Who doesn’t love to buy something shiny and new, whether it’s a piece of furniture, a new appliance or a piece of clothing? There’s certainly nothing wrong with enjoying a shopping score, but if you’re looking to save money, there are certain items that just don’t make money sense to buy brand new. Several items lose value almost as soon as you’ve bought them, while others depreciate steadily over time. People often get rid of items that are new or in good condition. Either way, buying something used often extends the life of the item and puts money back into your pocket.
Last updated: Nov. 19, 2020
Jewelry still shines as brightly whether it’s new or used (after a little polish). However, when you buy a used piece, you may pay as much as 20% to 40% less than its original price, according to Longs Jewelers. Most jewelers will refurbish and polish up your piece so that no one will ever know it’s not brand new.
Kids love new toys, but there’s no reason you have to purchase them all brand new. Kids outgrow toys as fast as they outgrow clothes, and the cost of new toys adds up quickly. Look at the prices of some popular kids’ toys according to Today.com: Owleez big-eyed dolls run almost $40 each; Assorted Star Wars’ Legos are also near $40 a pop; the Paw Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck is nearly $50. Buying gently-used items off sites like Craigslist and eBay can save you lots of cash.
Music is a magnificent art and anyone who wants to learn should have the proper instrument for their goal. However, instruments do not come cheaply. The better the quality, the higher the price. At just the average range, musical instruments can cost anywhere from several hundred to many thousands of dollars. Buying second hand will save you lots of money. You can even check out secondhand stores and websites, like Music Go Round and Guitar Center.
You want to be comfortable in your office, but at what expense? A good desk, chair, filing cabinet and bookshelves can run you between several hundred to thousands of dollars. And that’s not including things like a computer, printer, decorations and office supplies. Yet people and businesses regularly get rid of office furniture. Buying second hand can save you money while still bringing you quality furnishings.
Cars depreciate in value as soon as you drive them off the lot, by as much as 20%, according to Business Insider. Over time, your vehicle continues to lose even more value. Shopping for a used car is a better chance at saving money on a new ride. The Kelley Blue Book website allows you to assess the value of any used car to see if you’re getting a good deal.
Getting in shape at home is a bigger priority during the COVID-19 pandemic than ever before. But fitness equipment can be expensive. A new treadmill can cost up to $4,000, according to Consumer Reports. A new set of adjustable dumbbells can run upwards of $100. These and many other fitness items can have you go broke before you get fit. Instead, check out secondhand stores and websites to find these often barely used items at a fraction of their cost.
Computers and Laptops
Since technology changes so fast, you might think you have to always buy your computers and laptops brand new to keep up. However, manufacturers like Apple and Dell sell refurbished computers that are “like new” and can save you several hundred dollars or more.
A brand new bicycle can cost you anywhere from the low hundreds to many thousands of dollars, depending on style and brand. Yet, with a fresh coat of spray paint and a tune-up, an older bicycle can be made new at a much lower price point — in fact, get into a “Buy Nothing” group online and you might just snag one for free. Especially for kids’ bikes, which they outgrow so fast that it’s worth investing in a used bike to save money. But you can even buy adult bikes online at sites like eBay, Craigslist and Gumtree. Spend the money you save on a brand new helmet, which you’ll need to be safe.
A kitchen is often home to numerous appliances, from instant pots and food processors to bread makers and coffee pots, all of which can cost more than you want to spend — especially if you’re buying more than one. Before you invest in something new, consider finding a used option, particularly if it’s an appliance that’s new to you and you’re not sure how often you’ll use it.
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Recreational vehicles (RVs) have become very popular again now that the pandemic has made flying less safe. If you’re thinking of getting one, don’t start with the pricey new ones (they can start at $90,000) — instead, look for used deals. According to the website RVers Online, when you take into account depreciation, financing, maintenance and other costs, you can save as much as half the price of a regular RV by buying used.
Clothes for Special Occasions
That fancy dress for your sister’s wedding. The suit for your son’s music recital. The Christmas sweater for the office holiday party. These kinds of clothes for special occasions can cost a mint, only to never be worn again. Particularly right now, during COVID-19, when many people are limited as to where they can go and whom they can see, you may be able to score great deals on secondhand clothes, online or at secondhand store locations.
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