In the current economy, most people are looking for ways to save money but not radically change their lifestyle. While there used to be somewhat of a stigma buying previously owned items in the past, it has become trendy to buy “vintage” and to go “thrifting”. Aside from the fashion of shopping used, it is truly a way to save money and generally be able to get good quality items for less than buying new. By purchasing several types of items used, you can save a significant amount of money and still be able to have the items you want.
1. Cars – It is a widely known fact that a car depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. Unless someone else is paying for that brand new car, you can find high quality used cars in all makes and models just by doing a little research. Many states have “lemon laws” in order to protect used car buyers and many dealerships offer certified used cars that give the buyer an addition sense of security in case they have problems down the road.
2. CDs/DVDs/Blu-Rays – If you are willing to wait a few weeks to purchase those new releases, you can usually find used copies either online or at your local used movie and music shop. For your wait, you are rewarded with saving a significant amount of money. Most used copies are barely used, particularly if they are purchased used early after the release. If you are desperate to see a movie as soon as it comes out, rent it or get it via an online movie source then wait to purchase it until you can find a good used copy.
3. Video Games – Again, if you are willing to wait a few weeks for those new releases, you will be able to find most games used either online or at your local video game store. While some die-hard gamers simply can’t wait to get a hold of the latest games, those who can wait a few weeks can find used copies at a savings. Many times, games are purchased new then sold back because either the gamer doesn’t like the game or it isn’t what they thought it was when they bought it. Some games can be rented either online or through a movie rental location for those who want to try the game out before they purchase it.
4. Books – Whether you are buying textbooks or general reading books, you shouldn’t purchase them new. Regardless, most books can be purchased used, saving you a good deal of money. Once again, to get a current best seller, you may have to wait; however, it doesn’t take long for good used copies to start showing up online or in your local used book shop. Additionally, with the popularity of e-readers, fewer people are buying hard copies of book but publishers are still producing them – many times only to have them sold off wholesale to discounters or used book stores.
5. Maternity/Baby/Kids’ Clothes –For maternity, baby, and kids’ clothes, buying new is a huge expense that can be lessened if you buy used. New or used, maternity and baby clothes usually are either outgrown or not needed while they are still relatively new. Kids’ clothes also tend to be outgrown before they are worn out. Play clothes, in particular, can be purchased used as those are the clothes on which kids are roughest. It doesn’t make sense to buy them new just to have them ruined with stains and dirt. School uniforms can also be found used either at thrift stores or second-hand uniform shops.
6. Home Accessories – Trends change in home decorating so purchasing your home accessories used makes a great deal of financial sense. By purchasing classic major pieces of furniture, you can change the looks of your rooms by purchasing your trendier pieces used. Serving pieces and dishes are also easily purchased used at a savings, particularly if they are pieces that are large or ones that you won’t use often.
7. Musical Instruments – For the beginning musician, it makes no sense to purchase ever,a new instrument. However, once you’ve been playing for a while, you should still consider buying your next instrument used as well. There are many excellent instruments available at local music stores and pawn shops. As long as you know what you are looking for as far as brands and quality. You can also find any accessories you might need such as amplifiers or cases used.
8. Sports/exercise equipment – Thrift stores and second-hand sports stores are full of used sports and exercise equipment that was purchased with every intention of using it. However, either through loss of interest or change in sport, the equipment ended up being sold second-hand in nearly new condition. Aside from shoes, everything else can be purchased used as long as it’s in good condition and in working order.
9. Houses – Unless there is a very good deal from the builder on financing, purchasing a “used” house can save you a significant amount of money. While new houses have a warranty that if anything goes wrong, the builder will fix it. However, when buying an existing home, it is possible to negotiate a home guarantee/warranty into your final contract. You can also have a home inspection done to be sure that the home is in good condition and make your final contract contingent upon the home passing that inspection. You want to get the most house for your money, so don’t rule out pre-owned homes when shopping.
10. Toys/Games – As long as they are in good condition, there is nothing wrong with purchasing toys and games at thrift shops or garage sales. While purchasing stuffed animals or other plush toys may not be a good idea, due to contaminants that may cling in the stuffing, other items can be cleaned well before being given to your kids. Like clothes, kids outgrow toys and games quickly. As they get older, their wants become more expensive so save money while you can.
Purchasing certain types of items used not only saves you money but it also saves the environment as there are less items produced and less that are thrown away. The stigma of buying used has lessened and all but disappeared in the past few years. Making good buying decisions, including purchasing items used, can save you money that you can redirect to saving for larger purchasing goals in the future.
Allen Jones is a professional blogger the provides business and personal financial advice and information. He writes for PureChecks.com, the best place to order business checks online.