By Teri Storelli
Being a savvy consumer means knowing when to splurge on something "new" and when to buy something "new-to-you." Here is my list of 10 items you should consider buying used.
We all know used cars are cheaper than new cars, but did you know buying a used car will save you on sales tax and dealership fees as well? Purchasing a used car can also mean more wiggle room when it comes to price, making negotiation a lot easier. Used cars also depreciate slower than a newer model.
Everyone wants this season’s hottest bag, so they are selling last seasons to help finance it. Sites like BellaBag.com and BagStealorBorrow.com offer up lightly loved designer bags and accessories at markdown prices, making splurging on a statement piece a little less guilt inducing.
If you've ever tried to haggle with the salesmen at the jewelry store in the mall you know it's futile. But pawnshops are a lot more open to negotiation. Another great option is to bring in that less than gorgeous pendant your ex gave you or that solid gold toe ring you got as a Christmas gift from your wacky aunt 10 years ago... because trade-ins are welcome! They don't often take checks so be prepared with your credit card on hand (leave your cash at home). Be sure to pick a shop in a good part of town and bring your friends and make an afternoon of it.
4. Wedding Supplies
Most wedding supplies are used for around 5 hours and then get tucked away in the attic, basement or garage to collect dust. So call around to brides you know to see if they are willing to share, or sell their used supplies. Most will be so thrilled you dug their décor they'll let you borrow it for free. Don't know any past brides who share your color scheme or theme? Check out BravoBride.com or all things used wedding for sale on the cheap.
5. Baby Gear
Buying used is a great way to cut the costs associated with bringing home that bundle of joy. Purchasing a used baby swing can save you around $100 alone, and getting that diaper genie second hand can save you about 90% off the price of a new one! Steer clear of used car seats and items that are more than a couple years old. Also before you hit the garage sale circuit pull up the Baby Center Product Recall Finder to make sure the deals you find are safe for your little bambino.
The old adage “They don't make 'em like the used to” is never truer than when it comes to furniture. Buying an antique piece can be pricier in the short term but can save you big over time. New furniture is in general made to be more disposable where as an antique piece has stood the test of time. The added durability and charm will mean less re-purchasing of the same piece over the years saving you money and giving your space lots of personality.
7. Sporting Equipment
Whether your youngster has lost interest in baseball or you finally gave up on learning to Rollerblade. If you've got a little treasure trove of garage sale sporting goods, you are not alone. So when the kids inform you hockey is their new passion, look for used equipment at garage sales, sporting good stores, second hand stores and online to save around 50-80%.
8. Video Games
Most gamers master games, or lose interest pretty quickly with the constant release of new games. When they tire of last year’s title they usually sell it back to the store for credit towards their next gaming purchase. So check out the shelves or ask the clerk where you can find these usually deeply discounted used copies.
While most people buy tools new for the warranty picking up used tools is a big money saver. Used Craftsman tools are a particularly safe bet as they come with a lifetime guarantee, that's right, the tool breaks and they replace it. Few brands stand behind their products like Craftsman so you can buy used without the stress of flying blind on the warranty policy.
Not only is buying used clothing environmentally responsible and cheap, it's a great way to dress beyond your means. Head to second hand shops like Goodwill and The Salvation Army in affluent areas of the city where you live to find brand names in very good condition. Just be sure to look over the garment form all angles to insure there isn't any damage. Another plus? You don't have to worry about items shrinking or bleeding in the wash. Need more reasons to hit the Goodwill? Many retailers will donate stock that isn't moving directly to them, meaning you can get brand new clothes at second hand prices.
What would you buy used? Share your list in the comments.