased used. Below I list seven things that are better purchased used as opposed to new. Surprisingly, you won’t find cars on this list. While in most cases, buying used will save you from the initial depreciation hit of the new car, there are cases when the rebates and special financing offers makes it a better deal to buy a new car and not used. With that being said, let’s look at the list.
Photo source: David Boyle in DC
Things You Should Buy Used
- Exercise Equipment. Most people get on an exercise kick and will buy the latest gadget or equipment and use it consistently for a few weeks or months. After that time period however, many will fall back to their old routine and use the equipment as a clothes hanger (you know who you are). By checking out Craigslist and yard sales, you are bound to find a used piece of exercise equipment in almost brand new condition for much less than new. Just make sure you are going to use it for exercise and not to hang clothes on!
- Power Tools. You can find great deals on used power tools at yard sales, on Craigslist, and even on Amazon. In many cases, people buy the tool for a special project they are working on and end up never using it again. So they sell it off for a discount. I must admit that I am guilty of this. I purchased a tool when remodeling and never used it again. Some lucky person made off with $100 tool that was used a handful of times over the course of a weekend for $40.
- Video Games. If you are a gamer or have kids that play video games, you know the routine. You buy a game for $60 and play it a handful of times then never again. When I was growing up, I would go to video rental stores and rent NES games. Only if I really liked it would I save my money to buy it. While there are a few options to rent video games, many electronic stores now sell used video games. You can get some good titles for half off or more. Your biggest discounts will come from the games that get released every year (think Madden). If you are really patient, you can score great deals on brand new games at Walmart. The only downside is you have to wait a few years to get the discount.
- Books and Textbooks. I may be showing my age, but when I was in college, buying used textbooks online was in its infancy. It was harder to find the book used then, but now it’s a piece of cake. You can buy the books for a deep discount at many places online. You can even sell them online to other buyers and get more money than you would if you tried to sell them to your college bookstore.
But the savings don’t end there. You can buy lots of used paperback books at yard sales and online as well. Unless you are buying a new release, there really isn’t a reason to buy new.
- Movies. Just like with video games and books, buying a new movie is a thing of the past. (Of course, if you wait, you can usually find your favorite movie at Walmart for under $10 after some time.) You can jump online and find most movies used for much cheaper, or go to your local video game store. To increase revenues, many of these stores now buy and sell used movies. You can find some great movies for $5.
- Baby Clothes. While I don’t have kids (yet) I’ve learned from many friends and family members that there is no point in buying a lot of brand new baby clothes because kids outgrow them so fast. While you can run around to yard sales to find good deals, a better bet is to use a consignment shop. You will find that the prices may be a little higher than the yard sale, but the premium you are paying is from the consignment shop only taking clothes in good condition. They do all of the work for you.
- Baby Gear. Just like with clothing, all the other things you need for your little bundle of joy can be purchased used for much less. You can find items at yard sales, consignment shops and online. One caveat is to never buy a used car seat. They may have been in an accident, recalled, or not have the most current safety features. But for all other baby related gear, used it the way to go.
What items do you a make a point to always buy used?