If you’re struggling with debt, or just trying to save a little money, buying used or refurbished merchandise is an easy way to put some extra cash in your pocket. In many cases, you can find gently used items that are as-good-as-new – or buy refurbished goods directly from the manufacturer at heavily reduced prices. Used items can cost 50% to 75% less than new ones! Although some things are better (and safer) to purchase new, here are 10 items that you should consider buying used to save yourself some significant dough.
#1 – Vehicles (THINK Pre-Owned!)
After years of buying the shiniest, most up-to-date vehicles on the lot, I’VE DECIDED
TO NEVER BUY A NEW CAR AGAIN. Although we’ve been tricked into thinking the newest models are better, it can take years for vehicle design to drastically change. Many people justify buying the latest car model because of the extended warranty and service protection. But the truth is, you can purchase a pre-owned lease vehicle from the same company and still receive excellent warranty coverage.
Anytime you buy a new car, the value of the vehicle drops significantly as soon as you drive off the lot. Once it’s been purchased it’s considered “used” and is subject to resale pricing. Although the actual price drop varies between makes and models, the depreciation on a new vehicle is much greater than that of a used car. With a pre-owned lease, that initial depreciation has already been taken into consideration and you’ll save significantly on a car that’s only two or three years old.
#2 – Furniture
Although many people prefer to look and feel of new furniture, vintage and antique furniture is making a come back. Auctions, estate sales, consignment stores and even yard sales are excellent places to find unique and affordable pieces. There are always great local deals to be found on CraigsList.com, and discount outlet stores are located around the country with new furniture that’s been heavily reduced.
Just one exception… don’t buy used mattresses unless you want to risk infesting your home with bed bugs. And consider getting upholstered items professionally cleaned before bringing them into your house.
#3 – Clothing
There are two approaches to saving on the clothing:
- Vintage / Thrift Shopping – If you’re into the vintage look and appreciate slightly worn, yet stylish clothing, second-hand resale and thrift stores are the best way to save on apparel. Easily save 80% to 90% on your wardrobe!
- Designer Outlet Stores – If vintage clothing isn’t your thing and you’d like to maintain a more designer / fashionable look, then outlet stores are another option worth considering. You may not save as much as thrift shopping, but those name-brand jeans could cost 50% less at an outlet.
#4 – Tech Gadgets & Electronics
Although you won’t be covered by a warranty when you buy used electronics from an individual, many resale shops will provide limited warranty protection on electronics. An even better bet is to buy refurbished electronics directly from the manufacturer or reputable suppliers like Best Buy or Overstock.com. In many cases you’ll receive a 1-year warranty, equivalent to most new electronics, and you’ll save up to 50%. Consider buying these items refurbished:
- PCs, laptops and tablets
- Flat screen TVs
- Digital Cameras
- Cell Phones
#5 – Home Appliances
Used household appliances are unlikely to be covered by a warranty, but most are designed to work for years and people dump them for CHEAP for lots of reasons (i.g. moving, growing family, etc.). Search at Craigslist.com and you’re sure to find some great local deals. Refurbished versions may also be available at Sears or Best Buy.
Don’t ever buy books new! You can pick up paperbacks at yard sales for less than a dollar or find them at used bookstores for significantly less. Websites like Amazon.com make it extremely easy to find used books and purchase them at heavily reduced prices. College students can save BIG-TIME by purchasing used textbooks at on-campus bookstores or websites like CampusBooks.com.
#7 Video Games
Video games are another item you should always buy used. Unless you just can’t wait for the hottest new game to hit the market, you can save 50% or more on the used version if you wait a few months. Amazon.com, Best Buy, GameStop and Walmart are just a few of the major retailers that sell used video games.
#8 Power Tools
People often buy power tools to complete home improvement projects and then never use them again. Find great prices on gently used power tools at local pawn shops or online at CraigsList.com. Like refurbished electronics, power tools are another great option to consider buying refurbished and can be found at retailers like Sears or Home Depot or at specialty websites like ReconditionedTools.com.
#9 – Baby & Toddler Gear
We want to give our kids the very best, but babies don’t care about the brands they wear or where you purchased their bedroom furniture. Kids out grow clothing, cribs and strollers so quickly that it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot on these items. You can find name-brand children’s clothing and other kids gear (in great condition!) at specialty consignment stores for heavily reduced prices. Or even better yet, a friend or family member may have some gently used items they’re willing to give you for free.
#10 – Gym & Sporting Equipment
When people get motivated to exercise or participate in sports, they get filled with adrenalin and run out to purchase pricey equipment. More often than not, they eventually loose interest and their expensive new gear starts to collect dust. Finding lightly used gym equipment is extremely easy, and the savings can be substantial. Treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines and other weight lifting equipment can be purchased at a heavy discount (locally or online), leaving you with less burden if your workout program doesn’t go as planned. In addition, retail stores like Play It Again Sports sell used sporting equipment for almost every major sport (i.e. baseball, basketball, football, hockey, etc.) at heavily reduced prices.
And consider buying your next bicycle used. Many local bike shops deal with used bikes and they’ll have fully refurbished and re-tuned models from name-brand bicycle suppliers like Giant, Specialized, Schwinn, Trek and more. Why pay full-price for a new bike when you can get a high-quality, name-brand model for less than half the price? Craigslist is another great place for used bicycles.