12 Things You Should Always Buy Secondhand to Save Money

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Buying items that have been used or are secondhand is a great way to save money. Often, you’ll be able to save anywhere from 35% to as much as 70% off the original price. But, just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean you should always do so. Here’s a list of things you should buy used or secondhand because they offer better value for your money.

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Car

Everyone loves a new car. But, a big problem with cars is that they lose value fairly quickly. To be precise, your car’s value drops by 20% the moment you drive it off the retailer’s lot. Unlike homes or property which can appreciate in value, cars only depreciate. The one exception is vintage cars that become rare after 25 or so years, assuming they’re well-maintained.

In addition to being more expensive, insurance costs for new cars are also higher than older ones. That’s because if anything should happen, the cost of repair or part replacement will be more expensive for the insurer.

This is why buying a used car is always a good idea. That said, the thing you want to look out for with used cars is how much mileage they have and what kind of condition they’re in. That’s because you can easily end up with a clunker that requires a lot of repairs. Thus, giving you more headaches and expenses down the road.

So, it’s important to always check a used car’s condition before buying it. If you aren’t versed in auto mechanics, find a friend or someone who knows how to look at the engine and body of an automobile. They’ll be able to tell you which used cars are good or bad.

Textbooks

I still fondly remember buying used textbooks when I was in college. That’s because I knew I was going to learn something without having to spend a lot of money on the book itself.

More often than not, you’ll be using a textbook for one semester. Sometimes, an entire year. But, that’s about it. What I found was that you could buy used textbooks then sell them for the same price or very close to it when you’re doing using it. That way, you don’t spend any more or very little for it.

Some of my classmates would even scour for books that were already highlighted. That way, they didn’t have to take notes. Unfortunately, the problem I found with that was you had to vet the person selling you the textbook. If he or she was a good student, then you’re good to go. If they weren’t good students, you’re like studying “bad” notes.

Either way, using used textbooks was a great w afro me so save money while in college, especially because textbooks cost significantly more than regular books.

Bikes

Bikes are expensive. They easily cost over $100 for the basic ones and upwards of $300. After not having ridden one for a while, I was surprised to see the rental and selling rates of bikes when I needed one for college.

The good news is, there are places like Craigslist, eBay, bikeexchange.com, or pinkbike.com where you can find used bikes in good condition selling for a fraction of their original prices. If you’re going to use it for college, you can also check around campus. There’s always a used bike shop somewhere nearby.

When it comes to used bikes, chances are the bikes you rode when you were a kid were hand-me-downs from your older siblings. So, you’re already familiar with them.

Much like cars, used bikes are much cheaper than when they’re new. Plus, they’re much easier to check for any damage or wear and tear. Because bikes are fairly durable, they’re less likely to break. That’s why you’ll see some bikes being passed down a generation.

Home

Did you know that over 40% of Americans preferred buying new homes as opposed to buying existing ones?

I guess it is not a surprise considering that we all like to have something that’s our own, not someone else’s. And, your home is likely the biggest investment you’ll make in your life.

However, the big problem with that is a new home in the same neighborhood costs about 20% higher than an existing home. So, there’s a tradeoff.

A new home lets you design everything yourself. You also know nobody’s ever used it. Therefore, there are fewer chances of mold or any other problems. That is unless the contractor didn’t do a good job.

On the other hand, buying someone else’s home takes a bit more due diligence. And, you may not be completely sold on their taste for design. But, it’s much cheaper as well.

So, if you’re trying to save money, going with an existing home is a better option.

Exercise Equipment

Everyone knows that only a handful of people actually stick to their workout regimens for long periods of time. So what happens to the treadmill or other workout equipment they just bought 6 months ago?

They sit in their homes collecting dust or end up being sold. Often, it’s the latter because exercise equipment tends to be bulky. They’re likewise an eyesore in the middle of your room.

In most cases, because the equipment if fairly new they’re still in good condition. And, most workout equipment is designed to take a beating.

So, buying used exercise equipment is a great way to buy the same item at a steep discount to the price tag they have in stores.

Gift Cards

Buying used gift cards is a great way to get them at a discount. In the same way, if you have gift cards you don’t plan on using, you can sell them and get anywhere from 60% to 90% of your money.

This is a great way to save and make money depending on which side you’re on. And, while the idea isn’t as mainstream as buying and selling used cars, many people are doing it. This is why you’ll see a lot of online places like Card Pool, Card Cash, and Card Kangaroo.

Pets

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), nearly 8 million animals end up in shelters annually. And, over 30% of those dogs and more than 40% of those cats are euthanized.

This is why adopting a rescue is one of the coolest things you can do if you’re looking to get a pet. Instead of getting one from the pet store, you can easily go over to the nearest animal shelter to find a beautiful pet that’s looking for a home.

Tech Gadgets

Tech gadgets are another item that’s great to buy used. That’s because digital devices like phones become old quickly. Every 12 to 15 months, new models and technology come out making the previous newly released item seem old. Because of this, the prices of the previous models quickly drop as well.

Since many people enjoy owning the most up to date model of cellphone or laptop, you’ll see them quickly sell their older versions to fund their new purchase.

Often, you’ll also see stores sell refurbished items. These are used items that are certified refurbished by the manufacturer or the retailer. Thus, making them “close to new” but sold at marked down prices.

Household Appliances

High-quality appliances are designed to last a long time. I still see my mom using her trusty old Oster blender from the 1980s and it still gets the job done quite well. The same is true for many well-made home appliances like refrigerators, crockpots, and ovens.

That said, not all appliances are made equal. Those made in China and items made mostly of plastic don’t tend to last. In contrast, I’ve noticed that those built in the U.S., Japan, and Germany more often than not will stand the test of time.

Items That Come with a Lifetime Warranty

Every so often, you’ll come across some amazing brands that are so confident in their product’s durability that they’re willing to give you a lifetime warranty.

That means no matter what happens to that item, they’ll be willing to replace it or repair it for you. This makes them perfect to buy used. Secondhand items with lifetime warranties are as close as you get to the new item.

Brands like Fiskars, Briggs & Riley as well as JanSport are just a few of these items that give you that amazing customer warranty. Thus, making them prime targets if you’re buying secondhand.

Hand Tools

Hand tools like wrenches, hammers, and saws are designed to be super durable. That’s because they need to be robust enough to take all the pounding and beating. This makes them perfect for buying secondhand.

But, do beware of low-quality brands. When buying used, you always want to go for high-quality names because the products have already gone through the first owner’s hands.

As always, do check for rust and other signs of damage. Just because hand tools are durable doesn’t mean that people don’t abuse them. Sawing through steel will quickly destroy the edges of even the highest quality saw.

And, while buying used hand tools is a good idea, it isn’t always the case for power tools. Because of all the mechanical and electrical parts, power tools need to be scrutinized more carefully before you buy them used.

Clothes

Kids’ clothes are another item that is good secondhand options. Because young kids and teens grow so quickly, they don’t tend to wear the same clothes for a long time.

This is why you’ll often see parents give away kids’ clothes to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. In some cases, they give them to relatives who have kids that are slightly younger than theirs.

Thus, if you’re looking for cheap clothes, check out some of the thrift stores. It’s a great way to save money by buying secondhand.

Conclusion

Buying things new is great. But, it’s not always the most cost-effective thing to do. The list above gives you the best things to buy used or secondhand because doing so will save you money without sacrificing performance and usability.

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