In a world of rising prices, shrinking salaries and overcrowded landfills, buying things brand new just doesn’t make sense anymore – unless of course you’re one of those materialistic people who think that everything worth spending money on has to be brand spanking shiny and new. Buying used items is actually a more practical approach to getting what you want without breaking the bank and reducing your carbon footprint all at the same time.
Are you ready to buy? Here is a short list of things you could and should buy used:
1. Motor Vehicles
Cars, trucks, ATV’s and motorcycles have one thing in common: they lose a substantial amount of value once they roll off the showroom floor. Some estimates have depreciation as high as 20% of their original value, which is a very big deal considering the short period involved. Buying any type of motorized vehicle is just not worth the loss you incur on the first year alone.
You can buy a good, 3-year old car at a fraction of its original price. When buying a used vehicle however, you have to practice due diligence and consider what type of vehicle you really need and how much your budget is. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly and request for a test drive. If you can, bring a mechanic with you or someone who knows a lot about the vehicle your about to buy, so you can avoid coming home with a used lemon.
2. Vehicle Parts
While you should only use brand new parts such as oil filters, shock absorbers and timing belts, you can definitely buy used parts such as windows, doors, side view mirrors steering wheels and rims. You should never buy parts from a dealer, and try to source it online as much as possible. Dealership markups are insane and you’re better off looking for a hard to find part at the local junk yard if you really can’t find any.
You should be looking for one-stop shop establishments both online and offline for used parts. For example, there are many places that sell new and used snowmobile parts in places where there’s always snow, so if you have a snowmobile and you need used parts, look at places up north where ATV’s and snowmobiles are common. Craigslist and eBay are also great sources for used parts online.
Never judge a book by its cover. Books contain the same knowledge and content whether it’s a battered volume that’s been read a thousand times or a brand new one with a freshly printed cover. You’ll be saving a bunch of trees as well if you choose to buy used books. Amazon and eBay are excellent sources of quality used books online. There are also specialty bookstores that only sell used volumes, so be sure to check one in your area.
Just like cars, bikes are another thing you shouldn’t pay full price for. Updated models come out almost every year and cyclists often look to upgrade their bikes, so there will always be a steady supply of used bikes. Whether you’re in the market for a road bike, a mountain bike or an everyday bike to take to the office, there’s a used one waiting to be ridden. Google is your friend when searching for used bikes in your area.
If you want quality furniture that will last a long time, you should go for real wood and avoid any cookie cutter furniture you can assemble with a kitchen knife. The problem is, real wood can be expensive and is often beyond the budget of frugal homemakers. If you really want to invest in quality furniture, go to flea markets, yard sales and estate sales. You can get quality used furniture that would only need a little TLC in order to look great again. Goodwill and Salvation Army also sell used furniture, but you need to call ahead to see what they have in stock.
There are a lot more things you shouldn’t pay full price for such as clothes, jewellery, electronics and home appliances. You just need to be vigilant and check whom you’re buying from. Close inspection is important when buying used, so don’t hesitate to really put whatever you’re buying to its paces to see if it’s still usable and a good buy. Finally, make a list of questions for the seller. You never know what other people are going to say, and you may catch something that wasn’t posted on the advertisement.